The twenty-three episodes of this series are adapted from Dame Agatha Christie's twelve feature-length novels featuring Miss Marple, two Miss Marple short stories, and nine feature-length novels that do not feature Miss Marple in them at all.
The title of the series removes the word Miss from Miss Marple, to match the title of the Dame Agatha Christie's Poirot series.
Dame Agatha Christie's "Greenshaw's Folly" and "The Thumb Mark of St. Peter" were combined into one story for the series.
A short story featuring Miss Marple, "The Blue Geranium," was adapted into a full-length episode.
The only character to appear in every episode is Miss Marple, played by Geraldine McEwan until season three, and by Julia McKenzie from season four onwards.
Following the conclusion of the sixth season, it was announced that the BBC had acquired the rights for the production of Dame Agatha Christie adaptations, suggesting that ITV would be unable to make a seventh season of this show.
Dame Agatha Christie wrote twelve novels about Miss Marple, all of which have been adapted for the series. They are: The Murder at the Vicarage The Body in the Library The Moving Finger A Murder is Announced They Do It with Mirrors A Pocket Full of Rye 4.50 from Paddington The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side A Caribbean Mystery At Bertram's Hotel Nemesis Sleeping Murder
Geraldine McEwan was nominated for a Satellite Award in 2005 for her role as Miss Marple in season one.
Elements of Dame Agatha Christie's "The Herb of Death" were incorporated into the adaptation of "The Secret of Chimneys".
This was a British ITV television series loosely based on the books and short stories by British crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie.
Each season consisted of four feature-length episodes, except season six, which only has three episodes.
China refused to air season one, episode one, "The Body in the Library" and season four, episode two, "Murder Is Easy" due to the involvement of a lesbian and an incestuous relationship, respectively.
When season four, episode four, "Why Didn't They Ever Ask Evans?" aired in China, it was extensively edited, due to the involvement of War-period China.
The first six episodes were all adaptations of Miss Marple novels by Dame Agatha Christie. Subsequent episodes were derived both from works featuring Miss Marple, but also Christie novels that did not feature the character.
This show was aired in the United States on PBS on Mystery!, where it was presented as Dame Agatha Christie's "Miss Marple".
The series was broadcast to the whole of Canada on CBC and in French on Radio-Canada.
This show was also being broadcast on ATV World in Hong Kong, on EBS and MegaTV in South Korea, and on CCTV-8 in China.
In the Czech Republic, this show was broadcast under the name Slecna Marplová, the Czech for "Miss Marple".
The first season of this show was released in March 2005 in the U.K., followed by the second season in July 2006. Season one was released in the U.S. (Region 1) in May 2005, followed by the second season in August 2006.
The third season was released on DVD in October 2007 in the U.S., but its U.K. release was delayed because of ITV's decision to defer airing the final two installments. ITV released the third season on DVD in October 2008, before the broadcast of the final episode, "Nemesis" in January 2009.
Season four was released on DVD in the U.K. in January 2010, before the airing of "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" in June 2011. The fourth season was released in Region 1 in August 2009, after the conclusion of the broadcast on PBS Mystery.
Season five episodes "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side", "The Secret of Chimneys", and "The Blue Geranium" were released in the U.S. (Region 1) in August 2010. The remaining episode of the fifth season, "The Pale Horse", was released separately in June 2011, coinciding with its broadcast on PBS Mystery! that year. Season five was released in the U.K. (Region 2) in June 2011. Seasons one through five were released in a twenty DVD box-set as "Agatha Christie's Marple - The Collection" in August 2011 in the U.K.
Miss Jane Marple was one of Agatha Christie's longest-running series protagonists. She first appeared in the short story "The Tuesday Night Club" (December, 1927), and her first novel appearance was "The Murder at the Vicarage" (1930). The last Marple novel written by Christie was "Nemesis" (1971), and the last to be published was "Sleeping Murder" (1976).
Agatha Christie based the character of Miss Jane Marple on on one of her own characters from an older novel: Caroline Sheppard, the gossipy spinster from "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" (1926). Sheppard managed to stay well-informed of all activities in her native village, with the notable exception of her own brother having committed a murder. Christie decided to create a character in the same style, but as a series protagonist.
In the Miss Marple novels, Marple typically solves the crimes through seeing analogies between the current events and suspects, and the crimes and people she had encountered earlier in life. She has had many encounters with the "negative side of human nature", and recognizes familiar patterns in the people around her.
While the Miss Marple novels rarely offer background information on Jane Marple, she is mentioned to be from a well-to-do family of gentlemen, and to have her own estate without ever working for a living. When in need of financial assistance, she relies on her nephew Raymond West, a successful author.
The novel "They Do It with Mirrors" (1952) reveals that Miss Marple was educated in Italy, attending a finishing school (charm school) there. The American characters Ruth Van Rydock and Caroline "Carrie" Louise Serrocold from this novel are her former schoolmates from Italy.
Miss Marple lives in the fictional village of St. Mary Mead. The village was introduced in Agatha Christie's novel "The Mystery of the Blue Train" (1928), which does not feature Marple. It was the home village of Katherine Grey, the novel's female co-protagonist.
Agatha Christie's novels were not consistent in identifying where the series location of St. Mary Mead was located. In the "The Mystery of the Blue Train" (1928) it is located in the historical county of Kent, in "The Murder at the Vicarage" (1930) it is located in the fictional county of Downshire, and in "The Body in the Library" (1942) it is located in the fictional county of Middleshire. What was consistent was that it was located in South East England, at a distance of 25 miles (40 km) from London.