Agatha Christie's Marple: Endless Night, aired tonight on ITV. I've been looking forward to it, since, although they've been taking non-Miss Marple stories for a while and sliding Miss Marple in, on the whole. they have worked rather well. I was disappointed with The Secret of Chimneys, but they managed with The Pale Horse and The Blue Geranium.
However, Endless Night, was like no Miss Marple I ever want to see again.
WARNING, this rant will contain spoilers, including revealing the murderer. so I'm putting it under a cut!
So, first things first, the whole thing is saturated with a narration from Mike, the protagonist of the story. This, as an introduction, was okay, but good god did it get wearing as every five minutes, we get more narration, because the writers couldn't be bothered to give us a plot of any depth. AND, it is bloody obvious Mike is an unreliable narrator as well, so I was getting more and more wound up the more voice overs he gave.
Since Mike is the protagonist, and none of the other characters are normal Marple characters, Miss Marple is crowbarred in as a sideline, popping up from time to time during a suspiciously long stay with her widowed friend - she must have been staying with her for months and months and months, which is unconvincing to say the least. She plays very little part in the story itself, which revolves around Mike, Jane just stepping in for the denoument at the end and the odd bit of observation - there is no focusing on her sleuthing, but then there wasn't even a body until way over halfway through.
I have to say it was absolutely no surprise to me when Mike turns out to be a psychopath and the murderer, having planned to marry and then murder his millionaire wife, disposed of the gypsy woman and his mistress as well, and, yes, having murdered a young man everyone thought he had been trying to save when he was still at school.
The sad thing is, if it hadn't been billed as a Marple, and I hadn't been expecting the Marple formula, and she hadn't been forced into the plot, it might have made a good Agatha Christie thriller. As it was, there was no murder mystery, well, not until the last half an hour of a two hour piece, no revealing of clues, no gradual move to a solution and this plot was totally the wrong tone to be a Marple. The Secret of Chimneys left me disappointed, but this episode left me feeling cheated. This was not a Marple at all and should never have been adapted as such.