A Murder of Marples: Christmas Swigwatch 2019

hicksonThere has been much disappointment in some Agatha Christie circles (and relief in others) that there will be no Christie for Christmas on BBC1 this year: The Pale Horse will now be shown some time in the New Year.

The new double-issue of Radio Times, which  covers December 21st to January 3rd, offers plenty of compensation, however.  Agile channel-hopping swigophiles could find themselves watching almost nothing else over Christmas.


The usual classics, featuring Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov as Poirot and Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple, are repeated yet again:

Dec 24th: 11:40 Murder on the Orient Express (1974), 13:45 Death on the Nile (1978)
Dec 27th: 11:20 Evil Under The Sun (1982)
Talking Pictures TV
Jan 1st: 18:55 The Mirror Crack’d (1980)


For fans of David Suchet, there are plenty of the usual showings on ITV3. Here are some highlights:

Dec 21st: 16:50 The ABC Murders
Dec 23rd: 17:40 Death in the Clouds
Dec 24th: 16:30 How Does Your Garden Grow? 17:40 Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
Dec 27th: 17:45 One, Two Buckle My Shoe*
Dec 29th: 17:40 Hickory Dickory Dock
Dec 30th: 17:40 Murder on the Links
Dec 31st: 17:55 Dumb Witness
Jan 3rd: 18:55 The Double Clue

* The radio adaptation featuring John Moffat is being broadcast over five nights on Radio 4 Extra from Dec 30 – Jan 3rd at 20:00.


Fans of the Hickson Marples will have no complaints if they can access the Alibi channel (offered by BT, Virgin and Sky) because every episode is being broadcast, some more than once. In order of publication:

The Murder at the Vicarage (Dec 24th)
The Body in the Library (Dec 23rd)
The Moving Finger (Dec 232d)
A Murder is Announced (Dec 24th)
They Do it with Mirrors (Jan 1st)
4:50 from Paddington (Dec 30, 31)
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (Jan 1st) *
A Caribbean Mystery (Dec 31st, Jan 1st)
At Bertram’s Hotel (Dec 26th)
Nemesis (Dec 22nd, 26th)
Sleeping Murder (Dec 25th)

*This episode will be shown at 3:30 and then repeated at 22:55. For real ‘Mirror Crack’d’ fans there is also the chance to see the Mirror Crack’d feature film at 18:55 on the same day.


Fans of this misleadingly-named series will be able to watch at least one episode every day, apart from on Dec 25th and 27th. The Radio Times listings don’t reveal the titles of the episodes.


I could not find any evidence of the recent Tommy and Tuppence adaptations, although I must admit I didn’t look too hard.

All the above only refer to UK TV channels, and even this is just an overview; it is incredible how ubiquitous Agatha Christie adaptations still are, and especially at Christmas.


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