Masterpiece on PBS unveiled a new trailer today revealing the story behind their upcoming production of award-winning author Agatha Christie’s Magpie Murders.
The cast includes Jayne Entwistle (The White Queen), Annette Crosbie (Downton Abbey), Aidan McArdle (Upstairs Downstairs), and Philip Glenister (Life on Mars). The dark comedy is set in 1953 and follows food writer, Ariadne Oliver, as she attempts to find out who murdered Charles Hayward.
A beautifully filmed murder mystery in the classical tradition, Magpie Murders will be broadcast on MASTERPIECE this winter.
The novel has been described as a classic example of “a completely impossible murder” in which the victim has been killed in a locked room but also involves an additional mystery of inconsistencies in the time of death. The title is derived from Magpie Lane, where Ariadne lives and where the crime takes place.
Introduction to the Magpie Murders
In the early 20th century, a young woman was brutally killed in deepest Mexico. Her name was Magdalena Romero, a poor girl from Baja California who loved to sing and play guitar. She had been lured to Mexico by the local beer baron’s son, whose father promised her easy street life.
Soon after arriving in Tijuana, she received a marriage proposal and decided to accept the offer. Things didn’t go as smoothly. Also, as she had hoped: the wealthy boy was much older than he said he would be and high on drugs; her new home in his mansion was just rundown. And there were clear signs that he wanted nothing more than for her to disappear quietly into thin air.
The following year, Magdalena would be found dead in a pool of her blood. She had been brutally stabbed with her guitar and choked with a bouquet of fragrant roses.
With no witnesses or suspects, the case was closed within days. A tragic accident it was assumed, even by Magdalena’s family and friends. They believed she had simply mixed up her words when she told them she was marrying into the rich and famous family of beer-brewers.
Names of the characters in the Magpie Murders
Young Robert B
The storyline of the Magpie Murders
Mary Barnes is a retired teacher who, at the start of the series, is expecting her hundredth birthday. She has spent her life living in luxury and ignoring those less fortunate than herself. When she investigates one of her former students at the request of his widowed mother, she discovers that he’s hiding something about his past and comes closer to death than she ever did in a classroom.
In each episode, Mary gives an account of what happened from different perspectives, each character bringing new information to light and shedding more light on what has happened. So, the series deals with the power of truth and the consequences of a deliberate lie, and the effect that those have on people throughout their lives.
Recurring themes include betrayal, jealousy, and revulsion. The first few episodes deal with her students; a married one-time lover who has become a world-famous photographer, now deceased; and a husband who is unsatisfied with his wife’s sexual prowess, so he hires an escort. Another recurring theme is that of children, especially murder victims and murderers.
The Magpie Murders explores whether lying can be justified to protect loved ones or to give them what they want.
In “Magpie,” Lesley Manville’s editor-turned-detective shines
Manville’s character, Jane Beckett, is in a new and not altogether enviable position. Although she has just been promoted to the editor of the magazine, she finds herself with no outlet for her talents. She sets out to find the doppelganger of her ex-husband, who has been spotted around town looking suspiciously like Beckett’s husband..”
Manville dives into the depths of human nature with this story; an emotionally gripping tale that will keep audiences on their toes and in suspense until the very last word.
“Magpie was a joy to watch, a great puzzle to solve, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.” Rotten Tomatoes
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