(By the Pricking of My) Thumbs down for Partners in Crime

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The Radio Times has suggested that the recent David Walliams/Jessica Raine version of Agatha Christie ‘s Tommy and Tuppence novels will not be coming back for a second series.

Despite glossy production values, the series disappointed fans of the books, got a hostile reception from critics, and seemingly failed to capture the attention of non-fans. In my exhaustive audience survey it scored a lacklustre 3 out of 10.

So, no great surprise. Fingers crossed for And Then There Were None.

About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
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11 Responses to (By the Pricking of My) Thumbs down for Partners in Crime

  1. JJ says:

    Given how poorly things have been handled by the Christie estate in recent years – the Alfred Molina version of …Orient Express, the turning of non-series books into Marples for a quick buck, those terrible video games, and now the failure of Partners in Crime – I can’t help but fear for both forthcoming versions of And Then There Were None. You sort of get the impression that the people in charge of her rights still don’t really get what makes Agatha Christie so successful, and the hope is that slapping her name on anything and getting someone moderatly famous to start in it on the basis of brand recognition will be enough. It’s not. Will they ever learn this? [/rant]

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that this was terrible but I’ve no problem with the non-series books being turned into Miss Marple tales. I’d rather see a Marple-ized Pale Horse than none at all – and prefer it over some of the actual Marples – do we need They Do It With Mirrors?

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      • JJ says:

        I take your point, but I’d rather have 10 good adaptations that retain the characters, motivations, clues, structure, and guilty parties than 40 diluted examples that don’t accurately reflect the work they’re drawn from. I know the whole ‘different media’ argument applies (much as I like …Mirrors as a book, I agree it would make a lousy TV show), but then if they can’t work don’t adapt them!

        I guess I’m just a purist at heart…

        Liked by 1 person

      • You like Mirrors as a book? Seriously? It’s so obvious…

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      • JJ says:

        Sorry, should have been clearer: as a book, not as a puzzle. The whole young offenders’ institute is quite a novel setting, reasonably well done, and it’s interesting to see some of the opinions Miss M puts forth about the treatment of such, the way women exploit their beauty, the concept of what qulaifies as a family…it’s a surprisingly forward-looking set of ideas. That’s why it wouldn’t work on TV, because those ideas are fairly old hat now and everyone would probably assume they’d been shoe-horned in to apease modern sensibilities.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fair enough – it’s a different setting and one of Agatha’s better attempts at troubled youth. But the mystery is utter pants.

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  2. kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    Indeed – no surprise at all. I do wish that the attention to detail and the care given to the Suchet Poirots could go into all the adaptations. I often feel that without Suchet curating the series things might have deteriorated…

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  3. John says:

    “utter pants” – I have never heard nor seen that that expression in print and it made me roar!

    I dislike David Walliams so intensely that I can’t watch him in anything. Jessica Raines was so wonderful in “Call the Midwives” that it’s a shame to see her talents wasted in this. I watched a few minutes of her in a scene that was uploaded on YouTube (I think it was from N OR M?) and it wasn’t enough to entice me to watch any of these if and when they come to US public TV.

    I have heard good things about AND THEN THERE WERE NONE through my entertainment grapevine. It ought to be worth watching just for being the first movie version to stick to the original ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. heavenali says:

    I thought it watchable but there were a number of serious flaws for me. Nor suprised it’s not coming back.

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  5. Bradstreet says:

    I tried to give it a chance, but it really was dreadful. Not only was it not Christie, it wasn’t really good television. Watching actors like Roy Marsden trying to deal with the naff script was painful in the extreme. The problem is that there is an ocean of detective fiction that can be adapted to the TV screen, but the people in charge seem incapable of getting anything produced that doesn’t have the Christie brand name on it. Mind you, I read an interview with one of the scriptwriters of the recent Marple series, and he made it plain that the producers had told him that it didn’t matter if he completely re-wrote the book that he was supposedly adapting. With that sort of attitude, what can we expect? Rosalind Hicks was very protective of her mother’s works, but Matthew Pritchard seems more interested in promoting AC as a brand-name. They’re both valid approaches, but the latter means that the adaptions are far less accurate.

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