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Great liberty has been taken in drastically rewriting the plots of the original novels. The only thing these dramatizations have in common with the original novels is the names of a few characters and a weak link with what happened. The problem being that Christie was probably the best writer of coherent plots with no flaws and the script writer is not up to that standard. The plots seem to be a jumble of activity that does not fit together.
The characters are now lower class compared to the characters in the novels. As an example, Bertram's hotel (which originally had only upper class customers) is now populated with lower class people wearing expensive clothes who are so socially unskilled that they cannot walk across a room without bumping into a few dozen other people.
The only two good thing I can say about this set of dramatizations is that none of the actresses wear heavily padded bras as did the actresses in the first two sets. In fact the few actress that are above average in fullness dresses to tone it down. Also, there is no woman to woman romantic-physical affection as occurred in the first two sets.
One of the program plots relies on a convent of Catholic nuns allowing a novice to wear secular jewelry. Either the script writers were disconnected from reality or they thought the audience would be.
Ever since season 1, I have enjoyed the cinematography of this new Jane Marple series, and the production design. The colors are eye-popping, the costumes over-the-top, the acting arch and stylized (I wonder if Ken Russell, who had a key role in an episode of Season 1, had anything to do with that). I bought Season 2 and 3 as soon as they came out on DVD, and I have to say that Season 3 has turned out to be a laughable disappointment.
The production values are still here, the series continues to provide an extra paycheck for unemployed British acting greats, but the writing has wandered away from the Christie novels and ended up in a soap opera somewhere. The dialogue is stilted and unbelievable, Miss Marple behaves more and more out of character, and the plots are changed out of all recognition, and not for the better.
In some misguided attempt to make the stories more "modern" and "interesting," the writers dream up the most ludicrous stereotyped characters - murderous nuns (yes, there's a nasty anti-religious theme through this Season), Nazis on the lam, drunken novelists, an oily-haired gigolo - and have them commit bizarre actions, such as switch bodies so that characters thought to be dead aren't really dead at all, or commit suicide with a piece of statuary. Or better yet, stage a shootout in olde London town! If it weren't so disappointing, it would be funny.
In Season 4, I suggest a new episode - Miss Marple investigates the murder of a fine series of Agatha Christie mysteries, perpetrated by a gang of postmodern hacks.