Plot: What’s it about?
Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) isn’t the typical detective, as she is an older woman with a kind heart and kind manners. Her age is never a hindrance to her either, as her mind as sharp and her attention to detail is impressive. Those around her often underestimate her based on her age and warm disposition, which can lead to mistakes by those on the wrong side of the law. After all, what criminal thinks a simple old woman can unravel their crimes, especially one as wispy as Miss Marple? Her experience in life has paid dividends, as she can read people and pick up on things others would overlook. Even as the police work around her, she is able to gather clues they miss and make connections they haven’t even thought about. But can she solve the most complex of mysteries, or has age finally caught up with Miss Marple?
I didn’t expect to find myself interested in Marple, but I watched the first series in one sitting and now, I wasted no time in going through the second series. As with the first series, this second installment is a four disc collection with four mysteries, each over ninety minutes in duration. The feature length duration allows each episode to unfold at a natural pace, never rushed and with time to let each case’s subtleties surface. As I said in my review of the first series, Geraldine McEwan is quite good as Marple and her turn as the elderly sleuth really drives this series. The show continues to delve a little into the character’s background, which helps her seem more human, instead of a one dimensional character. This second series is even better than the first, with better stories and McEwan more settled into the role. The period production design is solid as before, but you can tell the production crew has raised the stakes a little, so this second series is better all the way around. I enjoyed the first series, but Marple: Series 2 is even better, so it earns a strong recommendation.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I was impressed here, as the episodes look clean and sharp. The period visuals look terrific here, with the only concern some light grain at times. This never proves to be a huge issue however, so no reason to dwell on that. I found the image to be natural, with bright colors and smooth, accurate contrast throughout. The detail level is solid through all the episodes, if a touch soft in some places. I think these episodes look as good, if not better than when broadcast, so fans should be satisfied.
Audio: How does it sound?
I have no complaints about the audio, but this show is about as low impact as it gets, so the soundtracks are reserved. The music does add a little depth and life to the experience, but by far, dialogue dominates. This makes sense, since I doubt anyone expects Miss Marple to break out submachine guns or rocket launchers. The vocals are the main focus and dialogue sounds fine, no volume issues or harshness to mention.
Supplements: What are the extras?
A behind the scenes featurette has been included for each episode, with interviews and clips from the show. These are on the promotional side, but still contain some good information, so fans won’t want to skip these. This release also includes a profile on Agatha Christie, as well as filmographies on prominent cast members.