RogerBW's Blog

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side 13 August 2022

1998 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1962 mystery, in one 90-minute episode. Someone drops dead after drinking the famous actress's drink…

The basic problem for me with this story is that the central offence is one of casual thoughtlessness, one which the offender entirely fails to understand or care about, and while one may jib at murder one can't really see what lesser punishment would have had any hope of stopping them from doing something similar again. Also, of course, it's a setup that's hard to forget, and one that relies rather heavily on coincidence, all of which somewhat impair my enjoyment when revisiting it.

However, this is the usual competent Bakewell adaptation, for all we get a very unconvincing batch of American accents (even from Gayle Hunnicutt to whom one would have thought it would have come natively, but she slips into a neutral British from time to time). Two minor parts stood out for me: Liz Goulding as Ella Zielinsky the secretary (complete with unconvincing sneezes), and Sarah-Jane Holm as Margot Bence the photographer. But otherwise, and for all there's been quite a thorough condensation to get it down to 90 minutes rather than two and a half hours, I'm afraid this does tend rather to drag, particularly with Miss Knight talking to Miss Marple as though she were an idiot (even more grating with a cheery nursery-minder voice than in the original text).

One of the weaker Bakewells.

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