Review: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? – Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? – Marple: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2009)

Directed by: Nicholas Renton | 92 minutes | drama, crime | Actors: Julia McKenzie, Sean Biggerstaff, David Buchanan, Siwan Morris, Helen Lederer, Georgia Moffett, Samantha Bond, Richard Briers, Freddie Fox, Rick Mayall, Hannah Murray, Rafe Spall, Natalie Dormer, Warren Clarke, Mark Williams

Bobby Attfield is walking along the rocky coast when he hears strange noises. Carefully he climbs down and finds a badly injured man. The man grabs Bobby by the arm and asks him the cryptic question, “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” Not much later, Bobby discusses the incident with Miss Marple, a childhood friend of his mother who happens to be visiting them. Miss Marple sends Bobby to investigate. On his return journey, he runs into Frankie Derwent (Georgia Moffett) on the train. This noble young lady becomes so intrigued by the puzzling incident that she immediately throws herself into the case. Everything indicates that she will be able to learn more about the deceased man and his strange question at Castle Savage.

Frankie intentionally causes an accident with her car near Castle Savage. As a result, she is invited by the Savage family to stay with them until she is fully recovered. Frankie soon discovers a series of rather curious cases that she relays to Bobby over the phone. This disturbing phone call prompts Miss Marple to pose as Frankie’s governess to assist Frankie in what she considers a very dangerous home. And eventually Bobby also reports to Castle Savage as Frankie’s driver. The three of them try to unravel the secrets of Castle Savage. Not everyone is comfortable with this.

It is not the experienced actors who steal the show here with their solid acting, but the younger guard and especially Hannah Murray. Together with Freddie Fox, she jumps out of a box at the most unexpected moments, after which they sharpen the scenes. They startle the other characters and make the viewer laugh, thus creating a unique atmosphere in which they display a pleasantly disturbed eccentricity. Most importantly, it’s the utterly brazen way Hannah Murray goes into her role that makes you laugh so hard every time, something happens anyway, every time she comes into the picture. It’s this distinctly comical note rather than low-key, mild humor that makes this Miss Marple episode a highly entertaining detective story.

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