It can be difficult being a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels or even the TV show, True Blood. Come May or September when the last page is turned or the last episode is aired, readers and/or viewers are faced with the loooong wait until the new book/season.
Well fear not, faithful readers/viewers; the wait doesn’t have to “suck.” During the last two hiatuses, I found several new series that I enjoyed immensely. The most recent series, that has captured my attention, is Downton Abbey.
In the US, the second season just wrapped up. While I personally found the second season to not be as good as the first, I still enjoy the show. Hands down my favorite part of the show is the wonderful Maggie Smith.
My first introduction to Maggie Smith came when I was a little girl. I absolutely adored Agatha Christie mysteries and Maggie Smith was in two movie adaptations of Christie novels: Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun.
Death on the Nile (1978)
I love this movie. It has an amazing all-star cast. Besides Maggie Smith, the other actors are David Niven, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Peter Ustinov, and Angela Lansbury just to name a few.
Much of the movie was shot on location in Egypt and the scenery is breathtaking. It has a haunting score by Nino Rota (he also scored The Godfather). Plus, it has Peter Ustinov as Hercules Poirot, Christie’s most famous sleuth.
Ustinov brings a sense of compassion and humor to his portrayal of Poirot, that makes Ustinov’s take on the Belgian detective my favorite of all the actors that have taken on the role.
As Death on the Nile is a murder mystery, and I tend to give away the farm in my reviews, I will stop myself here and talk about …
Evil Under the Sun (1982)
Peter Ustinov is back as Poirot. Like Death on the Nile, this movie features exotic locations; it was shot on an island off the coast of Spain.
Maggie Smith portrays Daphne Castle; the owner of an exclusive hotel that caters to the rich and famous. Smith’s role is much larger than her role in Nile. She is a central antagonist to Arlena Marshall, played by the wonderful Diana Rigg.
Rigg’s and Smith’s scenes are some of my favorites of the movie. When the character of Daphne talks of her days as a showgirl with Arlena she says this:
“Arlena and I were in the chorus of a show together, not that I could ever compete. Even in those days she could always throw her legs up in the air higher than all of us. (pause) And wider.”
Or when Arlena comes to the cocktail hour late, on purpose, in order to make a dramatic entrance and Daphne calls her on it:
“Have a sausage, dear. You must be famished having to wait all that time in your room.”
As it is a Christie mystery, there is obviously a death. You may be able to guess the murderer straight away but can you explain how he or she did it?
So don’t fall for the marketing campaign SSN/TB fans, waiting doesn’t suck. If you haven’t watched Downton Abbey, what are you waiting for???? And, while you are at it, put Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun in your Netflix queue. If none of these options, make you smile take note of this …
Only 71 more days until Deadlocked.