Miss Marple is back, and the ‘80s TV series based on Agatha Christie’s beloved stories leads a passel of British shows on DVD this week.
“Miss Marple” (BBC/Blu-ray/DVD, 1984-86, two/three discs, four episodes, Episode 1 of the BBC documentary: “A Very British Murder”). At the age of 78, Joan Hickson was wonderfully cast in the title role of this British series based on the murder mystery novels featuring Agatha Christie’s most beloved sleuth, and collected here are four of the earliest feature-length programs, including the first: “The Body in the Library.” Also here are “The Moving Finger,” “A Murder Is Announced” and “Murder at the Vicarage.”
“Accused: Series 1 & 2” (Acorn/DVD, 2010-12, four discs, 10 episodes, featurette). This British anthology series examines a different criminal case during each one-hour episode, chronicling the events that led to the accused being brought to the docket, where he/she will find out whether the verdict rendered is guilty or not guilty. Among the stars on hand are Juliet Stevenson, Naomi Harris, Andy Serkis, Sean Bean and Christopher Eccleston.
“Vera: Set 4” (Acorn/DVD, 2014, four discs, four episodes). Brenda Blethyn stars as the cranky title detective, unraveling mysteries in northeast England in feature-length episodes. Here, she ferrets out secrets in a small coastal village, looks into the death of a young property developer and investigates the murder of a Revenue and Customs informant.
“Lovejoy: Series 3” (Acorn/DVD, 1992, two discs, 13 episodes). Dodgy antiques dealer Lovejoy (Ian McShane) finds romance with an alluring widow (Joanna Lumley), though he still has eyes for Lady Jane (Phyllis Logan). Meanwhile, he embarks on a tricky scheme to legitimize his business.
“Beethoven’s Treasure Tail” (Universal/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG). The latest straight-to-video sequel in this franchise about the big lumbering St. Bernard has him helping a schoolboy find a map to a lost pirate treasure. Jonathan Silverman, Kristy Swanson and Morgan Fairchild star. By my count, this is film No. 8 in the series.
“My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks” (Shout! Kids/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, audio commentary, eight prequel shorts, sing-alongs). This animated sequel to last year’s “Equestria Girls,” itself a spinoff of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,” which was based on a toy line. (Whew!) Here, the girls engage in a battle of the bands.
“Care Bears: Belly Badge Rock” (Lionsgate/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2012, four episodes). Four episodes from the 2012 revival animated series “Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot.”