At The Murder Mystery Company we continue to answer the important questions; what are our most popular murder mysteries? Have we won any awards recently? And, of course, which TV Detective is best.
The third battle of the opening round of the TV Detective World Series pits one of England’s most treasured icons against The Wire’s most celebrated Baltimore PD Detective. Can gritty realism and bad language beat knowing one’s airs and graces and being in the right place at the right time? Can being a functioning alcoholic trying to stay afloat in a sea of human villainy compare with the ability to remember a seemingly innocuous remark made during the opening five minutes, only to reveal it with a flourish at the climax?
Round One – Cleaning Up The Streets Of West Baltimore
Drawing this round seems to be a stroke of luck for McNulty, who for years was employed to do just that. Over the years he had some successes, and ensured that several criminals were locked away. It’s not a perfect round for McNulty though – he would be the first to admit the streets are no cleaner, the cycle of crime and desperation continues and the game keeps on being played.
Despite her high scoring in a series of pre-tournament friendlies, Marple starts this match poorly. She has never even been to West Baltimore, preferring to spend the majority of her time in the quaint English village of St. Mary Mead. A poor start for the elderly detective.
Round Two – At The Dinner Table
McNulty looks shaky from the start of this round. Before even sitting down at the table he’s sheepishly tucked a shiny paper napkin into his unfastened shirt collar, causing eyebrows to rise throughout the arena. When he finally does sit down, he looks at the selection of cutlery available with fear.
Marple, on the other hand, knows exactly what to do in this situation. She expertly navigates her way from soup spoon to fish fork to salad fork without missing a single step.
Round Three – World Weary Cynicism
Whether he’s lamenting “they can’t do the right thing – it ain’t in em”, or simply remarking “they can chew you up, but they gotta spit you back out”, McNulty epitomises cynicism. And who can blame him? The drug and death riddled streets of West Baltimore are no place for a cheery outlook on life. In fact McNulty is SO cynical he doesn’t expect to win this round – it’s probably rigged.
Marple may appear every bit the kindly elderly woman from rural England, but don’t let that fool you. She has dealt with enough murderers in her time to give her a realistic outlook on the world around her. Afflicted with the curse of the amateur sleuth, it is impossible to coincidentally find oneself involved in so many murders without thinking fate is conspiring against you.
Final Round – Being A Kindly Old Lady
Disaster! McNulty can’t believe his misfortune in drawing this round. Ever aware that it could have come up, as it has always been a staple of TV Detection, McNulty sinks back into his chair. After a brief exploration from the judges his worst fears are confirmed – McNulty is not, nor ever has been, a kindly old lady. He’s not even a woman. A terrible performance on this round.
Marple on the other hand is one of the kindliest old ladies the judges have ever seen. From empathising with the most despicable of murderers to offering the vicar more tea when his cup is empty, Marple can only be fairly described as ‘lovely’. But what’s this? It appears that Miss Marple is getting a make over and is becoming 39 year old Jennifer Garner! The judges don’t know where to look and Marple herself flushes with indignation as she prepares to move to New York and acquire some quirky singleton friends.
So there you have it. A strangely balanced battle between these two TV Detectives from different ends of the spectrum. Who wins? It’s up to you. Vote above, comment below, and decide! As ever, voting closes in one month, on Saturday 26th May.