Who would dream that an English respite could lead to danger and romance? That is exactly what happened for Luke Williams in the television adaption of Agatha's Christies' 1939 novel, "Murder is Easy". Onboard a train en route to London, the visiting American computer analyst meets a little old lady who confesses to him her suspicions of a murderer in her village, along with the name of the next victim. "I feel certain Dr. Humbleby will be next!" Soon after, she finds herself applied to the pavement in a most unladylike manner and, donning his deerskin hat, Luke sets off for Wychwood to warn Humbleby of his impending doom and unmask the culprit.
Murder is Easy was originally released on January 2, 1982 on CBS. The television movie was one of several Agatha Christie productions ( A Caribbean Mystery, Sparkling Cyanide ), that producer Stan Margulies released in the 1980s. Negotiations for the rights to convert Christies' novels into TV features took three years and, once approved, Margulies immediately set to work in bringing the stories up to date to appeal to American audiences.
The filming of Murder is Easy went underway on July 15, 1981 with the tennis match being the first scene filmed. Lesley-Anne Down had not held a racket since her school days but managed to pull off looking like a respectably good player. Down also was new to driving. She obtained her driver's license only a week prior to filming and, for one scene, was given a $70,000 Aston Martin to drive in keeping with her role as the lady of the manor - the manor being Ashe Manor, which was really filmed at Binfield Manor in Berkshire.
Bill Bixby was delighted to be in England for the first time and took off during an afternoon lunch break to visit the nearby village of Bix, hoping it might be his ancestral home. It turned out to be a Roman named village, with "B IX" standing for Plot B Nine. Unfortunately, he didn't get to see much else of England except for some location driving.
The acting of all of these members is far from award-winning. Some of the dialogue is delivered with exaggerated emphasis, but somehow that makes screenwriter Carmen Culver's lines all the more memorable because of it. Who can forget such remarks as "Amy, we're wanting tea!" or "I'm beginning to remember now why I don't get involved with people"?