Jonathan Creek

Back in the 90s the BBC produced an intriguing murder mystery series named Jonathan Creek.  The series starred Alan Davies as magician’s assistant who uses his skills at devising magic tricks to solve seemingly impossible crimes.  Usually with the assistance of a touchstone character to act as a foil/audience sounding board. This character has changed over the years, starting with Caroline Quentin’s true crime writer Maddie Magellan, later replaced by Julia Swahala and later Sheridan smith.

 

The series was always clever and kept you guessing and while it ran for a good while it had more recently been reduced to occasional specials which I always assumed was due to the creative team only making the show when they had a new idea.   It was with this in mind that I looked to the new 3 episode series with some trepidation.

 

Spinning out from a recent special Creek has now retired from advertising, married Sarah Alexander and got a job in advertising which is a decent way of filling in the years between specials.  They move to the country and encounter some new mysteries.

 

The first story was a real let down.  The mysteries themselves are Ok, although the only ones that are left at all mysterious involve a roomba and a magically appearing newspaper cutting. The actual mystery is revealed as it happens which is a bit strange.  Aside from a friendly jab at Sherlock there wasn’t much there.

The next too were improved but, as the kids say, I wasn’t “feeling it”. Possibly fixing the setting in one village is part of the problem, diluting the mystery with zany small village antics, but I also think Alexander doesn’t help.  It is hard to place but she doesn’t seem to work as well as her predecessors.  I can’t help but feel the series would have worked better if Smith had been retained to create a bit of friction, with Alexander being an anchor to normality and smith dragging creek to the next mystery.

Overall it is definitely weaker than the older stories.  I’ll keep watching if more are made but at the moment I think.this was best left alone.

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One Response to “Jonathan Creek”

  1. I missed the first one, so entered the second one a bit confused by the time jump. I do think mirroring the time the show had been off air was a good move, however suddenly having Jonathan in this cozy marriage definitely lacked the spark of previous teams. I generally liked the idea that he’d settled down, but maybe the relationship should’ve been more “in progress” rather than as settled as it was, to still allow a bit of friction. Have them only recently living together or something.

    Whether down to this or the plotting, I tend to agree something was missing. The third special is still on my Sky+ to be watched, but the second one didn’t really grab me the same way previous episodes did. Still, if they make more, I’ll tune in.

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