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Jonathan Creek is a cult hero. Well established as a viewer favourite, Alan Davies have carved out a truly unique character, with his easy-going charm, warmth and almost deadpan comedic style combining to provide one of tv's best-loved creations.
Providing four seasons of mysteries, the box set is excellent value for money for any Creek fan. Watched either en masse, or whenever an hour needs filling, the 24 episodes give a great variety of mysteries for the viewer to puzzle through.
And puzzle you will. The diabolical schemes concocted by the villains in these shows are generally so intricate it's impossible for the viewer to not be gripped as Creek and his sidekicks (these change as the series progress), wrestle with the intricacies of each case. Often, these do appear to be a little abstract, but this is all part of the charm of the series.
Jonathan Creek isn't your run-of-the-mill detective show. It's quirky. In among the bizarre deaths and impossibly burglaries, you have a vein of cheeky comedy running though, offsetting the otherwise grim subject matter. Alan Davies' performance of the affable investigator is absolutely spot-on, with the various sidekicks providing the bolshy balance to the twosome. With a spattering of guest stars and (dare I use this word again) quirky characters, the series is certainly one to get lost in.
If anything can be said against Jonathan Creek, it's that its showing its age. Whether it's the style of clothes, the huge mobile phones or any mix of the plethora of 90s references in there, you can certainly tell that the show wasn't made recently, an this is compounded by the 90s-era film quality. This, of course, doesn't detract from the story - a story that entertains is a story well-told after all!
So overall, yes the stories can be a bit convoluted and the series shows its age. But it's entertaining, it's something that can easily be watched all evening, but equally so as a one-off. And it can be watched by the kids, who'll love the element of slapstick that appears with regularity. Adults will love the offbeat humour and cheeky storylines. Everyone will love the mysteries.
Jonathan Creek is a very clever mystery programme that grips you throughout the episode and leaves you thinking about it for hours after.
The main character of the programme is, obviously, Jonathan Creek (played by Alan Davies). Jonathan is a creative consultant for a magician, he makes the magicians acts. For example, we see him make a prop which allows a girl to disappear. Whilst at an after party, he accidentally bumps into Madeline Magellan (Caroline Quentin). An aspiring journalist who is looking for her big break.
The two soon start to work together to solve several different mysteries, including; finding a stolen painting and working out how a man can disappear from a building with no windows or doors. It is quite obvious from the beginning that Jonathan does most of the work and Maddy takes the credit in her writing. However, the two work as a team and you soon grow to love Maddy.
The way that the mysteries are solved is incredible, someone can say a word and it will spark a train of thought in Jonathan which then leads to the mystery being solved. This can leave you thinking for hours and wondering how he managed to work it out.
I remember I was completely in love with this TV show when I was little, I used to stay in every Saturday night to watch the next episode and I was so sad when they finished it. When I saw that the complete series was avaliable on DVD, I had to get it.
If you haven't seen Jonathan Creek (you must by the way) it's a really clever mystery show, completely gripping from the moment you start watching, with some really funny comedy moments thrown in aswell. It stars Alan Davis as Jonathan Creek, a really geeky Creative Consultant for a magician who is know for living in a windmill along with his curly hair and duffle coat (and brilliant mind of course). He always seems to be in the right place at the right time to stumble upon these unsolvable mysteries. With the help of his collaborator, crime writer Maddie Magellan (played by Caroline Quentin), he manages to solve many crime, murder and supernatural mysteries that leave you thinking, 'how did they come up with that one?' after every episode.
The series were written by David Renwick, the same guy that wrote One Foot in the Grave (you just know it's going to be good) and produced by the BBC. The series ran from 1997-2004, producing four series and two christmas specials, which are all featured in the boxset.
Series 1 (1997)
Running time: 324 mins Rated: 12
Stars: Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, Stuart Milligan
Guest Stars: Annette Crosbie, Anthony Head, Nigel Planner
My Favourite Episode
The House Of Monkeys
A medical researcher has been murdered witha samurai sword in his locked study with bars on the windows. The prime suspect- a gorilla?
Series 1 also features:
The Wrestler's Tomb
Jack In The Box
The Reconstituted Corpse
No Trace Of Tracy
Series 2 (1998)
Running Time: 298 mins Rated: 12
Stars: Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, Stuart Milligan
Guest Stars: Peter Davidson, Bob Monkhouse, Amanda Holden
My Favourite Episodes
The Scented Room
A million pound painting disappears from a locked room during a school visit. Jonathan knows how it was done but doesn't want to tell owner, Sylvester LeFly following his bad review on the Adam Klaus magic act, which Jonathan produces.
A judge is murdered whilst being under 24 hour police protection. The evidence - a torn fingernail. Maddy investigates the Mother Redcap pub which contains an old mystery in itself and suprisingly, finds the owner of the torn fingernail.
Series 2 also features:
Time Waits For Norman
The Problem At Gallow's Gate - Part 1 & 2
This is my favourite series from the boxset. Every episode stands out in my mind from when I was young. Full of genius plot lines and exciting moments!
Series 3 (1999-2000)
Running Time: 292 mins Rated: 15
Stars: Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, Stuart Milligan
Guest Stars: Griff Rhys Jones, John Bird
My Favourite Episodes
The Curious Tale Of Mr Spearfish
Lenny Spearfish had a life of bad luck, until he sold his soul to the devil that is. From becoming filthy rich to immortal? This episode also feautures a really funny court case in which Jonathan's boss, magician Adam Klaus, is being sued for sexual harrassment.
Series 3 also feautures:
The Eyes Of Tiresias
The Omega Man
Miracle In Crooked Lane
The Three Gamblers
Series 4 (2003-2004)
Running Time: 324 mins Rated: 15
Stars: Alan Davies, Julia Sawalha, Stuart Milligan, Adrian Edmondson
Guest Stars: Bill Bailey, Celia Imrie
My Favourite Episode
The Chequered Box
A respected police officer is photographed by a jounalist after apparently murdering a woman in her office, the photo shows him watching the woman hang to death. Jonathan and Carla investigate the mysterious chequered box which the officer tries to force upon his daughter and the chewing gum found in the hanging woman's office?
Series 4 also features:
The Coonskin Cap
The Tailor's Dummy
The Seer Of The Sands
The Christmas Specials
Black Canary (1998)
Running Time: 90 mins Rated: 12
Stars: Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, Stuart Milligan
Guest Stars: Rik Mayall, Hannah Gordon, Sanjeev Bhaskar
A famous female illusionist (once part of a double act with her twin sister who died during an act) is seen shooting herself by her husband. The only problem is that she had already been dead for several hours and a man she was seen talking to in the garden has been seen running off but has left no footprints in the clear sheet of snow.
Satan's Chimney (2001)
Running Time: 120 mins Rated: 12
Stars: Alan Davies, Julia Sawalha, Stuart Milligan
Guest Stars: Bill Bailey
Maddy has left for America, leaving Jonathan all alone. That is until he meets Carla Borrego, a showbiz agent to an illusionist staring in an Adam Klaus show. They go on to investigate the case of an actress who was shot dead whilst filming a movie. She just happens to be the Ex-lover of the illusionist Carla represents. How did the killer shoot a gun through a window without breaking it? They then visit the funeral held in Doomdorf castle where more mysteries present themselves.
Jonathan Creek Fact:
Did you know that the duffle coat worn by Jonathan in the first series was the original coat owned by Alan Davies during his audition for the show?
Jonathan Creek - Complete Series 1-4 Boxset is avaliable at Amazon, Play and HMV for about £15.99. For a running time of 1500 minutes in all, and 9 discs, it is very good value for money.
I would really recommend this boxset for anyone who loves muder mysteries. If you have never seen Jonathan Creek, I would suggest watching it, I convinced loads of my reluctant friends to watch it and they were all completely hooked. I have watched these episodes, I don't know how many times, and I still love it. I now try and pick up on some of the clues that I missed before, I just don't ever think I could get bored of this show.
I'm not the biggest fan of crime shows. I've seen my fair share of CSIs and Law and Order and while they're not bad, they just don't do it for me when it comes to television. However, the BBC's Jonathan Creek is a totally different story. It's a crime show, sure, but it's very, very different.
Alan Davies (best known for this role, and as panelist on QI) plays the titular hero Jonathan, who's a socially awkward and somewhat reclusive man who lives in a windmill. Yeah. His job? He designs tricks for his magician friend Adam Klaus to use for his stage shows. He's the mind behind the disappearing woman trick, and the levitations.
Enter Carolin Quentin's character, whose name I keep forgetting (is it Madeline?), who works as an author writing about injustices of law. So she hears about this murder, which was impossible by all human logic (no one could have possibly been in the room at the time of the murder), and in a way I can't quite remember she finds Jonathan Creek, whose knowledge on magic and illusions she needs, and manages to get him to help her with the case.
The thing about Jonathan Creek is that it's so different to other shows. Not only is the premise very different, but its characters are so ... human. You feel for them as actual people, not cops or scientists like you would CSI.
As for the actual show, this one not only focuses on the who or why, but its main centrepoint of focus is on the how. Every episode features another impossible crime - one person at two different places at once, or a man killed in a locked room. Every episode is so cleverly written that it keeps you guessing all the way through and at the end you can't help but go "ahh, duh! How could i have missed that?"
The characters are wonderful, and they evolve greatly over time - most notably that of Jonathan as he changes from recluse with no patience for people to ... well, slightly less of a recluse with a bit more patience. His relationship with Caroline (who leaves after the second season, sadly) is great to watch as well.
Apparently my brother and I watched this as a child, but last year my brother started talking about it again so I got it for his christmas present. We fell straight back in love with it. It is so timeless and for all ages! Each of the episodes are so clever and creative, you just have to try and figure it out while watching it, though you rarely suceed. You don't need to have seen the previous episodes to follow whats going on in each episode as they stand alone, with a few links with past episodes, but nothing it depends on. There are so many episodes but there is no repetition of episode storylines, they manage to come up with something unique every time. It's not a 'who-done-it' it's a 'how-done-it' which is far more original than regular detective type stories. It's also, though something to think about while watching, it's still light to watch if you want a relaxing film and a curl up on the sofa. They're working on a new series of Jonathan Creek now, which will hopefully start airing at Easter next year! We'll all definately be tuning in.
Jonathon Creek is TV show that used to be a series on BBC 1. It has stopped being made now, although a one off episode was made for new years day this year and there a reports a similar one will be made for new years eve this year. Jonathon Creek is currently being repeated on Sky on the gold channel. It is amazing how I'm convinced it was never shown that long ago, but when you watch old re reuns all their hair dos and outfits look so very old!!
Jonathon Creek is a unique murder mystery style programme. The main mystery solver, Jonathon Creek, the name sake of the show is a magician and the main brains behind solving the puzzles. He gets roped into the mysterys by his hapless helper Maddie. She always thinks she knows the way to solve the crimes, but she is relatively clumsy in comparison and it is actually Jonathon that solves them. Jonathon works out the magic behind a magician's live shows.
Each show (which lasts an hour without breaks) has a different mystery, and each time Jonathon and Maddie get involved in them in different ways. The mysterys are always far fetched and never once have I worked out how to solve them before he does. Normally the mysterys are set in fairly posh dwellings, so the settings for this TV show are exciting too.
The programme aims to be a little of a comedy too, and the relationship between Maddie and Jonathon is interesting to say the least.
Overall I would recommend this show. It is really enjoyable and I just wish they would make even more of them! The only downside is that once you knwo the mystery you wont really want to watch the show again as the main part of the storyline is ruined, so in my opinion they are a one watch only.
I only started watching the Jonathan Creek series recently and have judged it to definitely be one of the best comedy-dramas around from the BBC department. Written by David Renwick (famous for writing One Foot in the Grave), the first three series revolves around crime writer Maddie Magellan (Caroline Quentin) who befriends magician technician Jonathan Creek (Alan Davies) as his lateral thinking is often the key to solving the otherwise impossible crimes. Often uninterested in helping her, Creek occassionally solves these mysteries at first as a result of Maddie's cajoling but often becomes wrapped into the case itself. The main recurring minor character is Jonathan's boss, the magician Adam Klaus - a somehow lovable but egotistic womaniser who generally takes the credit for Jonathan's work but otherwise each episode generally contains a new set list of characters and occasional guest stars e.g. Jonathan Ross, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rik Mayall, John Bird etc.
I won't divulge plot scenarios but that would truly ruin the episodes for you - they are THAT good as the quality of writing is superb and is ultimately what carries the show along. Even after watching it the first time, you'll want to watch it again to see the clues you failed to pick up before hand and marvel. Davies and Quentin for me also make the show - if not for their humorous romantic sub-plot, both characters are hilarious and endearing. Unfortunately Quentin decided not to return in the fourth series and so she was replaced with Carla Borrego (Julia Sawalha) which didn't work quite as well for me. However, Quentin has stated on TV that, should Renwick wish to have her back, she would be more than happy to return to Jonathan Creek!
Episodes to look out for:
Series 1 - In my opinion, this is the best series so it's immensely difficult to pick just one episode so I'll go for 'The Reconstituted Corpse' and 'The House of Monkeys'. Absolutely brilliant episodes for both plot and humour, these are what got me hooked to Creek.
Series 2 - Probably my favourite is 'Time Waits For Norman' even though it's not your most conventional Creek episode (if there is such a thing).
Series 3 - 'Miracle in Crooked Lane' is the best of a not-so-great bunch.
Series 4 - Not as great a fan of this series either but 'Gorgon's Wood' would definitely still keep you guessing.
This boxset in question also comes with the two Christmas specials, 'Black Canary' and 'Satan's Chimney' with Quentin and Swalha respectively and both are ingenious. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Jonathan Creek has the best theme tune around (silly reason to like a TV series, but it's that good). The musical arrangements of 'Danse Macabre' are brilliant. Definitely worth buying this boxset, it's great value for money.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series when it was first shown and decided it would be nice to own the set. Even thought I had seen most of the episodes and so knew what the twist in the plot was it is still nice to be able to sit and watch them at my leisure.
The scripts are excellent, with just the right amount of humour, although I still think that Caroline Quentin made the best sidekick and can't really understand why they changed part way through. Alan Davies is excellent in the part - I always find him rather annoying when he is not acting a part but can't fault him in this series. The stories all stand up individually, unlike an awful lot of box sets that have to be watched in order - it helps with this series but is not essential so if you pick out the wrong dvd it is not the end of the world.
Worth buying if you are a fan of the series or as a present for someone that likes quirky detective drama.
I love jonathan creek! Always have and always will! I made the decision recently to buy the boxset so i could start again from the begging and work my way through all the earlier episodes to make sure i had not missed any. I had not missed any but i still enjoyed watching the episodes again.
Jonathon Creek invents all the magic tricks for a rather....flamboyant...magician! He is also taken on my various people who have puzzeling and unusual mysteries to solve and need Creeks incredible mind to work it out. What i love about the series is that they are so varying. The problems range from theft, murders to simply old women who think they see dead people! Consistant throughout the series is a witty humor which will have you in fits of laughter.
There will be mysteries where you will guess the solution although for most the suspense of trying to work it out before Creek will keep you on the edge of your seat!
At Christmas I had a lovely surprise from my husband who bought me the complete boxed set of Jonathan Creek DVD's. Dave insisted that I had told him that I wanted this set but all I had said was that I liked Jonathan Creek - I didn't actually realise that this set existed so it was a great surprise for me!
The boxed set consists of five DVD cases - each of the first four contains two DVD's and covers each of the four series. The final one only contains one DVD on which there are the two Christmas specials from 1998 and 2001. The whole thing is classified as 15 presumably because there are a lot of murders!
For those of you not familiar with Jonathan Creek each episode centres on a seemingly impossible crime which is eventually solved by Jonathan whose job is to design illusions for the magician Adam Klaus.
Examples of the crimes include someone who is seemingly seen committing suicide by shooting herself hours after she actually died of a drugs overdose, a man who is found shot in a sealed bunker seemingly having committed suicide but his arthritis meant he wouldn't have been able to even hold the gun let alone pull the trigger, a priceless antique disappears from a room surrounded by security men and no one has gone in or out - you get the idea........
Since a good part of the enjoyment of the programme is trying to work out how each crime was perpetrated I do not intend to go through the episodes and give any clues as to the stories. Actually considering that there are a total of 25 episodes in the boxed set you'd lose the will to live by the time you got to the end of the review! LOL!
The acting across all four of the series is excellent and I'll tell you a bit about the main characters to give you a flavour of the programme.
Jonathan Creek is played by the stand up comedian and star of QI Alan Davies. Now I have to admit that I am a great fan of his so I am biased but I think he plays the character of Jonathan superbly. As I said he works for a magician designing his illusions so he has the sort of mind for thinking laterally so he always manages to solve the 'impossible' crime. He is single and lives a beautiful converted windmill.
Maddy Magellan is played by Caroline Quentin and is Jonathan's sidekick in the first three series and the 1998 Christmas special. She is a freelance investigative journalist and as such gets involved in reporting the crimes which is where she and Jonathan first teamed up. She really fancies Jonathan and gets very jealous if he shows an interest in anyone else. There are occasions when the two of them almost get together but I won't spoil it by telling you if anything actually happens or not! Maddy tends to be as headstrong and volatile as Jonathan is calm and thoughtful which leads to some interesting and comical exchanges between them!
Carla Borrego is played by Julia Sawalha and is an ex girlfriend of Jonathan's who is now married to Brendan played by Adrian Edmondson. She takes over as Jonathan's sidekick for the fourth series and the 2001 Christmas special. She is a TV presenter on a 'Crimewatch' type programme which is how she and Jonathan come to be reunited. She is very sexy and obviously still fancies Jonathan.
Adam Klaus is played by Antony Head (Uther Pendragon in the recent series of Merlin) in the first two series and by Stuart Milligan in the third and fourth series. He is a magician with a huge ego and assumes that all the ladies will fall into bed with him and they usually do! Jonathan is definitely the brains behind his career!
All of the episodes are written by David Renwick who also wrote One Foot in the Grave and the theme tune is the haunting Danse Macabre by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
On a couple of the DVDs there are short interviews with cast members too and one has some scenes originally shot but never included in a particular episode.
The set is currently on sale at www.play.com for £27.99 with free delivery and, of course, if you go via a cash back website this will be slightly reduced by an amount which is dependant on which website you use.
Since Christmas Dave and I have watched all of the episodes apart from the 2001 Christmas special and I have to say that we have both enjoyed every one!
If you enjoy trying to solve a good mystery I would thoroughly recommend this set to you!