Wednesday, 7 January 2009

TV Review – Jonathan Creek, BBC 1, 1st Jan ’09, 9pm

It’s been years since they made the last episode of Jonathan Creek, and as a fan of the series I was quite excited by the fact that another had been made. For those who have never seen the programme before, Alan Davies plays the title character – a man who devises tricks for a magician who gets roped in to use his skills to solve seemingly impossible mysteries.

In this latest episode he is brought in to solve a series of disappearances in a room in a house. The room is an attic room in a house where someone had, in attempt to disprove a superstition, locked themselves in overnight and had disappeared in the morning. So it’s a classic locked room mystery, and therefore the solution shouldn’t be too hard – as if a room is completely sealed the body should still be in the room. Yet there is in my opinion a brilliant piece of mis-direction in the episode as there is something that grabs you as unnecessary the first time you see it, yet story distracts you from it and focuses your attention on both the bed and a painting on the wall. Whilst it’s not an entirely original mystery, it is a rather good one.

Yet the rest of the episode lets it down. There is just too many things going on that seem unnecessary, the magician Creek works for is up to his usual womanising shenanigans, Creek is once more unlucky in love and there’s a whole side mystery to do with a kidnapping that feels somewhat unnecessary. Its like they’ve had to do lots more to fill-up the episode. But also there are some parallels with the previous Christmas special episode, a big house with a deadly secret, a hidden romance between possible suspects. It all just takes the edge off what would have been a decent mystery.

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