Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spending Some Time with JONATHAN CREEK

TV series.
1997-2013. 28 episodes.

Martin Edwards has posted reviews of some episodes of the sporadic JONATHAN CREEK series from time to time. Here are some brief excerpts:
"Gorgon's Wood": From the very first episode, I’ve been a huge fan of 'Jonathan Creek.' David Renwick’s brilliant scripts are both very clever and very witty – and that’s a dazzling trick for any writer to pull off. The stories are updates of the classic ‘impossible crime’ mystery, and Renwick’s achievement is to show that even a supposedly ‘played-out’ type of story can be revived if the writer doing the reviving is gifted enough. I’ve never met him, but I much admire . . . this series . . . .
"Jack in the Box": The plot is pleasingly convoluted, with plenty of twists before the truth is finally revealed.
"The Grinning Man": This cunningly contrived story deserves to be recognised as a modern classic.
"Jonathan Creek and David Renwick": It’s hard to believe, but 'Jonathan Creek' first aired as long ago as 1997. . . The way in which classic ‘impossible crime’ plots were blended with humour and contemporary characterisation struck me as quite splendid.
"The Judas Tree": John Dickson Carr would surely have loved it, and I think that any fan of classic ‘impossible crime’ mysteries would love it.
"The Clue of the Savant's Thumb": Impossible crime stories have long appealed to me, and I've written several over the years; short stories rather than novels, though. Just as 'Jonathan Creek' tends to work better in a one hour episode than a ninety minute episode like this one, so do locked room tricks tend to be easier to pull off in short stories rather than novels.
 The series so far:

"The Wrestler's Tomb" (10 May 1997)
"Jack in the Box" (17 May 1997)
"The Reconstituted Corpse" (24 May 1997)
"No Trace of Tracy" (31 May 1997)
"The House of Monkeys" (7 June 1997)
"Danse Macabre" (24 January 1998)
"Time Waits for Norman" (31 January 1998)
"The Scented Room" (7 February 1998)
"The Problem at Gallows Gate: Part One" (14 February 1998)
"The Problem at Gallows Gate: Part Two" (21 February 1998)
"Mother Redcap" (28 February 1998)
"Black Canary" (24 December 1998)
"The Curious Tale of Mr. Spearfish" (27 November 1999)
"The Eyes of Tiresias" (4 December 1999)
"The Omega Man" (11 December 1999)
"Ghosts Forge" (18 December 1999)
"Miracle in Crooked Lane" (28 December 1999)
"The Three Gamblers" (2 January 2000)
"Satan's Chimney" (26 December 2001)
"The Coonskin Cap" (1 March 2003)
"Angel Hair" (8 March 2003)
"The Tailor's Dummy" (15 March 2003)
"The Seer of the Sands" (14 February 2004)
"The Chequered Box" (21 February 2004)
"Gorgon's Wood" (28 February 2004)
"The Grinning Man" (1 January 2009)
"The Judas Tree" (4 April 2010)
"The Clue of the Savant's Thumb" (1 April 2013)

Spoiler-free thumbnail descriptions of these shows are on Wikipedia here.
Videos are available for purchase here and here.

Category: Detective fiction

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