Date TimeAugust 12, 2019
VoiceAlan Davies solved improbable crimes with wit and flair. Before, erm, getting a job in advertising
How Jonathan Creek went from geek in a duffel coat to boring besuited businessman
It probably seems daft to suggest Jonathan Creek could actually reach a point of no return, given that it was always preposterous. In the first episode, a bound, gagged and blindfolded woman shot someone by pulling the trigger with her toe. Later stories included an alarm clock rigged to electrocute a snoozing judge, a poisoned envelope that made a scientist hallucinate and impale himself on a sword, and a fax that had its meaning fatally altered when a fly landed on it and was mistaken for a comma.
So far, so batshit, but that’s what made the detective series such fun when it first aired in 1997, with its surreal twist on Arthur Conan Doyle’s old chestnut that “once you eliminate the possible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth”. Creek (Alan Davies), a sardonic oddball who devised illusions for a sleazy stage magician, became a reluctant foil to boisterous crime journalist Maddy (Caroline Quentin). She would present him with impossible mysteries that seemed as if they could only be explained by sorcery or supernatural forces, and he’d tease out the truth with his uniquely lateral thinking, as the two of them bickered and bantered along the way.

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