After another long hiatus the BBC cult impossible crime series Jonathan Creek, penned by David Renwick, has a new episode on the way! December 28th will see Creek, alongside his new wife Polly, solving the mystery of Daemons’ Roost, a christmas feature length special .
I have a very special place in my heart for the Jonathan Creek series. Renwick over the years has created some of the most ingenious plots, clues and solutions within the impossible crime genre. And with this new episode on the way I thought it would be fitting to open this brand new blog with a list of my top 5 Jonathan Creek episodes!
Jack in the Box (Series 1: Episode 2)
The second Jonathan Creek story and, I could say, still my favourite locked room solution to date, and a total original. A paranoid comedian is found shot through the head with the gun in his hand, 30 feet below ground in a locked nuclear bunker, with two sets of 6 inch thick metal doors that have to be cut open for entry. It looks like an open and shut suicide, but the problem is, the comedian has crippling arthritis, and never could have pulled the trigger to kill himself. The clues are an unused toilet, and a lightbulb, just perfect.
The Eyes of Tiresias (Series 3: Episode 2)
An old lady vividly dreams every detail of the murder of a french business man shot inside his locked office, even down to his dying words. The next day the murder takes place, exactly how she dreamt it, word for word. Jonathan is tasked to find out how she could have predicted this, and then a second death through her dreams. Amazing dark mood, and the main clue is the fish food she buys in the market.
The Black Canary (1998 Christmas Special)
Lorded as Renwick’s master work. A retired magician shoots herself in a snow covered garden in full view of her aged husband. Yet when the paramedics examine her body moments after, it’s concluded that she has been dead for over 8 hours. The next impossibility is that just before she shot herself a strange man with a limp spoke to her, then ran into the woods. Yet when her ageing husband runs out, there are only her set of footprints left in the snow. The man with the limp seems to have left none. Pure poetry.
Time Waits for Norman (Series 2: Episode 7)
A man with Chronophobia, a fear of time, (married ironically to a collector of clocks), is seen by reliable witnesses in both New York and London only minutes apart. Cyphers, hamburgers and a spilled cup of coffee lead Jonathan to the simple and brilliant solution. And no, it’s not twins.
The Coonskin Cap (Series 4: Episode 1)
A unknown shooter fires during a police reconstruction of a murder, and disappears from the locked room which they shot from, leaving only the gun propped up at the window, in site the whole time. The killer then strikes again when they strangle a police officer and vanish from a school gym locked from the inside. On analysing the victim’s chilling, dying words ‘You’ll never get away…’, Creek tumbles to the killer’s deeply calculated methods.
If you are yet to watch the Creek series, and this has wetted your appetite, I am very happy to say that it is all on Netflix. Get on it and let it’s deliciously 90’s feel take you away. If you have watched them which were your favourites?
The new episode I await with bated breath. Perhaps it will be the last Creek tale ever… (Don’t make me think of it!)
7 thoughts on “My Top 5 Jonathan Creek Episodes”
I hadn’t seen any Jonathon Creek yet, but was tempted by comments over at The Invisible Event. This post of yours pushed me over the edge and I watched Jack in the Box last night.
It’s a different twist to watch a locked room mystery, rather than read it. In fact, the solution to this one somewhat relied on what you’re able to see, which I don’t know would have translated to the written page.
So glad you have started watching it! It’s truly a great series. Yes Renwick is definitely a TV writer and some of clues as you say work so much better visually than they would elsewhere. Interestingly Renwick borrows a lot from Carr, not in terms of solutions but titles, names and other things. You’ll see this pop up as you watch the series I’m sure. Highly recommend watching the Creek series in order as well, as there are a few story arcs to follow. Look forward to hearing what other episodes you like.
Nice list chum – love the show and enjoyed the recent special a lot more than some bloggers I might mention 😆
Thanks Sergio, glad you liked the choices. Yes, the recent special still had something of the classic Renwick elegance which meant I could look past the difficult elements!