Jonathan Creek: Daemons’ Roost by David Renwick (BBC, 2016) Jonathan Creek mysteries are coming fewer and farther between nowadays, but if this turns out to be a swansong, casual fans will attest: it’s a good one. The crime is typically ingenious, its investigation hampered by playful misdirection and extraneous comic frippery.
Jonathan Creek, Series 4 by David Renwick (BBC, 2003-2004) After a successful appearance in the 2001 Christmas Special, Julia Sawalha returns to replace Caroline Quentin in what proves a revitalised fourth series. Jonathan Creek has to contend with six new mysteries, an awkward post-relationship sexual tension, and cameos by Adrian Edmondson.
Jonathan Creek, Series 3 (BBC, 1999-2000) Although the mysteries still beguile and Alan Davies continues to charm in the leading role, Series Three of Jonathan Creek does feel slightly deflated. Little wonder that the show was subsequently rested for several years (before returning with a revamped character dynamic).
Jonathan Creek, Series 2 by David Renwick (BBC, 1998) Series Two showcases quality guest stars and perfectly pitched mysteries: perplexing enough to flummox investigative journalist Madeline Magellan (played with distinctive moxie by Caroline Quentin), yet fully satisfying when unravelled by magician’s consultant Jonathan Creek, whom Alan Davies embodies with shaggy-dog sangfroid.
Jonathan Creek, Series 1 by David Renwick (BBC, 1997) Jonathan Creek is a detective with Holmes-like deductive abilities, cajoled and manipulated into sleuthing by a self-serving journalist less sympathetic than any Watson figure. The protagonist is quietly compelling and the mysteries beguiling, albeit at times through an improbable marrying of circumstances.
Jonathan Creek: — The Clue of the Savant’s Thumb by David Renwick (BBC, 2013) The unfortunate pay-off of this murder mystery having such stately intricacies of plot is that, although feature-length, it affords too little screen time to its quietly brilliant sleuth. The result is intriguing rather than compelling (albeit a vale now to Rik Mayall).