I would like to be able to say: “You can take Jonathan Creek out of his windmill but you can’t take the windmill out of Jonathan Creek.” But it appears that even our lovable sleuth can be exorcised by oestrogen into conformity…
Three years have passed since we last saw the trench-coat-wearing genius, but last night Alan Davies’s most famous character was back in BBC One’s The Clue Of The Savant’s Thumb. A better title for which, would have been, Jonathan Creek Under The Thumb.
“But he went back and solved the case?” I hear those of you who watched the show argue. Yes, yes he did, but then he went back to his Mrs, their posh flat and his job working for her father. Remember? Oh it was sad – Jonathan Creek a finance worker in the city? No. Don’t take the scatty, tattily-dressed creative mastermind we adore and dress him in a suit and plonk him behind a desk. You get a sense of loss – rather like when your contemporaries, who had all the big ideas and plans at school, conform and lose their souls in mundane vocations in the City.
Anyhow, I must not forget that he did return, albeit not permanently, to his old ways. And joining the floppy-haired QI star, was ABFAB’s Joanna Lumley and Gavin and Stacey’s Sheridan Smith – the makings of a truly glorious episode. Sadly the makings didn’t make it.
The show didn’t fuse together well, the plot felt over-cooked; too many stories whose links to each other were rather tenuous. For instance, a boarding school main plot, that shifted to a sub-plot, a religious plot laced with LSD that didn’t come to anything, and a conspiracy tape plot that resurfaced for a weak final explanation.
We did have the murder and disappearing body plot that we all love though, and this was done well. When you can’t find a logical explanation to solve the case (like you can in every episode of Death in Paradise), you’ve been served a good mystery – and everyone loves a good mystery.
Overall then? Nope still not sold. Some change, I accept is for the better, but changing Creek into a whipped weak man is a step too far. And no windmill, well that’s just a series suicide.
My review of Alan Davies’s stand up can be found here: https://aliceaudley.com/2012/11/14/alan-davies-breaks-the-sabbatical-and-returns-to-the-stand-up-stage/