Sorry I forgot to send you a card. Instead, I watched 90 minutes of Jonathan Creek, just for you. And it was…fine.
I haven’t seen Jonathan Creek in a while. Last time I watched, Julia Sawahla was in it, and married to Adrian Edmondson and that’s the only memorable thing that happened. (Nothing like the halcyon days of Maddie, when a five minute farcical sketch that ended with a body falling out of a wardrobe was the height of Sunday TV genius.) In this Christmas special, Jonathan is married to Polly, who doesn’t seem to like him much, and no longer lives in a windmill, or does anything with magic. Apparently getting older means losing all your personality. And that’s kind of how Alan Davis plays Jonathan now – as a quietly spoken, bored man, who seems really annoyed that bodies turn up and people try to kill him. It’s an odd acting choice.
So, the first 20 minutes didn’t particularly pull me in. Surprisingly, though, the plot was compelling – I found myself wanting to know what was going on. The mystery revolves around a young couple who move back to the house where the wife grew up, so she can try and figure out the weird things that happened when she was younger. It turns out that Jonathan once saved her husband from a being convicted of killing his first wife, and that her stepfather may have a mysterious and murderous vault on the grounds. And then, really odd things start happening…
The mystery doesn’t really hang together and there are a few too many competing plotlines, but David Renwick has always had a skill for weaving together a story that mildly piques your interest. Some excellent acting from the supporting cast (including Warwick Davies as a vicar) helps, but it could have been a lot more if Jonathan and his terrible wife weren’t a storm of cliches, exemplifying the bored, middle-aged couple who hate each other none of us want to hang out with.
6 unicorns out of 10 (mostly for surprise and nostalgia, plus one extra point for the actor who looked like a young Stanley Tucci in a wig.)