Jonathan Creek The Judas Tree (2010) – 8/10 crime detective murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
Alan Davies: Jonathan Creek
Sheridan Smith: Joey Ross
Writer: David Renwick
Paul McGann: Hugo Dore
Sasha Behar: Harriet Dore
Doreen Mantle: Mrs. Gantry
Ian McNeice: Father Roderick Alberic
Natalie Walter: Emily
Stuart Milligan: Adam Klaus
Producer: Rosemary McGowan
Director: David Renwick

Jonathan Creek Special.4 Judas Tree, The (2010)

Joey Ross has managed to get herself employed as Klaus’s stage assistant but her old job as a self-styled psychic debunker provides Jonathan Creek with two mysteries to comprehend. One is from a hundred-and-twenty years ago when an adulterous husband dies at a time prophesied by his spurned lover with no sign of foul play while the other, in the same location but present day, sees the suspected murderess manifesting herself to Joey’s friend, a housekeeper’s assistant.


What David Renwick does better than any contemporary television writer is come up with the unexpected, usually funny, and imaginative sight gag. This time he delivers a great scene with cat litter, some fun race-related gags at the expense of Stuart Milligan’s Adam Klaus, a disappearing house and numerous other splendid bits and pieces dotted here and there (the approach of ISIS). However, Renwick really comes through with this episode by playing with audience expectations (SPOILER Paul McGann’s author states: “The trick, of course, is to fool the reader into trusting the wrong people.”), telling you everything Jonathan Creek knows and then wrapping it up for a thought-provoking finalé. He also manages to avoid his recent penchant for unpleasant sexuality and unnecessary sexual swear words and adult dialogue. This, with a tiny edit for violence, could be shown again on a Sunday afternoon without any problem (though it is bafflingly rated 15 by the BBFC for strong sex; of which there was none when shown on television). A bit of a welcome return to form for Renwick, then.

This Jonathan Creek episode contains mild swear words and unpleasant scenes, violence and brief sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.


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