Jonathan Creek s01e03 Jack in the Box (1997) – 8/10 black comedy crime mystery TV review

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Cast / crew
Jonathan Creek: Alan Davies
Maddy Magellan: Caroline Quentin
Executive Producer and Writer: David Renwick
Director: Marcus Mortimer
John Bluthal: Jack Holiday
Maureen O’Brien: Kirsten Holiday
Robin Soans: Alan Rokesmith
Producer: Susan Belbin

Jonathan Creek s01e03 Jack in the Box (1997)

Just days after Alan Rokesmith – the man wrongfully imprisoned for killing his young wife – is released after nine years, aged movie star Jack Holliday is found shot dead inside his nuclear bunker in a impenetrable room locked from the inside. Clearly suicide, except Jack Holliday had crippling arthritis and couldn’t even peel a banana, let alone hold a gun to his head and pull the trigger.


After the feature-length opening double-episode, Jonathan Creek immediately settles into the fifty-minute slot that, I think, is perfect for this kind of show. It keeps things brisk and forces a tight focus on the matter at hand. It ensures that additional pieces of flavour are incorporated into the flow of the story instead of being allowed to bloat into their own irrelevant subplot (so no Adam Claus this time). This episode features a terrific locked room mystery where the viewer is given all the same clues as Jonathan. Alan Davies gets the how-dun-it at the end which thankfully reduces the amount of screen time for Caroline Quentin’s charmless Maddy Magellan.

This Jonathan Creek episode contains bad language, unpleasant scenes

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.


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