Jonathan Creek 2.01 Danse Macabre (1998, Black Comedy Crime Mystery) – 7/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Alan Davies: Jonathan Creek
Caroline Quentin: Maddy Magellan
Writer: David Renwick
Peter Davison: Stephen Claithorne
Pippa Haywood: Lorna Claithorne
Stuart Milligan: Adam Klaus
Producer: Verity Lambert
Director: Sandy Johnson
Executive Producer: David Renwick

Jonathan Creek 2.01 Danse Macabre (1998)

A murderer and his hostage are cornered in a free-standing stone-walled garage with automatic security lights on all sides. He closes the garage doors and the area is almost immediately surrounded by police. Fifteen minutes later, the police open the doors… and only the hostage remains. The murderer has vanished.

7/10

I discerned the central plot mechanic almost immediately but I can’t decide whether that’s good or bad. It was so impossible that there could only be one explanation (something Renwick highlights when he reveals the original plan didn’t feature it). There’s the satisfaction of getting the solution right with the mild disappointment of not being outwitted by the writer. However, Renwick does keep one macabre twist up his sleeve with the victim’s head and another ethical twist with the reason for the murder. I dislike Pippa Haywood as an actress and this is a near-intolerably unconvincing performance from her, especially when she’s being emotional. Director Sandy Johnson keeps it crisp but doesn’t successfully distract the audience from the fact that Creek worked out the solution as soon as he heard the scenario but didn’t get around to telling anyone else for a couple of days to pad out the running time.

This Jonathan Creek episode contains adult dialogue and extremely unpleasant scene and non-sexual nudity.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

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