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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2006
If you've never seen Jonathan Creek, you don't know what you're missing. Easily one of the BBC's best comedy-dramas of the last 20 years, this series combines mystery, magic, humour and some quite superb acting performances from Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin and latterly, Julia Sawalha. A number of guest stars also add to the talent on view, notably in the regular appearances of Stuart Milligan as Adam Klaus.

This box set combines the four series and the Christmas specials. Even having seen them all before, I still had to rack my brain to remember just how some of these complex storylines eventually resolved themselves (on many occasions, forgetting altogether). This series is a reminder of just how brilliantly Caroline Quentin, in particular, can adapt to any acting challenge. The chemistry between the leads is perfect and it all adds up to a hugely enjoyable series.

If there's any gripe at all, it is that the extras, while good, are few and far between. Surely an outtakes section for each series wouldn't have been too much to ask? All we really get is a brief discussion of how the series was conceived, a commentary on a single episode, the original screen tests of Davies and Quentin and a few deleted scenes. All but the latter of these appear on the first disc. So if you're looking for a lot of bonus materials here, you'll be disappointed.

That aside, this still gets the full five stars because it's a brilliant series and one that every fan must own. Magical!
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on 27 July 2011
This box set contains the first four series of Jonathan Creek and Christmas specials featuring Alan Davies (also best known as a panelist on QI) in this highly successful murder mystery drama series. Jonathan, magic expert and scruffy amateur sleuth extraordinaire. teams up with investigative crime writer Maddy Magellan (Caroline Quentin) in Series 1-3, and theatrical agent-turned-TV presenter Carla Borrega (Julia Sawlha) in Series 4, to solve a string of seemingly impossible cases. The characters are wonderful, and they evolve greatly over time.

All the episodes from Series 1 and 2: 'The Wrestler's Tomb', 'Jack In The Box', 'The Reconstituted Corpse', 'No Trace of Tracey' and 'The House Of Monkeys' and from Series 2 are: 'Danse Macabre', 'Time Waits For Norman', 'The Scented Room', 'The Problems At Gallows Gate' and 'Mother Redcap'.

All the episodes from Series 3 and 4: 'The Curious Tale of Mr Spearfish', 'The Eyes of Tiresias', 'The Omega Man', 'Ghost's Forge', 'Miracle in Crooked Lane', 'The Three Gamblers', 'The Coonskin Cap', 'Angel Hair', 'The Tailor's Dummy', 'The Seer of the Sands', 'The Chequered Box', 'Gorgons Wood', 'Black Canary', 'Satan's Chimney'.

Fantastic crime drama, with a great twist!
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on 12 September 2005
This is the complete collection of unedited episodes (apparently there are some cuts to series 4 in the two individual box sets).
A really great series which offers something different from your standard detective stories. Writer David Renwick clearly has a gift of thinking "outside the box" and has come up with 26 lovely stories where his lead character has to do likewise to solve some devilish crimes.
The first two series plus the two excellent Christmas specials are the best of the bunch, things went a bit downhill towards the end. But a lovely set nonetheless.
There is a featurette on the disc which features interviews with most of the major players in the first two series. This was a little dry, which was a shame as with some more judicious editing it could have been a nice piece. Still, it's better than nothing and helps wrap up a nice set.
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on 30 May 2010
The reviewer who commented about the digital artifacts has a point, but the problem is very easily put right. For some reason, the DVDs in my set often have a small splash or squirt of a very light oil, something resembling clock oil, towards the outer edge. Presumably this arises somehow from the manufacturing or copying process. This splash of oil, if present, should be wiped off carefully with a lint-free cloth. Otherwise there will indeed be annoying artifacts and the DVDs may freeze in mid-episode. But if you clean the oil off the problems disappear. You may need to examine the disc carefully in light reflected from a lamp, to find the splash on a disc. The splash may be tiny, but it will still stop the DVD. Some discs may not have this problem.

The writer of this series is a genius. I would recommend the Creek series to any student doing a university course on scientific method. Creek's comments on the need to get rid of prior assumptions and keep an open mind are the very essence of the best of the scientific approach. The whole series is brilliant.
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on 3 October 2005
I am totally addicted to Jonathan Creek. The acting and writing of this program is excellent. Alan Davies is brilliant as he solves all the insoluable cases. It far eclipses other mysteries here in the States. But then, it IS British and that alone makes it a superior product to me. Please make plans to release it for our region. Even though zone free players are available, it would be nice to simply use the one I already own.
You'd be surprised to know of the popularity of this program in the US. Remember how Doctor Who took off??????
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on 8 December 2008
This is offered so that you can purchase both the box set and the Charistmas specials - be aware that the christmas specials are included in the box set - so if you click to order both you will recieve 2 christmas specials,and waste money
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2005
This collection is quite simply brilliant. I've been an avid fan of the Jonathan Creek series since the first ever episode, 'The Wrestler's Tomb', was aired.
It's clever, it's funny, and just incredibly entertaining. Alan Davies plays Creek brilliantly, and both Caroline Quentin and later Julia Sawalha are both fantastic as side-kicks.
There isn't really much that I can say about the series that will will come close to doing it justice- it is THAT good. Buy it, enjoy it, and see if you can solve any before Jonathan does. Brilliant!!!
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VINE VOICEon 1 September 2005
I really like this series; it is weird, funny and has a brilliant theme tune. One of the main reasons that I like Jonathan Creek is because it isn't always a murder that has to be solved, with the characters having to solve anything from the disappearances to thefts and premonitions this show is a breath of fresh air compared to many other mystery programs. Replacing Caroline Quentin with Julia Sawalha for the forth series is good as it introduces a bit more conflict and tension that was missing from the tail end of the third series. Another great thing about this series is the number of guest stars that are involved, especially Bill Bailey as a bumbling magician. This is a must buy for any fans of mysteries.
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on 5 January 2014
"Jonathan Creek" follows in a number of great traditions - the lineage of Sherlock Holmes is obviously there with the relationship between Jonathan and Madeline (and later on, others) paralleling Holmes and Watson, the cheerful and gentle-toned murder mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie, and the comic-crime sub-genre, monopolised by the Americans with books in series like Gregory McDonald's "Fletch" and Joe Lansdale's Hap and Leonard books. There's also occasional moments, where Jonathan and Maddie (her with bright red hair) break into a dark house and if the music's right, we get a whiff of The X-Files too, though with an emphasis on debunking rather than legitimising supernatural nonsense.

Now, re-watching these again I do sometimes find myself impressed by the clever ways the murders/crimes/phenomenon are structured, especially when Creek does a Sherlock Holmes and lays the information out, all together, immediately before solving it. When we're forced to concede the story has not cheated and yet has fooled us, we can generally agree a good mystery story works. However, not all of them do work, some feel quite contrived, and the later episodes (many of which I did not see first time around) are quite silly in general.

However, Jonathan Creek was always fun to watch because of it's humour. Not only was Alan Davies (a stand up and regular panalist on QI) a natural comedic actor in deadpan, sarcasm, occasional slapstick and straight-man, Caroline Quentin (less trained in comedy I believe) was always game for the show's balance of effacing humour for her character and letting her win as much, on balance. Then there's Adam Klaus - an American stage magician, womaniser and total hackjob, who's appearances are solely to be tortured and humiliated by the narrative and for our pleasure (and sometimes Jonathan's) alone. The scenes with Adam Klaus make the whole thing worthwhile.

Guest stars range from Mrs Meldrew from Renwick's other classic One Foot in the Grave, half the cast of Death Wish 3 (seriously), Martina Laird, Simon Bird, Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson and more, which adds to the fun - these actors are mostly comedians and get to stretch playing serious, if not entirely dramatic, roles.

Overall, the series comes highly recommended - will have you whistling "Danse Macabre" for hours after each episode.
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on 27 April 2009
The Jonathan Creek series is simply brilliant - brilliant writing, brilliant cast and brilliant storylines. I found myself watching the entire box set within a few weeks as I was hooked from beginning to end. I thought that I had seen all the episodes on TV but I had missed quite a few so not only did I get to revisit past favourites but I also discovered new thrills!

The additional disc of Christmas Specials is the icing on the cake and I cannot recommend this box set enough. It is genuinely delectable and I would recommend any fan or those new to Jonathan Creek to try this. If you are bored of the reality, celebrity fuelled TV we are currently faced with then opt for Jonathan Creek and rediscover intelligent TV.

Pure genius!
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