36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Jonathan Creek - Series 5 [DVD] (DVD)
As a little boy, I was simultaneously enchanted and terrified by Jonathan Creek, which featured spooky storylines about impossible crimes that genuinely seemed to be unfathomable. I distinctly remember feeling butterflies in my stomach whenever the answer was revealed. I think we all fell in love with this awkward magician's assistant (Alan Davies) clad in duffel coat with a hilarious larger-than-life sidekick (Caroline Quentin). I've followed him since, always enjoying Mr. Creek's endeavors right up to The Clue of the Savant's Thumb last year. When Series 5 was announced I was absolutely ecstatic, but I was soon to be completely smacked in the face...
In an almost blasphemous change of format, the first episode reveals the mystery's solution within the first ten minutes, completely obliterating the entire point of watching the rest, which merely consisted of weak mini-mysteries and a huge long-running 'gag' about pointing fun at 'Sherlock'. While I've never disliked Maddy, Carla or Joey (Creek's previous sidekicks), Polly Creek (Sarah Alexander) just has the completely wrong attitude for Creek's adventures and serves more as a killjoy whenever Jonathan feels like getting back to his roots. The worst thing about this episode is that if the format was as is normal, it might actually have been a really fantastic episode, but it seems they were too busy poking fun at other programs to realise that they were actually making a terrible episode themselves.
The second episode was slightly better, but extremely weak on the mystery front, which focused on lots of little mysteries happening in the middle of the village where Jonathan and Polly now live. By the end of the episode, I really couldn't care less what the solution to the main mystery was, and I found myself voicing 'Meh!' when it was revealed.
I have to say however that I very much enjoyed the third episode, which returned to the original format quite well despite the lack of murder that the other episodes also suffered from. The performances were better and although the solution was a bit of a stretch, I found the butterflies in my stomach sensation returning!
However, one semi-good episode out of three simply isn't good enough, especially for Jonathan Creek. What has happened to the magic that I used to cherish as a kid? Why are complex 'impossible' situations and mind-bendingly banal murders taking back seat and paving way for country village politics, middle-class dinner parties and whimsical anecdotes? For the most part, the butterflies in my stomach were replaced by a deep-seated disappointment that lingered for hours.
I'd love to see Jonathan Creek return (and Maddy Magellan for that matter) in a new season, but Polly needs to go, actual 'impossible' murders or crimes need to come back and the magic just needs to be breathed back into it!
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Initial post: 29 Mar 2014 11:10:30 GMT
Great review and I believe it all went downhill when Caroline Quentin left, they had great chemistry and humour, such a shame.
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