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VINE VOICEon 19 March 2017
The most interesting thing about this Dutch release is that it contains the original two part version of The Wrestlers Tomb rather than the cobbled together single episode that is on the UK DVD. The packaging is in Dutch but the DVDs play in English. The box set contains the first two series which are in four individual plastic cases. These are housed in a cardboard outer case.
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on 13 May 2017
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on 18 June 2017
Disappointing - I received series 1 but not series 2 instead it was the Christmas Specials dvd enclosed in the box.
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on 26 February 2004
This DVD box set is full of top quality popular entertainment which fully deserves the plaudits and following it has captured. The entertaining plots are driven forward by excellent performances from the leads, in particular Alan Davies is wonderfully understated in his first mainstream dramatic role showing range way beyond his previously known stand-up persona.
The first series is perhaps the most satisfying and complete of the 4 so far. This is partly due to the feature length opener that introduces the mainstays of the series in its characters, mystery plots and humour. The way it does this in a carefully paced, confident way which doesn’t rush the set up for the episode or indeed the next three series. The following episodes develop this theme with some detail being filled in about the characters, their respective love lives (such as they are) and their relationship. The obvious tension between the leads is nicely played out over the first 6 episodes with both skirting around the issues until the will-the-won’t they is nicely resolved (for this series at least) with an unfortunate episode with a heart monitor.
The strength of the puzzles in the first series is also worth mentioning. The standard is consistently high and they give substance to the show in its infancy before the characters themselves have developed as the main draws. Finally the humour of the show is pitch perfect drawing strongly on the main character’s traits as well as guess stars and unusual situations - for those who claim the series has become preposterous/gone down hill in later series the sounds of a genial ape using the toilet should remind them the show has always been keen to dwell on the unusual for its stories and humour.
Adam Klauss, Jonathan’s boss and old school magician, is perhaps the most obvious humorous relief. This role was played in the pilot episode by Anthony Head to writer David Renwick’s satisfaction (according to the commentary). However the role as portrayed by another actor has found a sure comic touch which touches on the arrogance of power and money that increasingly leads to humiliation. The dynamic between the quiet genius Jonathan and Adam creates a parallel odd couple relationship in the former’s work life to the one in his personal life (with Maddy). Although Jonathan is superficially subservient in both relationships this is often in direct contrast to where the actual power lies. Each however is based at some level on respect and indeed friendship of different kinds.
The second series develops both the humour of the programme the relationship between Maddy and Jonathan to a point where the mysteries take a back seat to some extent. This is fortunate because the pacing of the show starts to become inconsistent. This is best demonstrated by the Gallows Gate episodes. Here there is twice the time is given over to developing the story. The mystery part of this, although intriguing in parts, is underdeveloped with twists appearing from nowhere and various early bits of the plot dropping away without explanation. At the same time of this the humour is cranked up to 11 (in a good way) with a fully developed sub plot involving Adam, his sister Kitty and a jazz musician driving the plot forward. Compare this to the to tightly plotted last episode of the series which combines two mysteries, a maniac copper and a development of Maddy’s play ground style pursuit of Jonathan.
Overall this is excellent television which has outgrown its British Columbo ambitions by developing durable character relationships and consistently inventive humour.
A note on the DVD and extras. The quality of some of the episode transfers is disappointing and doesn’t live up to the effort put into filming them. Some of the second series looks like its in the wrong format (Gallows Gate 1). The fantastic Christmas special with Ric Mayell is much missed although will probably appear at a later date. The documentary is satisfactory introduction to the beginnings of the show (and Alan Davies’ acting career). The voice over on the pilot episode fills in Renwick’s early perspective on the show. A commentary on an episode from the second series would have nicely closed the circle by explaining how the approach to writing, producing and directing had changed.
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on 14 July 2004
Enter the magical world of Jonathan Creek: a quirky, off beat detective drama that has run for four series of BBC One. Here one four discs are the original, uncut series one and two, where to say the programmes were brilliant would be quite literally an understatement. David Renwich who wrote the acclaimed sitcom One Foot in the Grave has created a series that combines a unique brand of comedy with gritty drama with the most neat twists imaginable. With wonderful mysteries, such as how can a killer escape from a room that had been locked from the inside, how could a man defy the laws of time, how could a high courts judge be killed when under 24 hour protection? Questions that will be wonderfully and satisfactily resolved if you watch these DVD's, which are a great value for money. However the main attraction of the series are two main stars of the show. Alan Davies is perfect, charming and extremely funny, while his co-star, Maddy played by the superb Caroline Qunetin who starred in Men Behaving Badly plays his sidekick. Jonathan Creek is a part time crime solver but his actual job is creating 'magic' tricks and illusions for a stage magicina called Adam Klaus. Meanwhile Maddy Magelan is a snoopy journalist, unauthoradox, bossy and even quite nasty is a crime writer, who teams us with the superb Creek to solve mysteries that would have any other detective baffled. Jonathan Creek tops the drama tables and I think, I even prefer it to Inspector Morse, even though they are both rather different in style. Anyway both series are incredibly powerful, with the ability to astound and amaze. No matter what happens Jonathan Creek can always made you laugh with is very unusual and special in modern drama. The conclusions are always just right and cleverely tied together, and I find that you can watch Jonathan Creek many, many times and still enjoy it just as much. The episodes included in the set are:
THE WRESTLERS TOMB: Jonathan and Maddy team up to invesitgate how a painter was murdered.. 10/10
JACK IN A BOX: A man with crippling arthritus is found in a locked bunker? How could the killer just evaporate into thin air? Find out... 10/10
THE RECONSTITUED CORPSE: How could a dead boy materialise into a wardrobe when it was empty ten minutes earlier and hasn't been left alone? 10/10
NO TRACE OF TRACY: A teenage girl goes missing at a rock star's country home, but the rock star denies seeing her because he was chained to a radiator all night while the girl's classmates swore they saw her go in. 8/10
HOUSE OF MONKEY'S: Who could Dr. Elliot Strange have been stabbed in the back with a sword in a locked room, and the only suspect is a monkey? 10/10
DANSE MACRABRE: An author of horror fiction is murdered but how could the killer, dressed as a skeleton just vanish into thin air? 10/10
TIME WAITS FOR NORMAN: A man has been seen at the same tme on two different sides of the world: can a man defy time? 9/10
THE SCENTED ROOM: A valuble painting vaishes from under the nose of a tour party and the only clue's are some footprints and a strange scent. 9/10
THE PROBLEM AT GALLOWS GATE, PARTS ONE AND TWO: A two parter proves to be a juicy watch! How can a woman have been murdered by a man who committed suicide two weeks earlier? 10/10
MOTHER REDCAP: How could the death of a high court judge who was murdered in a locked room with security protection be related with an old pub called the Mother Redcap where seven men died of terror some fifty years earlier?
There are a few little extras including a 25 minute documentary 'Long Hair and Duffel Coat' which feature interviews with the writer, cast and production team. there's a screen test which shows an early rehearsal for the first episode by Alan Davies (Jonathan) and Caroline Quentin (Maddy) and also an audio commentary on the Wrestler's Tomb, the feature length 90 minute series opener. There are also subtitles.
So read the review and buy the box set (in that order) and I promise you will be kept guessing to the end every time. Brilliant drama and comedy.
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on 3 December 2003
This programme was first aired five years ago, but it still hasn't lost it's appeal even if it has lost one of it's co-stars in Caroline Quentin. Thankfully this DVD features the episodes with the original, and best, pairing of Quentin and Alan Davies as the super sleuth and his journalistic partner. The two work great together and create some brilliant on-screen chemistry accumulating in a 'will they/won't they' type scenario. But the main attraction is the tense, exciting storylines that are always filled with twists and shocks. The overall suspense of the drama has kept viewers hooked for years as Jonathan Creek (davies) aims to try and work out a suspicious suicide or an impossible escape.
The formula and shape of the show works everytime, the writing, directing and of course acting is always top notch and this is one drama the BBC will keep running for several years to come (the new series is in the process of being completed at the moment.) The only thing wrong with this drama is that it isn't on long enough- usually only three episodes in a series- therefore it makes sense to buy this dvd and watch the episodes over again so you can see all the little things you missed in trying to work out who really did the crime.
The DVD also features some intresting extras, the main one being a documentary which lasts for just under half an hour and offers an insight into the world of the magician and how it came about.
Overall this is one of my all time favourite dramas and therefore a must-buy DVD.
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VINE VOICEon 26 February 2004
I hadn't seen all of the episodes from the first two series of Jonathon Creek so I was very pleased to see it released on DVD. For anyone who has never seen Jonathon Creek the basic plot is that an investigative journalist Madeline Magellan meets a man who uses his brilliant mind to devise tricks for magician Adam Klaus' magic acts. When she comes across mysterious murders she realises that his brilliant mind could help her solve the cases and from there Jonathon Creek begins. This DVD box set comprises of 4 DVD's which feature all 11 episodes from the first and second series of Jonathon Creek. Having watched the recent series of Jonathon Creek although they are very good they are not in the same league as the first 2 series (especially due to the recent loss of Caroline Quentin from the programme). The transition to DVD is good and the quality is fine and not grainy.
With each episode there is a new mystery (normally a murder) where she calls on the brains of Jonathon Creek to help her solve the mystery. You will be racking your brains to try to work out how the murders / tricks were done. The programme normally concentrates more on how it was done, rather than who dunnit.
The acting of Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin is superb and they really fit their parts well. They both work well together on screen and there is a real on screen chemistry between them. Another great thing about Jonathon Creek is the humour. There are many hilarious moments in the programme probably due to the fact that Jonathon Creek is written by the genius behind "One foot in the grave" David Renwick.
The extras on this DVD include a documentary on the programme called "Long hair and Duffel coat" which features exclusive interviews with the cast, writer and crew. Another extra is a commentary on the first episode "The Wrestlers Tomb" by David Renwick and Marcus Mortimer. The final extra is the screen tests of Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin.
If you're a fan of Jonathon Creek you MUST buy this DVD, if not buy it anyway as it is brilliant.
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on 8 December 2004
Jonathan Creek is the best comedy drama ever to appear on television. It is immensely clever, using plots and intricate mysteries that are always resolved brilliantly. The characters are wonderrful: laid-back, windmill inhabiting, illusionist Jonathan Creek and his unorthoxdox, bossy journalist Maddy made a wonderful team as they partner each other to solve many perplexing crimes. This DVS contains the complete first and second series and shouldn't be missed. Brilliant!
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on 24 April 2004
This dvd set conatins all the episodes from series 1 and 2 of JonathonCreek - 10 hours of puzzles, which I'd say is great value for money.
Caroline Quentin plays Maddy, a crime writer, while Alan Davies playsJonathon, a designer of magical illusions and the man who Maddy turns towhen she wants a crime solved. In most of the episodes the crimes areseemingly impossible murders only Jonathon can explain.
Each episode is an hour of fairly gentle entertainment, with nice humourand an intriguing puzzle. Some are easier to solve than others (even forJonathon) but even if you know the solution you can still enjoy rewatchingthem. The main characters are funny together, and there are usually enoughsupporting characters in each episode to provide a decent subplot.
You'll like some episodes better than others, of course - my favourite's'The Scented Room', in series 2 - but they've all got merit. On a lazyafternoon an hour of Jonathon Creek can be just what you need. Four stars.
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on 18 February 2004
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the most intelligent programmes in British television was getting it's deserved release on DVD. Once I realised that I had to have my copy. Now as for the DVD itself it's very good. Jonathan Creek is definitely one of those shows that you really either LOVE IT or HATE IT so if you love it, you won't be disappointed. In this DVD you get Series 1 and Series 2, comprising 11 episodes. The first-ever episode is a belter - getting everyone used to the type of mystery they can expect to see week after week, whilst introducing us to Jonathan and Maddy. It becomes ever more apparent with every episode that Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin have great on-screen chemistry as the sexual tension builds. The relationship between the two of them is an important part of the show to complement the inventive crimes and solutions. Personally, I prefer mysteries that focus on murders and not other issues (such as The Scented Room in Series 2), but every episode has it's own quality. If you're someone who loves extra's, I can't help you I'm afraid as I'm not bothered by them, and so I have not seen them. One thing I do know is that it will be great when the rest of the series' are also released on DVD as the series DOES NOT go down hill (as some other reviewers would have you believe on this web-site). So if you love Jonathan Creek you can't fail to go wrong with this DVD. Enough said, really!
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