Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Not Creeking

I'm talking about the new episode of Jonathan Creek, "The Judas Tree", that was aired on Easter Sunday. Written by the series' creator, David Renwick, this places our hero, played by Alan Davies, in the same sort of scenario as he tended to find himself when the series first began in 1997. This is a good thing. Let me explain.

Just in case you're not familiar with the series' premise, Creek is a bit of an eccentric who devises magical acts for a professional stage magician and uses his analytical mind and technical skills to solve seemingly-impossible crimes. However, in the 13 years that he's been doing this, he doesn't seem to have got any older, he wears the same duffle coat, he speaks the same way, and his luck with the opposite sex is still as frustrating to me as it must be to him.

His assistants might have changed – but only because he has outgrown them. Good for him. Even the theme music and opening titles are like familiar friends drawing you into the show, which brings me to the point: the show returned in 2009 for a one-off, "The Grinning Man", after 5 years and yet it was as if it had never been off the air, so smooth was the continuity. It was like seeing old friends once more.

However, some other programmes have blatantly disregarded the need for such conventions as familiar theme music and title sequences that helped establish them in the first place, namely Sharpe and Agatha Christie: Poirot.

Yes, Jonathan Creek is an old friend and, so long as he's there and recognisable, there's hope for the world of television.

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