Picture a fiercely intelligent detective with a head full of black curly locks, who favours a long sombre coat, struggles to interact with other people and whose best friend is an avid blogger publishing their cases. Sherlock? I am of course talking about the fantastic series Jonathan Creek starring Alan Davies, or as you’ll probably know him: “that bloke off QI!” Alan Davies plays the titular Jonathan Creek, a ‘creative consultant’ to a stage magician. In his free time Creek begrudgingly solves mysteries which the police cannot explain. Creek specialises in ‘locked room mysteries’ which are seemingly impossible crimes such as solving the case of a man who is impaled with a samurai sword in his locked study.
Whereas Sherlock Holmes favoured 221B Baker Street, Jonathan Creek prefers the comfort of his windmill (yes, really) in Sussex. Whilst Sherlock battled with his serious drug habit, Jonathan’s Achilles’ heel is socialising with others. Holmes had Watson, Creek has several constant companions including his trusty duffle coat, which brings a whole new level of nerdiness to the term ‘anorak’. His friend, journalist and love interest Maddy Magellan is brilliantly played by Caroline Quentin.
Whilst the first three series are definitely the strongest, there have been some superb episodes lately thanks to the clever addition of Sheridan Smith (the actress who’s been in everything) as Joey Ross, online paranormal investigator. However, series five is bitterly disappointing, though still watchable.
I was too young to watch Jonathan Creek originally so only watched it fairly recently via a Netflix binge watching session. I would go as far as to say that Jonathan Creek is better than Sherlock (controversial, I know). Creek doesn’t take itself too seriously and is consistently intelligent, quirky, absurd, and quintessentially British.
What other show can get away with such a terrible pun for an episode title: Time Waits for Norman, or a windmill, and Alan Davies horrendous 90’s haircut which resembles an overgrown poodle. Jonathan Creek also boasts a high number of celebrity cameos including the late Rik Mayall, Bill Bailey, Jack Dee, Jonathan Ross and not one, not two, but three Doctor Who’s – Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Paul McGann. So, if you’re looking for a great detective comedy drama crime series (and who isn’t?) look no further than the 1997 classic Jonathan Creek.