Jonathan Creek: Season One (Dbl DVD)
Meet the magician with the trick of solving impossible crimes. Jonathan and Maddy investigate crimes which seem to have no rational explanation. Jonathan Creek is a bit of a nerd, but he is also a bit of a quick-witted genius. Maddy Magellan is an investigative crime writer, and the pair join forces to unravel a series of mysteries. Among their many adventures, Jonathan and Maddy encounter the powers of voodoo and dream-predictions, and cases involving strange disappearances, an alien life-form and tricks of time.
In any successful murder mystery, the personality of the sleuth is as important as the puzzle solved--and Jonathan Creek
has two of the most charming detectives in recent memory. A reclusive, socially maladept inventor of illusions for a professional magician, Jonathan Creek (stand-up comedian Alan Davies) gets drawn into the investigations of pushy journalist Madeline "Maddy" Magellan (Caroline Quentin, Men Behaving Badly
) whenever Maddy confronts something seemingly impossible: When a man shoot himself in a sealed underground bomb shelter, but his crippling arthritis makes it impossible for him to pull the trigger, as in one episode; or when a girl disappears when she enters an aging rock star's house--but the rock star himself, who's been chained to a radiator in the entry room by burglars, insists he never saw the girl come through the door; or when a scientist is stabbed in the back in a locked room in a house full of monkeys. Creek gathers the clues and, knowing that seamless mysteries can be the result of improbable effort, susses out the sometimes preposterous solutions while he and Maddy flirt in the most awkward, neurotic, and utterly true-to-life way. Davies and Quentin are thoroughly engaging actors but do not look like movie stars, and therein lies much of their appeal; the astonishing murders are perfectly balanced by the actors' flesh-and-blood genuineness. The plots are cunning, the dialogue brisk, and the supporting casts dependable, but Jonathan Creek
rides on the shoulders of its leads, who carry it with magical ease. --Bret Fetzer