TV Review: Jonathan Creek, Series 2

The second series of Jonathan Creek continues the good form of the first, even if the writing starts to verge on the misogynistic

“There’s always an explanation”

After the success of its first season, Series 2 of Jonathan Creek followed in short order in early 1998. And having firmly established its modus operandi of impossible crimes and simmering but awkward sexual chemistry between Akan Davies’ Jonathan and Caroline Quentin’s Maddy, it carries on ploughing that same furrow.

This series sees Stuart Milligan added to the mix as Adam Klein, replacing Anthony Head who got the job as Giles on Buffy and whilst he is a vividly entertaining character, his presence seems to allow writer David Renwick to indulge in some misogynistic touches over and above what might be ‘forgiven’ for being 20 years old, just look at the way Adam and indeed Jonathan treat the majority of the women in their life… 

The first two-parter in ‘The Problem at Gallows Gate’ allows for a greater depth of storytelling and characterisation for all concerned, which works well. And there isn’t too much fannying about between Jonathan and Maddy which is probably for the best. My favourite episode is predictably the one with Bob Monkhouse as an insufferably pompous theatre critic…

Top 5 cameos

  • The first episode opens well with Peter Davison in a dog collar at the door
  • And moves on intriguingly with an underused Martina Laird as an opera singer in the bath
  • Jimmi Harkishin as a new age quack
  • Stanley Townsend’s glowering DI is fun in the two-parter, a pre-fame Amanda Holden also pops up therein
  • And there’s a satisfyingly complete arc for a very young-looking Nicola Walker as a police officer Jonathan can’t help but flirt with in her episode that wraps up the series before the Christmas special

Jonathan Creek is available on the BBC iPlayer

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