Thursday, 30 October 2008

Gorgon's Wood

From the very first episode, I’ve been a huge fan of Jonathan Creek. David Renwick’s brilliant scripts are both very clever and very witty – and that’s a dazzling trick for any writer to pull off. The stories are updates of the classic ‘impossible crime’ mystery, and Renwick’s achievement is to show that even a supposedly ‘played-out’ type of story can be revived if the writer doing the reviving is gifted enough. I’ve never met him, but I much admire both this series and that superb, and equally original, comedy series ‘One Foot in the Grave’.

I’ve just taken another look at one of the later Creek shows, ‘Gorgon’s Wood’. A celebrity chef owns a priceless statue of a Chinese monk and is persuaded to lend it to a museum. But while the curator communes with the statue in private, it disappears – but where? Once Creek comes on the scene, the culprit is soon discovered, but that is far from the end of the story. As often in this series, there are several very dark twists as well as plenty of light moments.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode on a second viewing. And – trivia alert! - I was intrigued to discover that actress who played the curator’s very glamorous daughter is Alice Patten, daughter of the former Tory MP and Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten.

4 comments:

Mike Tooney said...

Martin:

All of the 'Jonathan Creek' episodes that I've seen are above average.

The one that sticks in my mind, however, is Episode 3 of Season 1, "The Reconstituted Corpse."

The ingenuity there, it seems to me, is exceptional: How DID that corpse end up in a moving and constantly-attended wardrobe?

Link (here there be SPOILERS):

http://www.jonathancreek.net/season1episode3.asp

Best regards,
Mike Tooney

Martin Edwards said...

Mike, yes, that episode also sticks in my mind. Clever and funny.

Fetherwate said...

In our household 'Jonathan Creek' is still remembered as the perfect Saturday night show - ingenious and funny, but also occasionally dark and sometimes chilling (in a comfortable Christmas ghost story sort of a way). We were sorry when it finished, but could well understand that keeping up the standard must have been a heck of a strain for all involved. I don't know who made the decision to stop, but I think it was wise - we can all think of series that have been extended several lifetimes past their sell-by date!
Having said that, we couldn't half do with something similar to counter-balance the unrelentingly bloody, gloomy and in-yer-face style of contemporary tv mysteries - where's the FUN gone?!!
PS Wasn't there talk earlier this year of a one-off Creek for Christmas?

Martin Edwards said...

Yes, I heard that rumour, Fetherwate. Whether it's true or not, I don't know. But of course I hope so.