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TIT

'Joanathan Creek - Season Two'
(Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1998) 2007 / Paramount)

Overview: The many and manifest delights of Jonathan Creek, the British murder mystery TV series that's inarguably one of the best of its genre, continue with this two-disc set of episodes from its second season. As was the case in Season One, the stories concocted by David Renwick are marvelously ingenious. In the course of these six episodes, sleuths Jonathan Creek (the magician's assistant played by comic Alan Davies) and Madeline "Maddy" Magellan are again confronted with a host of apparently inexplicable and unsolvable crimes.

DVD Verdict: This is one of the cleverest shows I've seen in a long time. It reminds me somewhat of "Lovejoy". You can easily spend an evening watching the entire 1st series and being throughly entertained. Jonathan and Maddie are just wonderful the way they play off each other. If you want a detecive show with lots of blood and violence, you'll have to look elsewhere.

What makes this series memorable is the clever and funny writing and the not-quite-fulfilled relationship between the lead characters. Jonathan, who devises stage illusions, is quiet and thoughtful, but has some great lines delivered with impeccable timing by Alan Davies, who cut his teeth as a comedian. His way of saying "Hmmmm" is priceless - you always know exactly what he means. Maddy, the journalist, is loud and vulgar and over the top, and Cariline Quentin plays her with great relish. The two make perfect foils for each other - by the end of the series the viewer is left wondering whether they will ever get together, but hoping that they will.

The photography is beautiful, the locations outstanding (Jonathan lives in a windmill in Sussex) and the support players are of the usual high standard in BBC productions. If you like subtle and clever humor, with some unusual mystery thrown in, this series is for you. I'm eagerly waiting for Season Three to be released!

The highlight of the set (from my humble point of view) is “The Problem at Gallows Gate”. Here, Adam Klaus’ mother comes to town. She has the knack for embarrassing him at every possible moment [including right in front of his friend, “Blind” Hewey Harper (who, secretly, is not blind)]. He pawns her off on Jonathan, who takes her and Maddy on his annual forest ferret-watching expedition. While the mother is looking for an outhouse in the woods at night, she stumbles across a cottage where she just so happens to view a young woman being strangled to death.

When Jonathan and Maddy are brought in, they’re confounded as to why each window and door of the place is locked from the inside. Later, Klaus’ mother is able to successfully identify the murderer, only to be informed that the man in question is Duncan Proctor, a playboy millionaire who publicly committed suicide at his house three weeks earlier!

So, if you want an entertaining, fun and something a little different from the herd, then this is worth checking out. And although Season Two isn’t quite as strong as its first, Jonathan Creek still carries on the tradition of not only being one of Britain’s most intricate crime dramas, but also its funniest. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs but comes with no Special Features.

www.BBCvideo.com





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