The other day I made the superb discovery that all previous seasons of Jonathan Creek are available on Netflix – the video-on-demand equivalent of finding a tenner in your pocket you didn’t realise was there. I love Jonathan Creek, from the opening strings to the closing summation, and everything in between. I love the interplay between Jonathan and his many female sidekicks (though Caroline Quentin still has my heart), I love how the police are always ridiculously over the top, I love how the writing isn’t afraid to play with elements of horror and the occult, and I love that windmill.
So, I was as excited as anyone about the Easter special – honestly, a four day weekend because of a thing I don’t believe happened AND a new episode of a beloved childhood detective show? Cheers Jesus, I don’t care what Pontius Pilot said about you, you’re alright. Unfortunately, the episode was right shit. Here are 10 hastily thought out reasons why.
1. Rik Mayall & Nigel Planer didn’t re-enact ANY scenes from The Young Ones
C’mon, surely if you’ve cast both Rik and Neil from The Young Ones you’re gonna put it some in-joke for us die hards? I mean, I know the BBC are trying to sweep their history under the rug ‘n all, but don’t forget your classics guys! The only bit where they were together was when Rik found Neil’s head in a freezer (more on that later), a perfect moment for Neil to pull a wise-crack about being a bit cold or something. Trick missed.
2. The weirdest affair in telly history
From what I can gather, Joanna Lumley was having an affair with Neil from the Young Ones’ Doctor, and wasn’t being at all subtle about it. In fact, as soon as Neil from the Young Ones is out of frame she grabs him and sucks his face off. Lumley is a classy lady, alright? I don’t want to see her giving in to animal lust at the first hint of boner. Have a bit more class, you advertise M&S and campaign for Gurkhas for fuck sake.
3. Creek’s gone and got himself a meddling wife
“This is my husband Jonathan Creek?” – get to fuck. What is this? And secondly, why did we have to endure Jonathan Creek not wearing a duffel coat for so long? He’s got a job in the city now? And is being actively discouraged from magic? And he doesn’t live in a brilliant windmill?! WHO IS THIS HARPEE JONATHAN AND WHY HAS SHE POISONED YOUR MIND?! Discussing with a friend on Twitter we made these fairly knee-jerk but nevertheless accurate statements about her character: she makes egg-white omelettes, likes gluten-free products and irons the sheets. I bet she doesn’t fuck on top either. In other words, not good enough for Jonathan.
4. Exposition as ham-fisted as an Anti-Semitic butcher
Serious one now, some of the early dialogue was beyond atrocious. Character descriptions shoe-horned in with all the subtlety of a rhino raping a swan. That documentarian answering the phone by mentioning her Documentary BAFTA and talking about how time away makes you think about life and stuff? We get it – mysteries ‘n that.
5. Bees?...are you kidding me?
So the whole thing starts with the mystery of this girl dying in a Catholic school with a ring around her head, and all the other girls waking up with similar rings. It was a quite promising start, reminiscent of The Orphanage or any other Spanish horror that deals in Catholicism (read: every Spanish horror). However, when Joanna Lumley said the words: “How were we to know she was allergic to bees?” I fell about laughing. What is this, fucking My Girl? Actually, it’s better than the doctor’s initial explanation, which was that the girl died from “sheer terror” – note, “sheer terror” not often a cause of death.
6. People don’t write messages ON THEIR FUCKING ARM
Right, at one point Sheridan Smith tries to glean some important information – I’d lost interest at this point so can’t remember what exactly – by listening in to someone’s phone conversation and trying to make out the address she’d written on her hand. Now, when I have to write something on my hand, I usually do it fairly small on the back of it, not in gigantic letters with a fucking sharpie over the entire length of my forearm...though, in this instance, it proved rather convenient.
7. Apple Juice is WAY different to petrol.
Right at the end two cops or something – again, wasn’t paying attention – came in to retrieve the mystery episode of Scooby Doo from a tranny and decided to burn the place down. Unfortunately, the petrol was apple juice, which they didn’t realise until dropping the match into it. PETROL SMELLS. SMELLS A LOT DIFFERENT TO APPLE JUICE. EVEN SHITE APPLE JUICE THAT’S BEEN LEFT UNDER A RADIATOR FOR DAYS AND DAYS. The guy poured LOADS of petrol all over the place, he even threw it OVER Jonathan, and everyone was shitting themselves thinking the room was going to go up in flames. Nonsense.
8. Drop Dead Fred uses his chair for kung fu
When Drop Dead Fred aka Rik from The Young Ones aka Lord Flashheart from Blackadder smugly wheels his chair over to the aforementioned cops to reveal his cunning Copella ruse, he then twats the woman in the face with the laptop on his chair. Like that’s a thing that he had built into his chair to prepare for such eventualities. On the plus side, a glib remark I made about said moment got re-tweeted loads, and as we all know, a re-tweet is basically the life-blood on which emotionally stunted 20-somethings like myself thrive on, like hungry rats trawling the sewers for blood.
9. Low budget decapitation?
Has anyone seen the beginning of the hugely underrated comedy Walk Hard? Two kids are playing with machetes and one accidentally chops the other in half. It’s hilarious. Anyway, the same thing happened in Creek, when Neil from the Young Ones couldn’t work his chainsaw properly and it cut his head off.
10. Yes Jonathan, we DO notice the body.
The whole mystery of the episode seemed to hinge on Jonathan Creek saying that the only thing you notice about a person is the head, and that you don’t really care about the body. This is obviously incorrect, as if my head was placed upon a fucking scarecrow, I’d expect a perfect stranger, LET ALONE MY OWN WIFE, to notice that I’d shed a few pounds of bone, muscle and flesh. Also, his head was in a globe. That’s improper.
So there you go, another childhood classic booted down a muddy playing field and left to fester in the rain. Cheers BBC for RUINING EASTER YOU DICKS. Harry out.