Jonathan Creek Review: The Judas Tree
JONATHAN CREEK: Sunday 4th April, BBC1, 8pm ALERT ME
A disappearing cottage, a dodgy old bloke in a field and an Egyptian curse: JC really has got his work cut out this Easter. Rather than giving the hairy sleuth a new series, the BBC seem to have crammed a series worth of mystery into a one-off special. But we’re not complaining, we love a bit of Creek.
Whodunnits are so common on TV these days that even EastEnders has been getting in on the act, yet what Alan Davies and David Renwick have always given us is something much tastier – a howthehelldunnit.
When Miss Summerton (who has already experienced some pretty weird goings on in her life) takes a job at a stately home, she is warned by the housekeeper not to get too close to the charming lord of the manor. Apparently a young Egyptian maid did in the 1800s and ended up putting a curse on him after he spurned her. Unsurprisingly he mysteriously snuffed it pretty quick.
But more about that later, in the present day young Miss Summerton bumps into Jonathan Creek at the bus stop and starts pouring her heart out about that, the man in the field all those years ago and the fact that someone is now sending death threats to her current employer. Are you still with us?
As you can imagine, a right tangle ensues and soon a distant-looking Creek and his latest assistant Sheridan Smith (fresh from a highly acclaimed shift in the West End) are getting their teeth into a plot which is outlandishly diverse. You might even have to check this one out again on the iPlayer just to get your bearings.
Ironically enough, The Judas Tree branches in several different diretions at once, but fans of the show will be pleased to see that the writer hasn’t lost his macabre knack of storytelling. Indeed when the delightfully pitched Adam Klaus starts having his obligatory PR nightmare, it feels just like old times.