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Jonathan Creek: The 5 best episodes from Alan Davies's detective

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Jonathan Creek is back and this time he's sticking around for a little while.

Yes, after a decade of one-off specials, BBC One's crime comedy-drama kicks off its first series in ten years tonight. In total, there's three new hour-long mysteries for Creek geeks to cherish.

To mark this momentous occasion, Digital Spy has looked back on the past four series (and five specials) to pick out the very best from Alan Davies's amateur detective.

Alan Davies as Jonathan Creek

© BBC


'Jack in the Box' - series one, episode two - first aired May 17, 1997

Jonathan Creek has done more than one locked room mystery in its 17 years on air, but it nailed the formula right out of the gate with series one's superb 'Jack in the Box', which sees a retired comedian shot dead inside a nuclear fallout shelter. The shelter was locked from the inside and the victim's arthritis rules out suicide - so who pulled the trigger?

Jonathan Creek: 'Jack in the Box'

© BBC

Jonathan Creek: 'Jack in the Box'



'Danse Macabre' - series two, episode one - first aired January 24, 1998

The second series of Jonathan Creek opened strong with 'Danse Macabre' - named after the classical music piece which serves as the show's theme tune. In one of Caroline Quentin's strongest episodes, Maddy must tackle a new case with little help from Jonathan. 'Danse' is a smart mystery tale with a most unusual motive for murder.

Jonathan Creek: 'Danse Macabre'

© BBC

Jonathan Creek: 'Danse Macabre'



'Black Canary' - 1998 Christmas special - first aired December 24, 1998

A famous illusionist apparently shoots herself in front of her husband, but a post-mortem reveals that she had already been dead for several hours. More baffling still - there are no other footprints around her corpse, even though the husband saw someone speaking to his late wife and fleeing before she pulled the trigger...

1998's festive Jonathan Creek instalment is the show's first and best one-off special, with plenty of mood, a truly baffling mystery at its centre and the debut of Rik Mayall's superb Gideon Pryke.

Jonathan Creek: 'Black Canary'

© BBC

Jonathan Creek: 'Black Canary'


'Ghosts Forge' - series three, episode four - first aired December 18, 1999

Every grammar obsessive's favourite Jonathan Creek episode, 'Ghosts Forge' has a quality cast, a compelling puzzler of a plot and some terrific Jonathan and Maddie scenes, as Miss Magellan takes the opportunity to play a trick on her partner-in-fighting-crime.

Jonathan Creek: 'Ghosts Forge'

© BBC

Jonathan Creek: 'Ghosts Forge'


'Miracle in Crooked Lane' - series three, episode five - first aired December 28, 1999

Series three was a strong run for Creek and the episode airing immediately after the excellent 'Ghosts Forge' was the equally terrific 'Miracle in Crooked Lane', in which a former glamour model is badly burned in an explosion, yet seemingly reappears unharmed some time later.

'Miracle' is also notable for being the episode in which Jonathan and Maddy finally do the deed - though it's perhaps not the romantic denouement that 'shippers' (as we now know them) had been hoping for...

The explanation for this particular brain-teaser verges on the absurd, but, as with the best of Creek, you're having so much fun that you don't care much, with Davies and Quentin on top form.

Jonathan Creek: 'Miracle in Crooked Lane'

© BBC

Jonathan Creek: 'Miracle in Crooked Lane'


Did we include your favourite Jonathan Creek episode? Or did we miss off the best, most baffling mystery? Share your thoughts below!

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