Jonathan Creek

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (116)

  • Gideon Pryke: I can smell guilt on a man like dung on a donkey.

  • Jonathan: Adam – he’s been rushed to hospital. Maddy: Gallstones? Jonathan: His bride to be tried to beat him to death with a poker. Adam [in hospital]: Will I never learn, Jonathan, to read those signs? Jonathan: What happened? Adam: Our first prenuptial adventure. She steps out of the shower, naked before me for the very first time. And suddenly, do you know what I’m staring at? Maddy: I think we’ve got a shrewd idea. Adam: To find threaded through an intimate area of your fiancee’s body a ring is challenging enough. To find upon that ring a small nickel-plated swastika takes me somewhere I don’t want to go. Jonathan: You’re not serious! Adam: It appears the blonde, blue-eyed Elsa was of more conservative stock than I imagined. A Nazi. Suddely all those black shirts were making sense. At that point things got ugly. Anti-fascist polemic does not make for great foreplay. Then she began sadistically beating me with fireside equipment.

  • Maddy [ on the fact Marella had a twin ]: They kept that one quiet! Jonathan: Well they're hardly going to put it in the programme notes are they? NB: Whilst miraculously escaping from a locked trunk tonight, Miss Carney will be assisted by her twin sister, Beryl! Anyway that was all before the accident of course. Maddy: What accident? Jonathan: It's a bit on the grizzly side, probably best not to discuss. Maddy: What accident? Jonathan: I don't know if you’ve got the stomach for it. Maddy: I've got the stomach. Don’t give me that macho protective number. Jonathan: Rehearsal one day for one of their big routines, her sister Beryl's tied to a bench with an electric buzz saw coming at her. Mechanism jammed, the thing just kept coming. She was literally sawn in half. Maddy: Ohhhh! My God! Jonathan: Lengthways. Maddy: Oh my… Aaargh! Ugh!

  • Jonathan: Maddy's like a comfortable old sweatshirt that you are happy to put on day after day.

  • Jonathan [ on seeing Adam in his 'frog' as opposed to 'frock' coat ]: This is it now is it? Through the swirling fog of Victorian London, a young girl is slashed to ribbons by Toad of Toad Hall!

  • Jonathan [ on a missed romantic opportunity ]: Charlotte Carney, who I desired more than oxygen, asks me into her flat at one o'clock in the morning? I'm sorry there's got to be some kind of catch. "Oh I don't think you've met my fiancé Crispin, he's got two penises and his own airline." Or the other one: I whisper I love you in her ear – she attacks me with a fire extinguisher. No thank you. I can do without that kind of humiliation. Adam Klaus: I've often felt your love life would make a fine play by Samuel Beckett.

  • Carla [picking up a copy of Maddy Magellan's book]: Is this the woman you… Jonathan: Correct. Carla: So where is she no... Jonathan: Texas. Some publishing junket. Carla: And… Jonathan: Just the once in a hotel room, which we realised was probably a mistake. Carla: Do you know, you can be so… Jonathan: Pre-emptive? Yeah, well that was the problem.

  • Adam: Well you said on the 'phone you'd been living for the last two years in Norway. Kenny: Er… In a doorway. (At the theatre next day.) Jonathan: You see, this is what happens when you encourage a person with no talent. Not only have you completely screwed up this guy's life – reduced him to the level of a cave dweller. Now I've got to pretend to work with him to repair the damage. I mean the man's barely got two brain cells to rub to… Kenny! How you doing? Finding your way round okay? Kenny: Listen, I've got a great new bit for the TV series. You know how those guillotine tricks always suck on the telly? Like you never really believe the blade actually goes through. So how about this? We find some guy with a terminal illness, okay? Probably could do with a bob or two for his next of kin. And… we cut his head off! Jonathan: It's a thought, isn't it, Adam? Prime-time euthanasia. Just what the BBC are looking for to spearhead the autumn schedule.

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Notes (35)

  • Det. Insp. Gideon Pryke was named after Gideon Fell, a character created by John Dickson Carr, who wrote many "locked-room" mysteries. Pryke was the name of a reporter who once interviewed David Renwick for a job.

  • All of the snow in the episode was completely false, made up of a mixture of foam and shredded paper.

  • David Renwick originally wrote the episode with the character of Maddy in it, but Caroline Quentin declined to appear, as she was trying for a second baby. She may have been available later, but the BBC wanted to put this episode out in time for Christmas, so Renwick had to go away and write in the new character of Carla Borrego.

  • The Puttini Sisters are named as such in the alphabetical list of guest stars in the opening credits; they are credited individually in the closing credits.

  • Jonathan Creek is actually a real place in Kentucky, by the Kentucky Lake next to Aurora in the USA. David Renwick and his wife drove through it whilst on holiday, and he stored the name away for future reference.

  • Maddy's fourth floor flat in season one was also the block of flats used in the series Crime Traveller.

  • The windmill, home to Jonathan Creek, is actually Shipley Windmill, which is around 8 miles south west of Horsham in West Sussex. They use it for both the interior and exterior shots - the interior being specially dressed for the episodes. The windmill itself is open to the public at certain times.

  • The magician Adam Klaus was originally to be called Adam Faust, until the production team discovered there was a real magician out there with that name.

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Trivia (40)

  • When Jonathan and Maddy are walking through the snowy wood, they stop just short of the footprints that lead to the den. The footprints that we then see are left by the limping man, who by all accounts drags one foot. Yet the prints leading to the den are almost identical – left and right – whereas one set should obviously look like a continuous print, if a leg had been dragged through the snow. Similarly, when the two of them arrive back at Maddy's car to discover the broken window, there is no evidence of prints leading to the car itself.

  • ***Spoiler Warning*** During the flashback reveal, where 'Marella' admits to Hannah that she is really Beryl and therefore Hanna's mother, Susannah Hamilton's (Hannah) hairstyle changes several times during what is supposedly the same conversation.

  • Marella is supposed to have killed herself by putting a rifle in her mouth and pulling the trigger. There were several odd things about the situation, such as the disappearing footprints, but a suicide of that kind would certainly have produced a lot of blood. As she was discovered in the snow, someone would surely have wondered why there was no red anywhere of any kind – even if it wasn't obvious to the husband, the police or paramedics should have noted it.

  • Towards the beginning of the episode, Carla is annoyed by a man for whom she holds the door, whilst exiting a store. She has several bags in her hands. She chases after him and transfers some bags to her left hand. When she catches him up, she grabs him, with an empty left hand.

  • During the 'Psycho' illusion, as Adam Klaus is stabbing the woman in the shower, the shadow of his victim can be clearly seen stepping down into what is presumably a trick space under the apparatus, which sort of ruins the routine.

  • Jonathan & Madeline are in a restaurant for lunch; Jonathan says he can't watch people eating raw onions - then the long shot shows raw onion rings on his plate.

  • When Rokesmith's sister arrives at his cottage, we see her through the cottage window carrying her handbag and a large blue and gold coloured bag. Yet when she arrives in the cottage itself, she has only her handbag slung over her shoulder.

  • There are several things that don't make sense with the nuclear shelter: the toilet's plumbing hasn't been fixed yet, but there is a drain hole in the floor. The bunker is hermetically sealed in the middle of a cliff and lined all round with 50cm of concrete – where is the waste from an ordinary toilet supposed to go? And since when was building something that is supposed to withstand a nuclear blast inside a cliff face a good idea, since cliffs themselves are constantly eroding and wouldn't stand much chance faced with a few megatons? Then there's the door: armour-plated apparently and meant to cope with anything – yet police are able to get through it with a blowtorch.

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Allusions (57)

  • Title: Black Canary. This is the nickname given to to Marella Carney and obviously a play on her surname. However, at the start of the episode, we see a huge figure of a statuesque blonde decorating the hallway to the Carney house. This is an allusion to and near-copy of the DC Comics heroine, The Black Canary, who first appeared in 1947 as part of the Justice Society of America, and whose special power was a high pitched cry that could shatter glass and sort out villains at the same time.

  • Gideon Pryke: Maybe this is all a pack of lies dreamed up by our friend, Mr Bellenitis. Can you really take the word of a man named after an inflammation of the foreskin? A clever little play on words, though Pryke is not far wrong. He’s alluding to balanitis, which is indeed an inflammation of the foreskin and very painful by all accounts!

  • Jonathan: What am I? Jack 'The Hat' McVittie? Said as Maddy has asked Jonathan to dispose of a cockroach by hitting it with a spade. Jack 'The Hat' McVittie was a London East End gangster in the 1960s, and part of the Kray gang, run by identical twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray. In October 1967, Ronnie persuaded Reggie to kill McVittie, as he had stepped out of line. Reggie stabbed him in the eye and their brother Charlie hid the body (so well that it has never been found).

  • Carla's boyfriend is called Vernon Spools, which causes great hilarity in the episode, because people assume he's given her a false name. For those who may not understand the joke (which is especially British), this is an allusion to the famous British betting company, Vernons Pools – the Pools being a way of betting on the outcome of football matches to win large amounts of money.

  • Jonathan: Anklet. What are you, Barbara Stanwyck? This is a reference to the famous actress, particularly in her role in Double Indemnity, where she played the character of Phyllis, a conniving woman who persuades an insurance salesman to kill her husband, having taken out a large life insurance policy on him. During the scene where she is seducing the salesman she is famously sporting a 'honey' of an anklet, which was at the time seen as rather sleazy and daring.

  • Herman Grole: Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. Herman is quoting from Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem, The Raven, which is a fitting reference as it is about loss and despair.

  • The name "Jacques Futrelle" is taken from a real-life writer of mystery stories who had some success in Europe and America in the early years of the twentieth century, although he is largely forgotten now.

  • Poster: Maskelyne Another one on Jonathan's wall and a hero of his. John Nevil Maskelyne (1839 – 1917) was a descendant of the Astronomer Royal, and teamed up with George Alfred Cooke to present a unique entertainment of magic. They presented their shows at the Egyptian Hall Piccadilly from 1873 until 1904, and transformed the art of conjuring into something more dramatic and special.

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