Jonathan Creek

Season 1 Episode 2

Jack in the Box

Aired Friday 9:00 PM May 17, 1997 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

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Episode Summary

Jack in the Box
Veteran comedy actor Jack Holiday is found dead in a nuclear bunker, shot through the head and with a gun by his side. Jack had crippling arthritis and wouldn't have been able to hold a gun, and the bunker was locked from the inside. Who shot him, and how did the killer escape?moreless

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  • Possibly the finest of the 'locked door' mysteries. A clever plot and a very dark ending.

    Jack Holiday is an old time slapstick actor who's seen better days. He disappears just days after the convicted killer of his first wife is released from prison and is found dead in a nuclear shelter, thirty feet underground, through two locked doors, one of which police have to open with a blowtorch. The place is empty save for his dead body and it seems clear that he has committed suicide, except that he suffered from crippling arthritis and wouldn't have been able to use the gun that's clutched in his hand.

    Enter Maddy and Jonathan to solve an almost impossible mystery. As usual, Jonathan's lateral and literal thinking lead to a solution that is both very clever and (for my money) very disturbing. Not that there isn't the trademark JC humour in the episode, especially in the hotel scene, where even a death threat proves funny.

    One of the best.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Jonathan: Do you know that is absolute crap that is if you actually try it. It is completely and totally impossible to slip on a banana skin. Seaweed no problem. Dog's mess. Piece of cake. You try skidding on a banana peel […] Maybe if I took a run at it. […] Here goes.
      (Jonathan runs up and goes flying)
      Maddy: Well done. You've proved your point about the dog's mess. One more go with the banana peel?

    • Maddy: Such was the media's obsession with the murder of Jennifer Holiday, that Mr Rokesmith here was virtually tried, convicted and sentenced by the tabloid press, who as usual proved themselves to be as inaccurate as they are illiterate.
      Reporter: Can you spell that, please?

    • Maddy: I could have come in here and found you with your throat slit.
      Jonathan: Yeah. I think I saw one of those little sewing kits in the bathroom for just such an emergency.

    • Maddy: You know Jack Holiday shot himself last week.
      Jonathan: Yes. The only thing he's done that made me laugh.
      Maddy: Oh great. The poor man's dead!
      Jonathan: Well I don't suppose that'll stop him overacting.

    • Jonathan Creek: And Trevor?
      Madeline Magellan: Trevor and I were getting on each other's nerves in the end, so I did the mature thing and set fire to his underpants.

    • Jonathan Creek [ of Adam Klaus ]: They took him to the hospital, gave him a brain scan. Didn't find anything. (Chuckles)

  • NOTES (0)