Jonathan Creek

Season 1 Episode 4

No Trace of Tracy

Aired Friday 9:00 PM May 31, 1997 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

No Trace of Tracy
Rock legend Roy Pilgrim is accused of murdering a young fan seen entering his home. However, Pilgrim was chained to his radiator at the time and claims not to have seen the girl arrive.

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  • A young woman is seen entering the house of famous musician Roy Pilgrim. Yet somehow, although she goes through the door on one side, she doesn't appear on the other!

    Cue another wonderfully preposterous case for Maddy and Jonathan - complicated by the fact that Jonathan is a lifelong fan of Edwin Drood and Roy Pilgrim (so he's mortified to discover Roy watches The Waltons!)

    Clues to the disappearance include a power-dressing fiancee, an eco-religious group of literal tree huggers, identical speaker cabinets, a red-bellied frog and Noah's ark!

    It's a cleverly written mystery and as usual relies on a very unlikely but feasible explanation. Comedy comes in the form of Maddy's best friend and her hulk of a boyfriend - there's even a possible sexual frisson between Jonathan and her. More comedy comes from the tree hugging and seeing Maddy and JC propped precariously in the branches of an oak tree for an interview.

    Far fetched as ever, but entertaining.moreless
Ralph Brown

Ralph Brown

Roy Pilgrim

Guest Star

Heather-Jay Jones

Heather-Jay Jones

as Heather Jones) (Tracy Cook

Guest Star

Geraldine Alexander

Geraldine Alexander

Francine Faraday

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • After the police have taken away Roy Pilgrim, and Jonathan, Maddy and the Flowers wonder what to do next, Jonathan suggests going in by the back gate. As the only person in the house at that time was Francine, who is taken by surprise by their presence, how did they get through the iron gate? We see several times that it is protected by a key code and voice entry system.

    • The character of Roy Pilgrim must have been a Dickens fan. His rock band was called Edwin Drood, after the last, unfinished Dickens novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Pilgrim's home was called Bleak House, just like Dickens' ninth novel.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Maddy and Jonathan have just witnessed the 'tree-hugging'.)
      Maddy: Do you do this sort of thing regularly then?
      Polly Flowers: Since I met Jacob, eighteen years ago now. It's a really liberating experience.
      Jacob Flowers: Especially for Polly, who grew up in east London.
      Maddy: Really? Which part – Barking?

    • Maddy: Now, do you want to pick us out a bottle of something?
      (Maddy goes back to cooking over a very high, flaming heat.)
      Jonathan: Any particular one? What's this?
      Maddy: Oh, petrol.
      Jonathan: Petrol!
      Maddy: Well I'm not going to leave it in the car overnight. Things get nicked.
      Jonathan: I'll put it out in the hall, shall I? With the canisters of napalm.

    • Jonathan [ noticing smoke coming from Maddy's oven ]: Is that supposed to be doing that?
      Maddy [ opening oven from which thick smoke belches out ]: Two more minutes.

    • Jonathan: If she calls me Abracadabra once more I may go berserk with that emery board and file down her face till it resembles a hard-boiled egg.
      Maddy: Don't let her rattle you; it's just Sheena's way. I think she quite likes you actually.
      Jonathan: I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed sharing the backseat with Mr Biceps, who expands like a gas to fill any available space. I could feel the pulse in his thigh right through my trousers.

    • Jonathan [on entering a very smokey kitchen at Maddy's]: I was just reminded of that quote by Robert Oppenheimer: 'I am become death, the destroyer of worlds'.
      Maddy: Overdid the croutons slightly. Don't be funny.
      Jonathan: Overdid the croutons slightly? It's like Gandhi's funeral pyre in here!

    • Madeline Magellan: Less of the pedanticism, just eat.
      Jonathan Creek: The word is pedantry.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Hocus Pocus Junior
      This is the book that Sheena gives to Jonathan on her untimely arrival at his windmill, and which he describes as one of the first books on magic. Originally published in 1634, and subtitled The Anatomy of Legerdemain, it was the first illustrated book in the English language to be devoted to the subject of magic. Its author is unknown, although some suggest it was written by William Vincent.

    • Jonathan : I'm just reminded of that quote by Robert Oppenheimer: "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."
      Jonathan is referring to the famous scientist (1904 - 1967), often known as 'The Father of the Atomic Bomb', who was part of the Manhattan Project in the 'forties aimed at splitting the atom and developing the first nuclear bomb. After the first test, which Oppenheimer dubbed 'Trinity', when the bomb was exploded, he thought of a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy book. The quote above, he admitted years later had also come to him - although widely attributed to him, they are not his own words, but are again taken from the Bhagavad Gita. At the time of the first explosion, he apparently only exclaimed: "It worked!"