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Jonathan Creek

Season 2 Episode 4

The Problem at Gallows Gate, Part One

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 14, 1998 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Problem at Gallows Gate, Part One

A young woman is strangled in the woods. A witness claims the murderer is the murdered woman's ex-boyfriend, but he committed suicide three weeks before.

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  • This is the ultimate Jonathan Creek episode, the definitive episode.

    This two-part episode will always remain, in my mind, as the classic Jonathan Creek mystery. It is perfect in every respect of the word. It begins at a birthday party, where we are introduced to the character Duncan Proctor (Alistair Petrie), the birthday boy. At this party we go on to learn that his girlfriend is actually sleeping with his best friend. Upon making this discovery, Duncan becomes furious and screams at the two of them, after which he proceeds to climb up on the railing of the balcony, and walks along it. Duncan, who can see the point in living any more, jumps off the balcony and plummeted to the ground below. His body is found and he is taken away. Suicide.

    Time passes, and we now see Jonathan Creek and Adam Klaus. Klaus' sister, Kittty, has just arrived, and Adam, begrudgingly, has to look after her, but he soon thrusts her onto Jonathan to look after.

    Jonathan, Maddy and Kitty go on a badger watch in the woods. It is here that Kitty, when answering a call of nature, makes a startling discovery. In the nearby house, she sees a man strangling a woman. She informs Jonathan, and he and Maddy go out to the house to investigate, coming across the body of a woman. The girlfriend of Duncan Proctor.

    Jonathan, Maddy, and Kitty are then interrogated by the police, where the detective produces a photograph, asking Kitty if she recognises anyone as being the killer. She does. Instantaneously. The woman's friend is asked to identify the man in the photograph, to which she responds, "No, she must be mistaken. This man couldn't possibly have killed her. (Detective) And why's that? (Friend) Because that man is Duncan Proctor, he killed himself jumping off a balcony two weeks ago..." And so ends Part 1. I won't spoil the story here, but the solution is well worth it.

    A true classic, definitive episode of Jonathan Creek. Simply not to be missed.

Clarke Peters

Clarke Peters

Hewie Harper

Guest Star

Jennifer Piercey

Jennifer Piercey


Guest Star

Jessica Lloyd

Jessica Lloyd

Clare Sallinger

Guest Star

Stuart Milligan

Stuart Milligan

Adam Klaus

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Maddy: Your what?
      Jonathan: My badger watch.
      Maddy: Is that like a Mickey Mouse watch?
      Jonathan: My local natural history group. Couple of times a year after dark we put some food down, then we all go and sit in a hide and wait for the badgers to come out and feed.
      Maddy: Why?
      Jonathan: They're very fascinating creatures. You should come along sometime. Check it out.
      Jonathan: So it's like… country stuff?
      Jonathan: Right. country stuff. And on the other hand it does involve a lot of patience and the need to stay silent for a very long time, so it's probably not your scene.
      Maddy: Meaning what?
      Jonathan: Sorry?
      Maddy: Meaning because I'm an intolerant gasbag who can't keep her trap shut for more than five seconds at a time? [ long pause ] No is the word you're struggling for!

    • (Maddy is about to break into the house where Kitty has seen a strangulation.)
      Jonathan: I think we're jumping to a lot of conclusions. He might have been performing strangulation as an act of love to heighten her state of arousal. Some people are into all that stuff – restricted breathing and sex between consenting asthmatics. It's a well known fact.
      Maddy: Will you quit gibbering? Where's your civic responsibility? Every second could be vital.
      (Jonathan walks off in a huff.)
      Kitty: What did he mean by that? To heighten her state of arousal?
      Maddy: Ignore him, he's being sick.
      Kitty: Oh, not on the lupins!

    • Jonathan: What have you brought a camera for? You can put that away for a start.
      Maddy: Why?
      Jonathan: Because it's too dark
      Maddy: It's got a flash.
      Jonathan: A flash! Oh the badgers are gonna love that aren't they? What are they supposed to think – it's a very large glow-worm?

    • Hewie Harper: We have a table booked at the Bombay Brasserie for 11.00
      Kitty: Oh, it's not Chinese food is it? If it is you'll have to count me out I'm afraid.
      Adam: Well it's kind of Chinese.
      Maddy: What do you mean? It's nothing like Chinese. Indian food, Kitty. You like a curry, don't you?
      Kitty: Curries I'm fine with. It's all that Ho Chow Mein stuff. Always gives me the burps.

    • Kitty [ proffering a thermometer to Petra ]: Pop this under your tongue. It's rectal, but it's clean.

    • Adam Klaus: Kitty! What an unexpected thrill.
      Kitty: Hello, Chester. How are you? [ kisses him ] Och, you've got lipstick all over you now. Come here. [ licks handkerchief and rubs his lips with it ]
      Adam: Thank you. Now I've got lipstick and your spit all over me.

    • Jonathan [ over the 'phone ]: How could you not have got my message. I distinct… I dunno, about 10.30. Some guy answered. Said he wasn't expecting you back for another hour.
      Maddy: Yes that would have been the burglar, Jonathan.
      Jonathan: Burglar? Oh you're kidding. He said he was there doing something to your computer.
      Maddy: Yes. He was stealing it.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Maddy: Oh great. Z Cars have made it.
      A reference to the British TV series, which ran for 667 episodes from 1962 to 1978. It was one of the first police dramas to represent a more realistic view of police work and one of the very last series to be regularly screened live (till as late as 1965). The 'Z' came from the fact that most of the cars in the series were Ford Zephyrs or Ford Zodiacs and the popular theme tune was based on Johnny Todd, a traditional folk song, arranged by Fritz Spiegel.

    • Jonathan: Basically it's an inversion of Pepper's Ghost.
      Pepper's Ghost is an illusion using mirrors, which can make objects seem to appear or disappear, or make one object morph into another. Possibly the most famous version of this trick is seen in the Walt Disney 'Haunted Mansion' attractions. John Henry Pepper's name is permanently tied to the effect, though it was actually invented originally by Henry Dircks, as the Dircksian Phantasmagoria. Pepper merely adapted the trick to make it workable in theatres.