Jonathan Creek

Season 2 Episode 2

Time Waits for Norman

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 31, 1998 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Time Waits for Norman
Successful businessman Norman Strangerson appears to be able to be in two places at once, reportedly being seen in the UK when in New York on business. Then Norman dies in a freak accident…

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  • Clever, clever, clever - and one very selfish guy at the back of everything.

    How can a man be on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time? This is the baffling question that faces JC and Maddy, when a guy who can't stand the passage of time is seen in a Wimpy bar in London, whilst supposedly being in New York at a dinner at the same time. The people in New York swear blind he was there and they have no reason to lie. Yet photographic evidence shows him clearly in London.

    Turns out that Norman Stangerson, the man in question, has a very complicated life. He's so worried about time passing that he's come up with a very clever way of making more time for himself.

    It's hard to feel sorry for him, given his reasons are purely selfish, but it's a clever story, well written and with enough little quirks to keep JC fans happy. The way it's worked is perhaps obvious fairly soon into the episode, but it's still fun.moreless
Dermot Crowley

Dermot Crowley

Norman Stangerson

Guest Star

Deborah Grant

Deborah Grant

Antonia Stangerson

Guest Star

Geoff McGivern

Geoff McGivern

Barry Opper

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Maddy says she's going to have a 'shufty' round Norman's room, she hands Antonia an uncooked chicken to "get the lunch on." She goes upstairs, looks in his wardrobe, then in his laundry basket, finding him in the bath, and gives up, going back downstairs, by which time not only is the chicken cooked and ready to carve, but all the vegetables are cooked too. It's feasible that Maddy might have spent a few more minutes looking round upstairs, but a raw chicken and roast potatoes would take a lot longer to cook!

  • QUOTES (7)

    • (Jonathan is showing two waitresses a photo.)
      1st Waitress: No question. Thursday morning. This is the guy, he sent that cup of coffee flying.
      2nd Waitres: I mean you can't go wrong, it's him. Definitely.
      Jonathan: You're absolutely positive.
      Both waitresses: Mmm.
      2nd Waitress: What – has he robbed a bank or something?
      1st Waitress: Or chopped up an old lady? Look at those eyes. Well, I had my doubts when he first came in.
      Jonathan: Interesting. This is a photo of Newt Gingrich: the Speaker of the American House of Representatives.
      2nd Waitress: Brilliant!
      1st Waitress: In our Wimpy?

    • Maddy: 9 o'clock too early?
      Jonathan: Not for me.
      Maddy [snappily]: Let's say 8 then.
      (Next morning.)
      Jonathan: Twenty past ten! Thanks!
      Maddy: It's a bad time of the month.
      Jonathan: You said that 13 days ago.
      Maddy: Yes, all right then, I overslept. Trust you to keep count!

    • Maddy [ of Rebecca ]: Didn't you get suspicious when you were running your fingers through her hair and she wasn't even in the room?

    • (A man is surprised to find Maddy in the gents' toilet.)
      Maddy: Yes, all right. You never see a transvestite before?

    • (Jonathan is tasting several jars of preserves with his fingers.)
      Jonathan: Who makes all the chutney and mayonnaise round here? Your mother?
      Rebecca: Yes… I'd leave that one! It's bull semen.

    • Maddy [ over the phone ]: Jonathan, how you doing? Look I know it's late, I just wanted to say… Oh yes! Rupert, that's incredible. You beast. What are you doing to me? Oh go on, take me! I'm powerless to resist.
      Jonathan: How many men you down to?
      Maddy: Four pawns and a bishop.
      Jonathan: Resign.

    • Maddy [ adopting a seductive tone, as romantic music plays ]: Jonathan, seriously, you and me we're a team. We don't need that kind of friction. A little friction could be quite nice. Hey, seen the time? You've missed your last train. We both know what this means.
      Jonathan [ uncertain ]: Do we?
      (Romantic music stops abruptly)
      Maddy: Six hour wait at that sodding station. Oh well. Find yourself a nice bench. Try not to sit in any vomit, it'll soon go. Isn't that what they say Jonathan? Time flies.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Title: Time Waits for Norman
      This is a rather corny play on words of the famous phrase "Time and tide waits for no man", the origins of which are not wholly clear, though it can clearly be traced back to at least the sixteenth century, and is concerned with the nature of certainty and uncertainty. Quite apt, given the subject matter of the episode.