GEEKING ON CREEK
Crime Scene conjures up 20 amazing facts, one for each year of mystery, magic and laughs…
Nicholas Lyndhurst and Hugh Laurie turned down the lead role, while Rik Mayall was unavailable. Nigel Planer and Angus Deayton were also considered.
Comedian Alan Davies was cast, despite his minimal acting experience. His first day saw Davies mistaken for a lazy set runner.
Creator David Renwick cast Annette Crosbie ( above) from his sitcom One Foot In The Grave in the Series 1 episode, “The House Of Monkeys”.
Jonathan Creek, a real place in Kentucky, USA, may have inspired the series’ title.
Stage magic was originally a bigger element of the show but that angle was cut back, for budgetary reasons and its lack of relevance to the story arc.
Anthony Head ( left) played magician Adam Klaus in the pilot. However, Head left the show after that, accepting a role in a new US series, Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
The series’ guest stars have included the comedians Bob Monkhouse, Jack Dee, Rebecca Front, Maureen Lipman and Bill Bailey plus, playing himself in Series 3, Jonathan Ross.
For the series, in addition to reading books by Houdini, David Renwick consulted magician Ali Bongo and a special effects designer for Paul Daniels.
In the Series 2 episode “Danse Macabre”, David Renwick himself provided the distorted voice of a killer who’s clad in a skeleton costume and disappears on Halloween.
The late Rik Mayall played DI Gideon Pryke in two episodes, 15 years apart. The character’s first name may be from John Dickson Carr’s protagonist, Gideon Fell.
In Season 2’s “The Scented Room”, the footage of sidekick Maddy Magellan’s old house being demolished was actually recycled from an episode of A Touch Of Frost.
In Series 3 , Renwick gave Creek his own fan club, all of whom wear duffle coats. One Creek geek even questioned the solution to his previous case, “Jack In The Box”.
The legendary BBC producer Verity Lambert, who helped to launch Doctor Who, worked on 20 episodes of Jonathan Creek.
There’s plenty of online fan fiction featuring Creek but no official tie-in novel. In 1999, BBC Books published a guide to their new hit series, entitled The World Of Jonathan Creek, which included a foreword by comedian and guest star Bob Monkhouse.
Whoopi Goldberg got involved as a producer during early plans for an American remake of Creek as her granddaughter was a fan.
David Renwick ( above) made a cameo as a bowtie-wearing TV interviewer, quizzing Franklin Tartikoff (Nigel Planer), in 2013 episode “The Clue Of The Savant’s Thumb”.
Despite its popularity, Jonathan Creek has never been showered with awards. The first series won Creek its first – and last – Bafta in 1998 in the Best Drama Series category.
After the Sherlock Series 2 cliffhanger plunge, Alan Davies impishly claimed the solution could be found in the 1998 Creek episode, “The Problem At Gallows Gate”.
Actor Ross Armstrong, who appeared in a 2014 episode, “The Letters Of Septimus Noone”, has his debut crime novel, The Watcher, published this December.
King’s Mill in Shipley, West Sussex ( right) starred as Creek’s home in the early years. Fans could visit until it was closed to the public in 2009.