Jonathan Creek-Series 2 (1997)
|Category||TV Series||Production Notes-Production Notes Booklet|
|Year Of Production||1997|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|RPI||?||Music||Julian Stewart Lindsay|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Series 2 of Jonathan Creek once again finds over-eating investigative journalist Madeleine "Maddie" Magellan (Caroline Quentin) working with brilliant Jonathan (Alan Davies) to investigate the ghoulish murder of a famous writer, whose attacker disappeared into thin air after taking the author's daughter hostage. Enjoying some publishing success of her own, Maddie finds herself intertwined with well-known locked-room mysteries from around the country that only Jonathan's brilliant mind can unravel. Solving these mysteries is only part of the appeal of this very intelligent and very enjoyable show - the well-written and very funny interactions between the two and their surrounding characters (including Stuart Milligan taking up the role of Adam Klaus, the magician Jonathan works for) as each story unfolds makes the show very entertaining and satisfying to watch.
This series features one of my very favourite and most dazzlingly simple Jonathan Creek mysteries; in "The Scented Room", an expensive painting goes missing in a closed room before the very eyes of several onlookers. When Maddie and Jonathan are called into investigate, it is revealed that the painting's owner is a critic who mauled one of Adam Klaus's shows; within minutes, Jonathan smugly solves the mystery of where the painting has gone and how it was taken, but declines the reward money offered, happily telling the owner "I know exactly what happened to your painting; I'm just not going to tell you."
There's not a single poor episode in the entire second series of the show, featuring a fantastic two-part mystery involving a young man's suicide and a later murder in which he is witnessed to be the perpetrator, and a fascinating finale focusing on the assassination of a judge in a completely sealed room. The characters remain true and great fun to watch (a scene in which Maddie consumes an octopus cooked in its own ink goes nearly uncommented upon, yet remains one of the funniest scenes in the series) and both the plot and mysteries maintain an intelligence rarely seen on television. As a rare show by and for clever people, there's little better than Jonathan Creek.
The video transfer is very varied, often featuring a high level of grain in particularly light and particularly dark scenes, though remains sharp and bright throughout, with high levels of detail but many issues with film artefacts. Fortunately, there are no problems with interlacing in this set as seen in the first, which suggests these were mastered from the R2 originals instead of the NTSC R1 discs.
These are dual-layer discs, with the layer change occurring between episodes.
There are English subtitles, which are accurate based on the sample of scenes I viewed with them.
Jonathan Creek features effective but unexceptional sound, with the excellent main theme booming lovingly through the stereo as each episode begins before taking a backseat to the superb, perfectly-synced dialogue. All audio is well mixed and audible, as is important in a show like this in which the small details can make a big difference. Although full surround would be better, its absence is not noticeable.
The distinctive theme tune is an arrangement of Camille Saint-SaŽns' Danse Macabre by Julian Stewart Lindsay, who composes the excellent, often intense orchestral underscore throughout the series.
|Surround Channel Use|
With the exception of one annoyance with the video transfer, both the video and audio transfers are fine but not exceptional.
Booklet aside, there are no extras.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Logitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Logitech 5500 THX|
|Speakers||Logitech 5500 THX|