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Dinah Sheridan, Nicholas Ball, Hetty Baynes and Emma Kennedy.
Directed by Richard Holthouse
First transmitted 28th December 1999
Ratings 11.45 million
Former topless tabloid titillation Jacqui Jordan suffers an explosively fatal accident in her garden shed one morning. How, then, could she be up and about later that day, having a conversation with an impeccable witness in Crooked Lane?
The witness, Kathleen Gilmore, is recuperating at the house of a good friend Vincent Rees, after the amputation of her leg. Normally bedridden, Kathleen has made her first trip outdoors on the evening of the mystery. Has she seen a ghost, or an out-of-body manifestation perhaps?
Jonathan Creek succeeds in throwing some light on the problem, with more than a little help from his fan club... [Solution]
Five quick questions to test your knowledge of the episode.
"That was a very strange episode, more so for me because of Tom Goodman Hill, who played the chief fan. He is a thoroughly nice guy, but a very, very funny comic actor. He appeared later in The Office and has done all kinds of other bits and pieces, so he was great company.
"The strangest fan experience I think I had was somebody who wrote to me who had been committed to a hospital for psychiatric care and wrote to Jonathan Creek asking Jonathan Creek to come and get him out. I had this official hospital note paper with doctor's notes on the back - that was the power of television."
"The reason why long-haired duffle coat-wearing fans featured in Miracle in Crooked Lane was really just that look-alikes are always funny. It's just a stock thing.
"It's probably me just being desperate for something funny and thinking, "How can I contrive a situation where there is someone else who looks exactly like Jonathan Creek, or better still' a whole bunch of people who are all dressing like Jonathan Creek?" This then leads you very swiftly on to the notion of an anoraky fan club.
"In One Foot In The Grave I had a similar thought. The device there was an identity parade, so I started an episode with seven people trooping into a room all dressed like Victor Meldrew. Again, it's a funny visual, but it's just a case of finding the rationale for it."
Jonathan (not) Geek:
Jonathan is confronted by a gaggle of Creek wannabes, all dressing like him, growing their hair like him, and attempting to emulate his style of problem-solving. By definition, Jonathan is least geeky bloke in the room (sorry, tent). Jonathan has definitely moved on: when Jeff produces a scale model of the "crime" scene, Jonathan pulls a face at Maddy to indicate how sad and pathetic this is. Yet he himself made a model rather similar to this in the first episode of the show.
Tom Goodman-Hill, who plays Jeff, is perhaps best known to TV audiences as Ray in The Office.
The whole trick is based on fooling the body's Circadian Rhythms. Circadian (Latin for "around a day") rhythms are daily changes in mental and physical characteristics, usually controlled by the body's biological "clock". This triggers the release of hormones that make you feel drowsy when darkness falls. Symptoms of Circadian Rhythms getting out of sync include jet lag.
The Solution: (point your mouse over the space below)
Kathleen didn't see a ghost that evening, simply because it wasn't evening at all, but the morning before, when Jacqui was still alive. Rees had fooled the old lady by rigging lights outside her window to fake longer days and confuse her perception of time.
This was all part of a plan to give Rees the perfect alibi when he later murdered the lover of his ex-wife.
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