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Brian Murphy, Nicola Walker, Leonard Kavanagh and Marcus Gilbert.
Directed by Keith Washington
First transmitted 21st February 1998
Ratings 10.92 million
Forrest Sweetland, the judge presiding over the trial of a group of Chinese gangsters, is murdered right under the noses of the police security detachment guarding him on the night before sentencing.
The man seems to have been murdered by a rapier-like blade, judging by the wound WPC Fay Radnor finds to his heart, but the only unusual object found at the murder scene is a torn fingernail.
Meanwhile, whilst researching the history of The Mother Redcap, an inn where several men had died of fright over the years, Maddy discovers the body of a vagrant woman, one of her fingernails torn off. Jonathan thinks he can connect the two mysteries, with shocking results... [Solution]
Five quick questions to test your knowledge of the episode.
"[The strange inn reminds me that] we once stayed at a hotel in Darlington when we were filming Jonathan Creek. The whole crew were staying there [and] the manager of the hotel came out and led me all the way through the corridors [until] we found this room.
"He opened the door, proudly stood in the doorway, and said: 'Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee slept in here.' I didn't really know if that was supposed to help me get a good night's sleep or not. I felt a little bit uncomfortable, staring at a bed and being told that!"
When Maddy stupidly shrinks her clothes in the wash, Jonathan tells her, "you should never tumble-dry a cotton and linen mix." True, real men do their laundry, but only someone as anally retentive as Jonathan could dish out Persil-perfect advice on the subject.
If the cap fits:
The name Mother Redcap (or Old Mother Redcap) was a title applied to "ale wives" who brewed the beer in beer houses. The most famous of these appears to be linked to a band of 'wreckers' - smugglers who would lead ships to their doom before plundering their cargo. For more on Mother Redcap, check out the legend. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
You will have seen the teapot-in-front-of-the-genitals gag from this episode used to great effect in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. But which came first? Well, Austin Powers was released in 1997, and Mother Redcap was broadcast in February 1998.
There's an odd continuity error in this episode. Jonathan looks at the estate agent's leaflet for The Mother Redcap, and the address of the pub is given as 1, Leek St, London N18. Later in the same scene, the leaflet is shown again, but this time the postcode is E2. Well, there's a puzzle for Jonathan: how could a pub move from Edmonton to Bethnal Green? Incidentally, Leek St does not exist.
The Solution: (point your mouse over the space below)
Fay Radnor, upset that Sweetland had quashed the convictions of men who killed her police officer brothers in a separate incident, collaborated with the Chinese gang to kill him. They provided her with a clock radio rigged to shock the judge to death. Radnor had also been provided with a needle-like weapon concealed up her sleeve, which she used to finish off the job.
Jonathan had deduced that electrocution was involved from his experience at the Mother Redcap pub. The landlord had electrified a portion of the floor to kill men who had been unfaithful to their wives - for a price. Radnor had reached the same conclusion after visiting the abandoned pub during a routine patrol. She had discovered the vagrant woman, whose torn fingernail had then been accidentally dropped at the crime scene.
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