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Episode guide > Season 3 > Miracle in Crooked Lane

Season 3, Episode 5
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corner imageSummary info
Writer: David Renwick
Director: Richard Holthouse
Original broadcast date: (UK) 28 December 1999 on BBC1
Filmed in: 16:9 aspect ratio
Guest stars
Dinah Sheridan as Kathleen Gilmore
Nicholas Ball as Vincent Rees
Emma Kennedy as Christine
Tom Goodman-Hill as Jeff
Hetty Baynes as Jacqui Jordan
Benjamin Whitrow as Rupert Clifford-Wright
Frances Low as Daphne
Ben Craze as Colin
William Vanderpuye as DCI Jack Horner
Paul Fuller as Feldman

View guest cast

Maddy looks at a picture of the Jonathan Creek fan clubKathleen Gilmore is a spiritual woman, who has worked abroad as a missionary. She's staying at Vincent Rees's house (a good friend), recuperating after a heart bypass operation, as well as having her leg bitten off by a crocodile. She asks Vincent if he got the photo-shoot in Hawaii. Sadly no, he says. He hands Kathleen a cup of coffee, saying he's made it a bit strong again. She's not complaining, she's having trouble waking up in mornings at the moment.

Christine is sitting outside the local pub eating some crisps and reading the paper. She's the local postman, and she's finished for the day. Vincent comes up and says hello. Actually she should be off - she has to fix lunch for her other half. Before she goes we see Jacqui Jordan walk out of the pub and sit with a group of people on a bench outside. The group get up and leave. Vincent asks what that was all about. Christine hands him a copy of the Sun newspaper. A story inside has the headline "My flings with the famous" and has a picture of Jacqui wearing practically nothing. Jacqui spots him reading the paper and raises her glass to him. He smiles back.

Jacqui goes home to a rather handsome little mansion. She storms into a room complaining to Rupert about the reactions from the villagers. The way she sees it God gave her a beautiful body, he gave it to her for a reason - to bring people pleasure. Something she's given to a lot of famous people it would seem. Rupert is busy cutting out the article from the Sun for his collection. Suddenly a brick is thrown through the window and woman can be heard shouting "Repent" through a loud speaker.

Meanwhile Maddy is in bed reading the article in the Sun whilst eating a curly wurly (a fabulous chocolate bar from Cadbury's). She's at her flat with Jonathan, who is in the bathroom cleaning his teeth. Maddy has the duvet covering her chest, but her shoulders and arms are bare. Maddy is talking about the article, she can't believe some of the stuff in it. Apparently one MP could only get a climax if Jacqui dressed up as a traffic warden and placed fixed notice penalties to his glasses. Maddy says it's like a guy she once went out with. He got turned on by quicksand. He actually asked her if she'd get into a tub of ready break (a breakfast cereal - bit like porridge) fully clothed! Maddy then spots something else interesting in the paper,

"Oh and listen to this, 'On our first date he told me he had a dickie heart. I don't know about a dickie heart, but he certainly had a hearty'-"

Jonathan interrupts her before she can finish the sentence. He then says he can't do this if she's just going to keep yapping. Actually he can't do it anyway,

"Oh come on," says Maddy, "I thought we'd made a break through here. I mean, like we'd agreed. We're just going to go for it. Stop dithering around finally, dive in and see what happened."

"Yes, well, it's very hard to rise to the occasion when you lie there guzzling back curly wurly's. I mean talk about Bessie Bunter," Jonathan replies.

Jonathan finds Maddy's stash of Curly Worly's under her pillowMaddy protests that she is eating only one curly wurly. Jonathan feels behind the pillow and produces six more bars. Maddy says she may get hungry in the middle of the night. Jonathan opens the curtains and points out that it's three O'clock in the afternoon. It's also a bad time for him - mucks up his rhythms. Maddy realises she isn't getting any this afternoon and pulls back the covers to reveal she is in fact fully dressed! She'd just slipped the straps down. Both of them finished getting dressed, putting shirts on etc. Then Jonathan spots a letter on Maddy's dressing table. It tells how someone is delighted that they can both come to the 17th annual mystery writers convention on Thursday, where they will meet members of the Jonathan Creek fanclub. This must be windup surely he says. Maddy thinks it will be great, and look, even Danny DeVito will be there - he's promised to take a break from filming to present one of the awards.

Meanwhile back at the village, a man called Jeff who looks suspiciously like Jonathan is walking down the stairs of his house. Christine parks her bike outside and walks in the back door into the kitchen. She notices he hasn't lifted a finger to help cook lunch by peeling the potatoes and asks what he's been doing all day. She picks up a copy of Maddy's book, and knows the answer. Jeff asks her to be reasonable. She knows the convention is on Thursday and he's going to look a pratt if Jonathan Creek does turn up and he doesn't have any intelligent questions to ask. Christine asks why he had to choose Jonathan as a role model. Jeff tells her it's because he so cerebral, mind like a laser, solves the weirdest mysteries. Such a useful skill, Christine comments sarcastically. It will come in so handy in a village where nothing weird happens at all.

Jacqui asks Rupert if she deserves all the nasty letters she's been getting. He tries to offer comfort, but Jacqui isn't in the mood to be touched. She goes off, cigarette in hand, towards the shed - the lawn looks like it could do with a trim. Christine arrives with a couple of second post letters, one of which Rupert has to sign for. As he's doing so the shed where Jacqui is explodes in a ball of fire. An ambulance is called as is the fire brigade, but it doesn't look good. Jeff takes up a vigil by Jacqui bed in the hospital. She's in a coma, completely covered in bandages and we can't see her face at all. She's on a ventilator and a heart monitor.

The Jonathan Creek fan club all raise their hands so they can ask a questionLater we see Jonathan and Maddy arrive at the mystery writer's convention. Maddy spots Danny DeVito surrounded by a crowd of autograph hunters. Maddy makes her way towards the tent the crowd go into, when they are stopped by a woman. She is the organiser of the convention, and points Maddy and Jonathan towards their tent - the fan club is waiting for them. The tent is considerably smaller. The fans are clearly intense people, all men dressed in duffle coats. All of them have slightly long curly floppy hair of one shade or another. One of them, Colin, wonders if Jack Rocksmith's id was the reason he left the cotton wool behind (see Jack in the Box). As if his id some how wanted to be found out, to show how clever he was. Jonathan is clearly bored and politely suggests they wrap things up. Unless anyone has any more questions, Maddy says. A flurry of hands are raised, and Jonathan's escape is postponed.

Later we see Jonathan posing for pictures with the fans, he's clearly not happy and says he will get Maddy for this. Four hours he's been stuck in a wigwam with a bunch of people who know more about Jonathan than he does. Two of them even live in windmills! The organiser tells everyone that they only have a few minutes before they start again. A late arrival comes along, it's Jeff complete with duffel coat. He shakes Jonathan's hand, and apologises for not coming early, but the weirdest thing has happened.

Jeff asks them if they believe someone can leave their body. How can a woman who's in a coma with half her face burnt off been seen last night on her way to church? The organiser calls them back into the wigwam, but Maddy says something's just come up and they have to leave. They need to get to the village, which isn't far away, but sadly they came by train today. Jeff, says this isn't a problem, he's parked just around the corner, and offers them a lift. We then see Jonathan sitting in the side car to a motorbike with Maddy sitting behind Jeff on the bike itself. Jonathan clearly isn't happy.

At Jeff's house, Christine is ironing. She doesn't recognise Jonathan and asks why he dresses up as someone he's never even met, he's even got the hair for God's sake. Jeff points out her mistake, by showing her the picture on the back of Maddy's book. Jeff asks if they've caught any of the Jacqui Jordan stuff in the papers. She was a model back in the 70s and a professional bed hopper, until she settled down here as a country wife. This morning Christine was round Vincent Rees's house collecting for some flowers. And this is where it gets weird. Kathleen, who is described as England's answer to Mother Theresa, told Christine that she had a chat with Jacqui at 7:30pm last night. Kathleen may be getting on in years, but she's still as sharp as a pin, and has no reason to be lying.

Jonathan and Maddy pop round to see Kathleen. She tells them that she's seen her share of spells and sorcery. "I remember a witch doctor in Bali once. He said he could make a volcano erupt by rubbing a snake. Well of course, when he took me in his hut to show me how it worked."

Vincent then enters Kathleen's bedroom, stopping her from finishing that sentence (but you get the idea, no?). He describes how they first met. When he was a camera man for television, the first documentary he shot was about Kathleen's good deeds - they've been friends ever since. When he heard about her operation, he thought a few weeks in the country might help her out. Last night was the first time she'd been outside the house. She'd been working on her memoirs when at six O'clock Vincent came in and suggested they have tea on the lawn. It was just what Kathleen needed, and it was great until a wasp came along and stung Vincent. He went inside to get something to put on the sting. While he's gone Jacqui appears from a nearby field steeping over a stile, she says hello and Kathleen invites her to have some home made lemon squash. Jacqui says she hasn't heard what all the villagers have been calling her then? "Cheesy flake?" Kathleen replies, offering a plate up to Jacqui. Kathleen then asks her what's she's done that's so terrible. Then guesses that like many young women, she's used her looks to get what she wants and didn't care who she hurt along the way. And now, she's starting to feel some of their pain. Jacqui looks sad and comments that in the seven years she's lived in this village she's never once set foot inside the church. She wonders now if it's too late. Kathleen assures her that if she wants to talk, God is always there to listen. As Jacqui leaves, Kathleen glances at the clock on the church tower. It was just coming up to 7:40. Jeff then says this is where it all goes wrong, because Jacqui has been in a coma since yesterday lunch time.

She had the same clothes on as she went to the hospital in, but they weren't charred or burned. In fact the only thing Kathleen noticed was that the bottom of Jacqui's trousers were slightly damp, only by a couple of inches.

Vincent tells them about Rupert. Rupert worshiped the ground Jacqui walked on. Where she saw the attraction, God only knows. It's like Vincent's wife, she's got a PhD in medieval history, and what does she do? Run of with a man who makes balloon animals. Kind of rips your guts out when it happens, but in time you learn to deal with it.

Back at Jeff's house Maddy asks how they pick the holes in this mystery. Jeff says they need to look at it logically and says that the woman in hospital is clearly not Jacqui Jordan. How does he work that out? Enter Jeff with model of garden complete with shed, and house. He starts to go through the motions of how he thinks it was done. There's a blind spot behind the shed where neither Christine or Rupert could see. This is enough room for Jacqui to sneak out and do a runner - simple. Jonathan interrupts and tries to understand what Jeff is saying. Jacqui has arranged for a woman of the same build, height, hair colour wearing duplicate clothes etc to hide in the shed and then swap places with her, "for what reason exactly?" Jeff suddenly sees the flaw in his logic. Christine realises that this isn't going to get solved in five minutes, so she suggests they sleep on it. They have a spare double bed upstairs, so sleeping arrangements won't be a problem.

Maddy finds herself in bed with Christine, while Jonathan is stuck with Jeff. Neither Maddy or Jonathan are getting much sleep. Jonathan glances at the bedside table, the alarm clock says 3:30am. Jonathan then looks at the window...cue "thinking" face, and suddenly something clicks.

The following day, Christine shows Maddy a picture of a group of Jonathan Creek fans, all dressed in duffle coats and having the floppy hair. Christine has to put up with it morning, noon and night. Not that she has anything against Jonathan himself, he seems quite nice. Maddy agrees, and Christine asks if she did the right thing last night, she just assumed that Maddy and Jonathan were friends..? Maddy assures her it was fine. Jonathan comes into the kitchen and suggests they go and visit Jacqui's husband, Rupert. Christine tells them that if they really want to blow their minds, they should ask to see Rupert's magazines.

Rupert shows Maddy his impressive collection of magazines.At Rupert's, Maddy finds herself flicking through copies of Mayfair. It would seems Rupert's rather extensive collection of magazines are of the soft porn variety. He has every major UK title dating back to the 1970s, as well as international titles. Rupert tells Maddy that he found Jacqui to be perfect. He had no delusions that she married him for anything other than his money, but to him she is a diamond. It may have a few flaws, but it's still a diamond. The phone rings, and he goes off to answer it.

Jonathan hides behind JeffOutside, Jonathan is going over the shed with Jeff. He finds, exactly what he thought he'd find - nothing. Jeff's a little disappointed, but Jonathan is convinced they aren't looking at a switch or duplicate person. But it couldn't have been the same person could it? Jeff says, after all she wasn't the cleverest person in the world was she? Perhaps she didn't need to be, says Jonathan. He then asks Jeff if he was to disappear now, would Jeff find that clever? He tells Jeff to close his eyes and count to three really quickly. He does and when he opens his eyes, Jonathan has completely disappeared. Jeff looks around, but can't see him anywhere, there's only lawn around him, and three seconds isn't enough time to get to the house without being seen. He walks off and we see Jonathan - standing behind him. Jonathan walks off quickly in the opposite direction.

Maddy is still in the house, and asks Rupert if he's got anything with women in quicksand... But then she sees his face and realises he's just been told that Jacqui has passed away. Now Rupert begins to wonder. Did she manage to make her peace with God before she died?

Maddy and Jonathan then move onto the stile where Kathleen saw Jacqui. They walk down the path and compare notes. The explosion at the shed was genuine - so they have to take Kathleen's story with a pinch of salt surely? No, says Jonathan. What was it Maddy said about Kathleen, "Pathologically" honest? That was the whole idea.

They get to the stile to find Jeff already there. He cut across the field rather than walk down the path. Jonathan gets another of his "looks", and walks off towards Vincent's back garden. Meanwhile Maddy tells Jeff that Jacqui has now passed away - blowing a hole in yet another one of his theories. Jeff runs after Jonathan, and asks if someone's pulled off an intricate murder. So intricate, Jonathan says, that they nearly got away with it. The answers to this mystery lies in Vincent's garden. Jeff says Vincent has just popped out, so if he and Maddy want to snoop around, he'll stand guard at the gate.

Jonathan finds what looks like a tire tread from a bicycle in the woods by the side of the house. He's impressed, very clever this guy. Jeff then walks up saying he couldn't resist anymore, and wants to find out if they've found anything. We then see Christine, on her bicycle asking what Jeff is doing snooping around someone else's garden.

She then spots Jonathan and Maddy as she walks toward Jeff. Jonathan says they are leaving. The village? Christine asks. They are off to Scotland Yard, he replies, to try and shed some light on this murder. Murder? Whose been murdered, Christine asks? Right now, Jonathan has no idea...

At Scotland Yard Jonathan tells the police that he has the name of a murderer and the time the murder took place, but doesn't know the name of the victim. The police check their records, and find there was a man murderer at the time they said. He was shot through the temple, and found by his girlfriend on the living room floor. The police found something wrapped around his neck, and hand Maddy a large cardboard box. She takes it, but it's so light, it feels like there's nothing in it. She opens the box and is surprised by what she finds. "I suppose you know what this is without even looking?" she says to Jonathan.

"I've got a pretty good idea," Jonathan replies.

Rupert pops round to Vincent's with a bottle of wine. It isn't long before the police, Maddy and Jonathan join them. Jeff spys the police cars on their way to Crooked Lane, and decides to follow them - he's not going to miss this for the world. Sadly the police catch him and Christine with binoculars outside Vincent's house. They are taken into the house, to hear the wrap up from Jonathan. Jonathan believes Kathleen saw Jacqui in her garden, she a woman of faith, and she has no reason to lie. But perhaps that's the point? What if, she wasn't brought here to recover from her injuries? What if, in fact, she was brought here to become a very convincing alibi for someone who was planning to murder someone in cold blood?

When Vincent said earlier, about the guts being ripped out from you when you lose someone you love, he was talking more about him, than he was about Rupert. Vincent's wife left him, and he decided to get even. How? He goes round and shoots his wife's new boyfriend in the head, and then places one of his balloon creations around his neck. This is what was in the box at Scotland Yard. Vincent covered his tracks, leaving no finger prints at the scene, and when the police got around to questioning him, he would be able to wheel out Kathleen, who would swear blind he was at home at the time of the murder.

However, when they were outside having tea, it wasn't 19:30, it was 07:30 in the morning. Kathleen protests, saying she can tell what time of day it was. But this was cold blooded murder, Jonathan says. Thinks about it, Kathleen has been unable to leave her bed without help, stuck in a room - her whole concept of time is up for grabs. For a former camera lighting man, making it appear like daylight through a pair of net curtains isn't difficult. A bit of scaffolding, and some lights is all that's needed. The trees by the house, shield the scaffolding from prying eyes.

Kathleen asks Vincent to tell her it's all lies. But he can't. Every morning he would shift her day forward one hour, so by Wednesday she was 12 hours out. Okay her body was telling her something was wrong, her rhythms are out, like a bad case of jet lag. Come Wednesday, she's been awake all night, and thinks it's late evening. If that wasp hadn't sent Vincent inside, the conversation with Jacqui might never have taken place. Later on, Vincent slips a couple of sedatives into her tea so she sleeps through to Thursday morning. Now she's back on real time, and all that needs doing is the scaffolding taking down, leaving no trace, except for a rut in the ground where his power cables had been (they weren't bicycle tracks at all).

So Jacqui had already been to church that morning, before the shed accident. She'd already made her peace. Rupert decides to leave at this point, and the police take Vincent away.

Walking back to Jeff's house, Maddy is talking with Christine and Jeff with Jonathan. Jeff is wondering how he wasn't able to see it. Jacqui's damp trouser legs - obviously from the dew on the ground. Jeff asks if they are stopping again this evening, but Jonathan says they are going to stay in a hotel.

Meanwhile Christine is telling Maddy that Jeff may soon get his marching orders. After seeing the real Jonathan Creek, well, there's just no comparison is there? Technically Jonathan is available, and Maddy decides to help her by telling her what turns Jonathan on.

Jonathan and Maddy lie in bed togetherThe following morning Jonathan and Maddy wake up in the same bed..

"Well, we finally did it," Maddy says.


"We won't be doing it again."

"Probably not."

"It was like. I dunno, making love to your favourite Uncle."

"Which is something you should never do."

"Not without consulting your Auntie. Though on the other hand, we were both very tired."

"We were..."

"Funnily enough, I'm not now."

"No? Well I suppose-" Jonathan says turning to Maddy - he doesn't get very far as the phone rings. It's Christine, she needs to see him urgently.

Christine tries to turn Jonathan on by getting into a bath full of porridgeJonathan arrives at her house, and she tells him she's upstairs, and to come on up. Jonathan walks upstairs, and finds a load of empty porridge oats packets on the floor. He opens the bathroom door to find Christine sitting fully clothed in a bath full of porridge trying to look inviting. You must be joking he says. Jeff then comes in the front door. Christine panics, wondering why he's home at this time of day. He comes upstairs and finds Christine in the bath, and Jonathan looking at her opened mouthed. He proceeds to beat Jonathan up, calling him a sick b£%&£*d.

Later we see Jonathan and Maddy walking down a road, Jonathan has a number of bruises on his face. Maddy says she was trying to do him a favour. She thought Christine would be so repulsed by the idea that she wouldn't fancy him anymore. But look on the bright side, it looks like it's perked up Christine and Jeff's relationship. Christine may see Jeff in a more assertive light? Maddy then suggests they get a couple of bottles of wine, and make a night of it. Jonathan doesn't say a word and walks off towards the train station, clearly going home. Alone.

corner imageGuest cast
Kathleen Gilmore
Kathleen Gilmore
Vincent Rees
Vincent Rees
Jacqui Jordan
Jacqui Jordan
Rupert Clifford-Wright
Rupert Clifford-Wright
DCI Jack Horner
DCI Jack Horner
Rupert Clifford-Wright
Season 3, Episode 5
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