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Episode guide > Season 1 > House of monkeys

Season 1, Episode 5
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corner imageSummary info
Writer: David Renwick
Director: Sandy Johnson
Original broadcast date: (UK) 7 June 1997 on BBC1
Guest stars
Charles Kay as Elliot Strange
Annette Crosbie as Ingrid Strange
Sara Markland as Cathy Strange
Simon Day as Jordon Strange
Selina Cadell as D.I. Masterson
Barnaby Kay as D.C. Spelling

View guest cast

It's the start of the day in the Strange household. Dr. Elliot Strange picks up his mail, and takes it into his office. In pride of place near his window sits an authentic samurai warrior suit of armour, complete with swords. As he sits at his desk, one of his family's pets comes into the room. It's a gorilla called Samson, who has a passion for paper, Elliot proceeds to feed him some junk mail from Barclay Card!

Elliot Strange lives in the country with his wife (Ingrid), son (Jordon) and daughter-in-law (Cathy). That morning Cathy receives a letter calling her back for a second audition. Apparently the casting directors like the way she made the character so empty-headed! (Let's just say she doesn't have to tried very hard!). Meanwhile Jordon finds out that two of the other primates in the house are expecting a baby! (The Strange's have 14 monkeys!)

Jonathan has a medical examination from Dr. Ingrid StrangeIngrid is a doctor, who used to run a practice with Jonathan's mother before she emigrated. She agreed to give Jonathan the once over every few years, and today is his latest MOT. At the surgery Jonathan has the good old "Cough please" test, and is probed in places I don't care to mention! When told there is tissue if he needs one, he simply wipes his eyes!

Back at the Strange house, Elliot is replying to his post. He has locked the door to his office to stop Samson getting in and eating any important work. He starts to talk into a Dictaphone about some experiments he is conducting at his lab. Then from inside his room we hear Elliot start to shout as if fending off an attacker.

Then Ingrid comes home, and knocks on his office door to get some change for a cab. When he doesn't answer, she goes outside and looks through the window of his office. She finds him lying on the floor with the samurai sword through his back.

The police find it hard to get into Elliot's office to investigate as there are bars on the windows, and the door is locked with the key still in the keyhole on the inside.

Meanwhile Jonathan and Maddy come back to her flat after a short walk. Jonathan once again checks his pulse using a meter which clips to his earlobe. Poor Maddy is red and shattered, while the walk doesn't seem to have affected Jonathan that much! Jonathan then receives a call from Ingrid about her husbands murder, and he and Maddy immediately go to the Strange house.

It turns out Elliot had a few enemies in the world as he performed his experiments on animals. As such he had quite a high profile medical career. The police play the dictaphone tape which had recorded the murder. There is one obvious problem, with the door locked and the windows barred, how did the murderer get out without being seen by Ingrid or the taxi driver? There are no panels or secret passages in the room, so how? Ingrid doesn't know who did it or why, but she is convinced someone murdered her husband, and if the police can't find out who, then maybe Jonathan Creek can!

At this point Jonathan and Maddy arrive, and have a look around the room. Maddy suggests that the murderer was already in the room before Elliot locked the door, and proceeds to look at the samurai armour. It proceeds to crash to the floor! Apparently the police had the same idea, but didn't put the armour back together very well!

Jonathan notices the gash in the tableJonathan notices a heavy gash in the table which also has blood in it. Maddy points out some books which appear to have been thrown across the room from the top book shelf. Jonathan then asks why use books from a shelf you could hardly reach to fend off an attacker? Jordon then offers another explanation, paranormal phenomenon!

Jonathan finds Samson the gorilla on the looIngrid invites Jonathan and Maddy to stay the night as she needs someone sane to live in the house! We then see Jonathan pop to the loo only to find Samson in there! Samson flushes the loo and then washes his hands before leaving - a toilet trained gorilla! Alas Jonathan is then stopped by Jordon who wants to show him something.

Meanwhile downstairs Maddy is talking to Ingrid. Ingrid says she's glad that Jonathan has found someone at last. Just as Maddy starts to protest, she asks Ingrid "why, what's Jonathan been saying?". Ingrid explains it's all in his body language, and involuntary gestures etc. (she's an expert in such matters). Maddy suddenly feels good!

Upstairs Jordon is showing Jonathan a very nice electronic chair which tilts and everything! He then once again tries to convince Jonathan that mysterious forces are to blame for his fathers death. However to any sane person it sounds ludicrous!

Over dinner Cathy gets slightly hysterical complaining that nobody's doing anything to find the murderer. Ingrid does a quick summary, and Jonathan admits that how it was done is a mystery. But what stumps him more is why Elliot was murdered.

Maddy and Jonthan in bedThat night Maddy comes to Jonathan's room on the pretext of discussing the case. After a quick discussion, she climbs into his bed, and she explains what Ingrid told her earlier. But as they start to get familiar, Maddy finds Jonathan's pulse monitor, and starts to get hysterical! What was he going to do measure his pulse while they were having sex?! And besides how dare he assume that she was going to come and simply climb into bed with him! She then proceeds to throw him out of his own bed!

On his way down the corridor to another room, Jonathan encounters Samson. Samson suddenly goes mad, and attacks Jonathan, who falls down the stairs. Samson leaps from the balcony and only just misses Jonathan as he rolls out of the way. Once again Jordon says something strange is going on, perhaps Samson was possessed!

The next morning Jonathan and Maddy clear the shelves, and discover some footprints on them. As if someone has been climbing up the shelves. Cathy still upset leaves the house for a walk, and Maddy takes the opportunity to have a look around her room. She has a theory that Cathy was having an affair with Elliot. While she's gone Jonathan finds an envelope which Samson has chewed on the desk. He then finds a similar envelope in the bin, which has similar hand writing on it, except it has an address of Polo Park Lane. The Strange's live in Pool Park Lane.

Upstairs Maddy finds Cathy's diary, while Jonathan has a look on Elliot's computer for a letter with Polo Park Lane in. Ingrid finds Maddy in Cathy's room, and they then go downstairs. Maddy then reads out an entry from Cathy's diary which confirms Maddy's theory. Cathy and Elliot had a one night stand on Jordon's fancy chair! Ingrid knew about it because of the body language and because Elliot confessed to her!

Jonathan then finds the letter he's been looking for.

The police arrive back at the Strange house, and tell Ingrid that all the finger prints on the sword have been identified as Elliot's and no-one else's. Jonathan then tells everyone he knows who murdered Elliot. They then move to the office and Jonathan proceeds to tell them.

The footprints on the shelves and the gorilla going mad make no sense at all. Especially when there are a perfectly good set of steps, and the gorilla is house trained! What if it's not supposed to make sense? And what connects these two acts of madness?

Jonathan was looking through Elliot's post when he noticed the chewed envelope. Inside was a book written by Elliot Strange which he had signed on the inside. As the envelope was folded in half, Jonathan realised that it was a self addressed job, and looked through the bin for the original letter. The SAE is addressed to a Teresa Tolling, which is an anagram of Elliot Strange, giving the impression there is no such person as Teresa Tolling. Meaning someone had another reason for sending Elliot the book to sign.

The one thing that connects both acts of madness is the SAE. As both Elliot and Samson licked the envelope, Jonathan realises some sort of poison must have been placed on the gummed part of it. Only this poison is also some kind of narcotic. Jonathan's theory then pans out like so.

Dr. Strange licks the envelope that would eventually kill himElliot signs the book and licks shut the envelope. He then starts to talk into his Dictaphone. It's only a matter of time before the poison kicks in, and when it does, Elliot starts to hallucinate. He thinks someone is trying to attack him, to defend himself he grabs the samurai sword and tries to kill the imaginary intruder. In the process the sword becomes wedged in the edge of the desk, and he starts to climb up the shelves to get away from the intruder, throwing the books at them in the process. He then trips, and falls backwards onto the sword, leaving blood in the gash.

Maddy then points out that as the envelope has a made up name how the hell are they going to find out who the murderer was! Jonathan then points out the Polo Park Lane address, and the typing error. The envelope is hand written, suggesting to Jonathan that they copied the address off of a mis-typed address. However Someone wishing to write to Elliot would have written to his publisher who would then simply forward the letter to Elliot. They wouldn't have given out his address any more than he would. So how did the letter get to him in the first place? Well, say the murderer wrote to someone else in the house, say Cathy Strange, actress, saying how good they thought she was. She'd then write back with her address at the top of the letter saying thank you. Except this time she mis-types her address. Jonathan then produces the letter, which is addressed to Alister Tyree.

Jonathan then suggest that if Alister's saliva is the same as on the SAE, and that the police find out he's a paid up liberationist with known drug connects then he wouldn't be at all surprised!

Case Closed.

We then see Jonathan reading out the closing passages in Maddy latest book....(note this is a book she has been working on throughout the series!)

Jonathan takes Maddy's pulse by putting his hand down her shirt"...Within three days forensic investigation confirmed that 23 year old Tyree an unemployed graduate with previous convictions for violent radical activity and drug trafficking, as the missing link in the strange case of Elliot Strange and the house of monkey's. And once again the probing lateral brain of Jonathan Creek had pierced the vale of darkness restoring reason to another seemingly impossible mystery..."

Jonathan clearly isn't impressed, but Maddy plays the guilt trip! Maddy then unwraps the swivel fancy chair Jordon has given her as a thank you for her help in solving the murder (Jonathan also got one!). She then mentions that they "came that close to doing it" at Ingrid's house. She then apologies for getting all bitchy and spoiling it. Jonathan accepts the apology, which means he thought she was bitchy, and she blows up again! Complaining that he can never say the right thing! He then presses the control to tilt the chair back so she is lying down and places his hand down the front of her shirt! Maddy looks like she's enjoying herself, however Jonathan is looking at the clock and then comments,

"110 lying down! You'd better get some exercise!"

He was simply taking her pulse! We see Maddy grab a near by lamp, but not what she does with it!

corner imageGuest cast
Elliot Strange
Elliot Strange
Ingrid Strange
Ingrid Strange
Cathy Strange
Cathy Strange
Jordon Strange
Jordon Strange
D.I. Masterson
D.I. Masterson
D.C. Spelling
D.C. Spelling
Season 1, Episode 5
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