|Original broadcast date:||(UK) 8 March 2003 on BBC1|
|Filmed in:||16:9 aspect ratio|
Jack Dee as Dudley Houseman
Sophie Thompson as Dorothy Moon
Caroline Carver as Sally Ellen Oakley
Edward Hayes-Neary as Angus
Trevor Peacock as Henry Houseman
Marie Boyle as Maria
Adrian Edmondson as Brendan Baxter
Tamsin Greig as Pam
Angela Curran as Mavis
Robin Kermode as Mr. Jellcoe
Andrew McCrae as TV Executive
View guest cast
A composer is at home writing some music. As he plays his electronic piano keyboard the notes appear on his computer screen. As he works his assistant, Dorothy, comes down the stairs - she is finished for the night. She says some things to him, but you get the impression he's not really listening. Dorothy tells him his wife won the award, and that she'll tell him all about it when she gets home.
As soon as Dorothy is gone, he gets out a DVD of Sally Ellen Oakley called "Red Hot" and plays it on his computer with some ear phones on. He's clearly intoxicated with the woman as she gyrates around with sexy male dancers singing a "Hot stuff" cover. Dorothy comes back to pick up an umbrella as it's started to rain and sees Dudley watching the DVD. He can't hear her, and she doesn't disturb him.
Later we see that Sally Ellen Oakley is in fact Dudley's wife. She comes home a bit late having won "Britain's tastiest bottom" - clearly the highlight of her career - Not! Sally seems a simple woman who doesn't like wearing the tons of makeup and sexy outfits she needs to wear in order to sell records. But you get the impression her husband likes that part - and doesn't see it enough.
The following day, Dudley is woken up by Sally who is dressed in her "pop star" gear. Dudley can't touch her in case he tears her tights and she can't kiss him in case she smudges her lip stick. Dudley is clearly not happy that Angus, Sally's driver gets to see the "pop star" version of his wife more than he does.
Dudley is off to Los Angeles in order to try and sell a musical he's writing for Sally. Dorothy hands him his revised time table, saying she couldn't get him a meeting with Whoopie Goldberg, but she got him a meeting with her people - sort of a PA to her management. "His name is Skip, sounds about twelve!" she quips. Before he leaves she gives him a present - he's stopping in on his father on the way to the airport to wish him a happy birthday.
Dudley's father makes puppets for a living. It's a dying trade, but he's had an order in from Adam Klaus that should keep him busy for a few weeks. Dudley notices a doll that looks like George W. Bush, "Why doesn't his mouth move?" he asks.
"Because he doesn't talk out of his mouth," his father replies. Dudley turns the doll over and activates a lever. We see the doll's bum cheeks start to move!
Meanwhile, Brendan Baxter is in an editing room looking at footage from a programme they have been shooting. It's a make over show and he's after some more "flinch" factor. The hideous colour scheme, isn't hideous enough and he orders the editor to make the red walls green and the carpet a more horrible colour.
A woman arrives with the post, and Brendan notices a letter he's clearly been waiting for. He opens it, and it doesn't look like good news. In walks Carla, she's early as her toenail appointment got cancelled, so she had to cancel her gynaecologist appointment (she needs toenail confidence!), but she's managed to reschedule them both for tomorrow afternoon. She finally notices Brendan is a bit quiet, and sees the letter. It's the ratings for the show - not as good as Brendan was hoping for.
It seems that quite a few people didn't like the way Jonathan dresses, his hair, his voice, in fact there's a lot about Jonathan the viewers didn't like.
Jonathan is on the phone while Carla goes through the list of things the viewers didn't like. They are walking towards a makeup room where Brendan is. Brendan tells Jonathan that while the viewer results for him aren't great the network love the idea of an impossible crime bit for the show, and have ordered 26 more episodes. Jonathan begins to protest, but is interrupted by Carla - his face is a funny shape she says, perhaps if they pull his hair off of his face?
Brendan leaves for lunch with Michael Grade (The real Michael Grade makes a guest star appearance!) with Carla not far behind. Before she leaves Carla says she was very sorry to hear about Pam's (the make-up artist) dog. Pam had had him since he was a puppy, and he passed away two months ago. They leave Jonathan with Pam to play around with his "look".
Pam spots Jonathan's notebook with sketches for his latest illusion, sawing a ventriloquist's dummy in half. It all hinges on false feet in the bottom. He tell her that Mr. Houseman (a bit of a character) is making the doll, and he's order extra feet just in case, but he's worried that he's forgotten. His phone rings, it's Mr. Houseman. Jonathan asks him to confirm that he's got 12 feet. Yes, says Mr. Houseman - while he's standing next to a 12 foot long doll!
Jonathan comments that it's a nice day, and asks Pam if she wants to get a sandwich outside. They sit on a park bench for a while, and then have a quick run around. It's clear to everyone that Pam thinks of Jonathan as a replacement for her dog, and she keeps slapping her thighs in a "come here boy" manner. Carla watches on from her car window, and shakes her head.
As Jonathan walks home, he passes a couple of school children who laugh at him. Frowning he soon finds out why when huge dummy can be seen hanging from his balcony. Mavis, his cleaner, comes out the door and says a Mr. Houseman is waiting for him inside. Jonathan immediately starts shouting about how could anyone think he wanted such a huge dummy, when he sees Mr. Houseman's son.
Meanwhile Carla is at the gynaecologist's sitting in a gown on an examination table. Her doctor is on the phone talking to a colleague. He leaves to take a copy of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) to him. Carla notices a CD in his briefcase after he's gone. It has a parental advisory sticker on it. Reading the back for a list of songs, she clearly isn't happy with what she sees.
Back at the windmill, Dudley asks Jonathan if he can explain how a woman with shoulder length hair can have it all cut off, and grow it back in 48 hours. Jonathan asks him to start at the beginning. Dudley explains that everyone thought he was the luckiest man alive, as a few years ago he got married to Sally Ellen Oakley. Sadly however he fell in love with the image she uses to promote her songs. There she would be lying in his bed, and all he wanted to do was watch her sexy music videos. So when he met Maria, an air hostess, his defences were down. Soon they started seeing each other, and after 21 days of mad passion, things started to get serious. Being a two timing cad wasn't easy, but his faithful PA, Dorothy, ran interference for him, even though she stated clearly that she didn't think it was a good idea. Maria could just be sleeping her way into his wallet. But Dudley, wouldn't listen.
Onto the mysterious bit. This morning Maria was due to set off on a ten day tour of the far East, so the day before, with Sally out of the house, Dudley invites her over for lunch, she can then get a cab to the airport. While they enjoy their lunch, Dorothy interrupts it to show Dudley the contents of Maria's case. Inside is a padded envelope with Dudley's name and address on it written in funny handwriting. Bit strange don't you think? They decide to keep the envelope and talk about it later.
As Dudley is seeing Maria off, disaster strikes. Sally arrives home two hours early and sees him kissing Maria goodbye. Dudley decides he'll come clean so they can talk like rational adults, but Sally just goes for Maria. Hitting her and generally being unpleasant! She even drags Maria by her hair along the front lawn before pushing her towards the driveway.
Inside the house, Sally is giving Dudley all kinds of hell. Dorothy tries to remove the envelope from it's hiding place in case Sally sees it, but Sally catches her. She rips open the envelope and inside is some hair and a video cassette. Baffled, they decide to watch the tape.
On the tape is Maria, she is sitting down, bound to a chair and covered with a sheet. A man in a balaclava appears and shows a copy of the Radio Times (to fix the date), he then approaches Maria and holds her face and forces her to read a statement. The kidnappers are demanding £100,000 otherwise they will kill her. In order to show they are serious they proceed to cut off her hair. Clearly it was designed as a con - all to shaft Dudley out of money. She probably planned to send the tape a few days after she left - he had a lucky escape.
But the thing that still bugs him is how did her hair grow back so fast. He's checked, the Radio Times shown was only printed two days before, and it's clearly her hair being cut. And yet, when Sally was dragging her along the lawn, her hair was coming out at the roots, she wasn't wearing a wig. Dudley needs some answers before he goes completely insane.
We then see Jonathan and Carla in a car. Carla comments that Pam is on the rebound with Jonathan. He laughs, saying she hasn't had a serious relationship for over two years, unless you count her dog. Carla is noticeably silent, and Jonathan realises Carla meant on the rebound from her dog. He won't even dignify that with a response.
Changing the subject they talk about the case. Jonathan has already worked out how it was done, and gives Carla a clue. Maria was wrapped in a sheet, why? To catch the hair? Carla offers. Yes, they would really be worried about getting hair on her clothes, Jonathan replies - he puts it to her the sheet had an entirely different function. Carla gets huffy - Jonathan seems to derive some sort of perverse pleasure from making her feel stupid. She declares she'll work it out for herself without any help from him. Annoyed she turns on her stereo. She is playing the CD she found in the doctor's surgery - she bought a copy for research purposes.
As they near Dudley's house, Jonathan asks Carla to pull over. Just outside the gates to the main drive Jonathan gets out of the car. He sees open fields - doesn't look good. He then walks off on a path with Carla following. He finds some branches of a small tree have been broken and there are some fresh tire tracks in the mud. "Of course," he says, "In your own time" she smiles at Carla.
Inside the house Dudley says Jonathan has a free reign to go where he pleases, and Dorothy will help in anyway she can. We then see Sally coming down the stairs carrying two suitcases - she's leaving. Dudley tries to stop her going, saying she should smack him in the face, anything, just don't leave. She proceeds to smack him in the face, and still leaves! Telling Jonathan to tell Dudley that she doesn't care about Maria's hair, and she is leaving to be with someone who won't cheat on her.
Jonathan is looking about the house with Dorothy in tow to answer any questions. He finds some insulating tape on the floor with a small piece cut out of it. Probably nothing, he says.
In another room Carla is listening to Dudley as he plays the central love theme for his musical. Carla comments, to have written something so beautiful for his wife - he must love her a lot. Makes a nice change to hear some really romantic lyrics, compared to what some people are listening to these days. "Really? Like what?" Dudley asks.
In another room Dorothy shows Jonathan what can be achieved using standard imaging software and photo's of herself and some gorgeous model. She puts her head on the model's body. She says she knows it's only photography, and not a video picture, but he can see the possibilities. Yes he can, and she makes a clear pass at him, printing the picture of her head on the model's body for him to refer to later if need be.
Jonathan leaves and finds Carla reading out some of the lyrics to the CD she was playing earlier - they are clearly explicit and not at all pleasant. What astounds her more is that it is her gynaecologist listening to such filth on his way to work in the morning! Jonathan interrupts, saying he has everything he needs - and that he'll go away and ponder on it.
In the car Jonathan tells Carla that Brendan rang - their film experts have been over the tape and it's genuine. Jonathan scribbles some notes while Carla fumes as she still can't work it out. Just say the word he says, and he'll put her out of her misery - however Carla isn't quite ready to give up yet. He offers her a clue he's just written for her, she snatches it reluctantly and is still none the wiser after reading it.
Carla drops Jonathan off at a train station, and asks what he's up to tonight. Oh, he says, not much, just dinner and a drink. Not that its any of her business he says as she drives off.
Back home, Carla goes through the clue with Brendan who is preparing dinner with a "Who's autopsy?" cap on and isn't really paying attention. She shows him the clue:
"How many seas must a white dove sail?,
Sleep in the sand,
How many roads must a man walk down?"
Brendan notices they are song lyrics, but that they are the wrong way round, "How many roads..." is the first line. This sparks a thought in Carla. In Samson and Delila, she cut his hair off! Realising that sounds stupid and has nothing to do with it she slumps in her chair. Actually, she says - Jonathan invited her round his to work on it some more. Fine, Brendan says, dinner will keep.
Meanwhile Dudley has been drinking to drown his sorrows. He phones Sally on her mobile and begs her to come back. He assumes she's with her assistant, Angus, but she tells him he's in Chicago. Sally is crying and tells him there is nothing else to talk about and hangs up the phone. She's actually at Dudley's father's house and he give her a hug.
Dudley then decides he will visit Angus and orders Dorothy to get the car. They arrive at Angus's flat and he knocks on the door. Angus walks up the stairs to his flat, having just returned from his stint on stage in the musical Chicago. Dudley is so drunk this doesn't seem to register with him, and he demands Angus opens the door so he can take his wife home. A man, clearly Angus's partner, opens the door and proceeds to beat up Dudley!
Carla arrives at Jonathan's windmill slightly worse for wear - it's raining heavily outside. She finds the front door open, but no one is home, so she makes herself comfortable. Outside is Mr. Houseman's huge 12 foot dummy still. Sadly the wind is picking up and the sails of the windmill start turning. One of them catches in the back of the dummy's head, and it starts going up.
To Carla's horror the door opens downstairs, but Jonathan isn't alone - he has Pam with him! She desperately tries to hide, ending up in a Egyptian mummy case standing up in Jonathan's bedroom.
Needless to say Jonathan and Pam end up on the bed fooling around. Then a dog is heard barking in the background and suddenly Jonathan freezes, for some strange reason it all feels un-natural all of a sudden. Pam asks if it's something she's said or done? Out comes Carla from the mummy case and says yes, it's everything she's said and done since they met! She goes on to explain that Pam is clearly not ready for a relationship yet.
Pam leaves and Carla says Jonathan can thank her later. More importantly, Carla thinks she's worked it all out. She just needed to look at things the other way round.
Meanwhile, Dorothy is carrying Dudley up to bed. He's so drunk he cries out for Sally.
Sally on the other hand is receiving a nice pep talk from Dudley's father. She gets a call on her mobile phone, it's Dorothy. She tells Sally that Dudley loves her, and that she needs to be at home when he wakes from his stupor. If she doesn't come back, then - she's off, after all she's done all she can for them.
Jonathan and Carla walk in, "Yes, you've done that Dorothy, and a lot more beside haven't you? To try and save this marriage."
Over a cup of tea Dorothy explains all. She knows quite a few people in the business, having been Dudley's PA for a good few years now. Some owe her favours. So with the help of three blokes (one of which is actually Jonathan Creek's creator, David Renwick!) they set out to show Maria is after Dudley's money in order to break off the affair and try and save his marriage.
Dorothy planted the tape and hair in Maria's case, and thus sowed a seed of doubt in Dudley's mind. Of course Sally coming home early put a slight spanner in the works, but by then it was too late to call off the men she'd hired.
The plan was simple enough - frame Maria by making it look like she was going to set up her own kidnapping and demand money from Dudley. What Dudley and Sally didn't know was the video was actually blank to start with. When Maria was thrown out of the house by Sally she was then picked up by the pretend kidnappers and forced into a van and the end of the drive way. As Dorothy put the tape in the video player instead of pressing play, she hit the record button, and the men in the van proceeded to make the mock kidnapping video via a live broadcast. They covered up what Maria was wearing, so they could hide her clothes. Otherwise people would realise she was wearing the same outfit she had left the house in.
Dorothy had placed a small piece of black tape over the red light on the video player to mask the fact she was recording the live feed.
Maria was then dropped off home and told to stay away from Dudley and the police and she would live a long and healthy life.
Dudley then calls for Dorothy as he's been sick in the bathroom. As Dorothy gets a bucket and mop, Sally returns home and takes it from her, saying she'll sort Dudley out.
The next day sees Jonathan steaming slightly when the replacement doll Mr Houseman sent along for Adam to use in his act turns out to be a bit of a failure. It was only used once before, but Mr. Houseman couldn't remember why. It turns out the doll is very similar to the Director of network programming! To top it all, he was watching live, in his office at the time of broadcast. Adam will go spare when he realises.
Carla spots a magazine that has an interview with the lead singer of the band she's been banging on about all episode. Jonathan has saved it for her. In it she learns that the lead singer sent a copy to his step father, who told him he must be sick between the ears. But since when has a harley street gynaecologist known anything about music? It suddenly dawns on Carla then, that she has done something very wrong indeed. As no-one was around, she spray painted her gynaecologist's car with the words "This man is a sexist pig"
Sally Ellen Oakley
Michael Grade makes a guest appearance
Kidnapper 1 (uncredited)
Kidnapper 2 (uncredited)
Kidnapper 3 (uncredited - David Renwick himself!)