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Episode guide > Christmas special 1998 > Black Canary

Christmas special 1998
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corner imageSummary info
Writer: David Renwick
Director: Sandy Johnson
Original broadcast date: (UK) 24 December 1998 on BBC1
Filmed in: 16:9 aspect ratio
Guest stars
Rik Mayall as Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke
Hannah Gordon as Marella Carney
Francis Matthews as Jerry Bellenitis
Kate Isitt as Charlotte Carney
Murray Melvin as Lionel Prokopp
Suzanna Hamilton as Hannah
Stuart Milligan as Adam Klaus
Vincent Wong as Pan Duc Lao
Tomas Lukes as Vagriant
Simone Huber as Elsa
Dave Haskell as Sgt Richie
Simon Roberts as Paramedic
John Hales as Burger Man
Corinne Laidlaw as Young Charlotte
Sanjeev Bhasker as Doctor
Nikki Jhutti as Nurse

View guest cast

Statue of Marella Carney as the Black Canary The home of Marella Carney is a big old mansion, which is covered in snow due to the winter weather. Inside, the mansion is decorated in a style befitting the period in which it was built, but it has a few modern touches as well. In the hall stands a statue of Marella, a memory of days past when she was the Black Canary, a world renowned illusionist. Most of the lights in the house are off, giving the statue an evil feel, the sight of it seems to disturb Marella.

Upstairs her husband, Jerry, is undergoing an "alternative" operation to relieve his suffering. After drinking something from a cup he is placed in a trance by an oriental man. Charlotte, his daughter, watches on and finally has enough. She calls down to her mother, asking why she doesn't do anything to stop it. Marella simply looks away, not really knowing what to do. The oriental man then proceeds to remove what looks like a tumour from Jerry's chest, blood drips down his side, but once wiped away reveals no opening in his chest, in fact no marks of any kind.

The following day, at a tube station in London, Charlotte buys a newspaper and then hails a cab. Jonathan Creek sees her before disappearing down into the station. He seems to recognise her, and she in turn has seen him. She looks back but he's gone.

Adam Klaus is at the theatre where he is due to perform his latest show. He sits in the front row with Elsa, the woman who is going to make his costumes for the show in front of him, with her back to the stage. She goes through some colour samples, and they eventually choose Ebony for his shirt. Adam seems somewhat distracted, as he has a video pen in his hand which is pointed at Elsa's cleavage. The image it transmits is displayed on a huge view screen shown on stage for all to see. It's clear this woman is Adam's latest fancy.

Jonathan arrives at the theatre to the screen full of cleavage and gives the game away, forcing Adam to move the video pen to somewhere else. Adam asks Elsa to leave, saying that he needs a frock coat for Monday when they rehearse a new trick called "Jack the Ripper". Adam seems besotted with Elsa purely because she is innocent in every sense of the word, and he seems determined to be the man show her what's she's been missing.

"Can you believe a creature like that has never felt a man's tongue on her epiglottis?"

Back at the mansion Marella is in her room and she writes a note to Jerry and Charlotte. It says, "Please forgive me. Please never stop loving me." she signs it simply with an X, a kiss. She places it in an envelope and then turns towards her bed. She sees some pictures of her and her family, plus one of her with her twin sister, Beryl. She removes a copy of the Holy Bible from a desk draw and begins to read it.

Back at the theatre, Adam and Jonathan go through one of his latest tricks. It's a simple one where Adam writes a word on a back board which the audience doesn't see. A member of the audience (played by Jonathan in this rehearsal) who is blindfolded then opens a dictionary and chooses a page at random. Using the video pen he twirls it down and chooses a word from the book. Not un-surprisingly it matches the word on Adam's blackboard. The twirling of the video pen allows them to cut the image with some pre-recorded VT. All the way through the rehearsal Adam clutches his stomach. His gaul stones are playing up again, but he refuses to go to hospital because of the jokes doctors say. So, you can't make these disappear then Mister Klaus..etc.

On his way back to his dressing room with Jonathan in tow the phone rings. A woman answers it as Adam isn't back yet. It's Maddy for Jonathan, so she goes off in search of him. Once she's gone, Adam and Jonathan appear, oblivious to the fact that Maddy is waiting on the other end of the phone. Jonathan then tells Adam that he bumped into Charlotte at the tube station. It turns out that Charlotte was once the lust of Jonathan's life. After weeks of dithering he eventually asked her out. They went for a nice meal, and then got a taxi back to her place in Kensington. She asked him in for coffee, but Jonathan refused. Adam doesn't understand, so Jonathan explains...

"Charlotte Carney. Who I desired more than oxygen. Asked me into her flat at one O'clock in the morning? I'm sorry there's gotta be some sort of catch! Oh I don't think you've met my fiance, Chrispin? He's got two penis's and his own airline. Or the other one, I whisper I love you in her ear and she attacks me with a fire extinguisher. No thank you, I can do without that kind of humiliation."

After Adam makes the comment that Jonathan's love life would make a good play by Samuel Beckett, he notices the phone is off the hook. He replaces it, much to the annoyance of Maddy, who has been a fascinated listener. Adam then picks up a knife and proceeds to pretend to slit his own throat, complete with fake blood. Jonathan comments that Charlotte never did call him again afterwards. The phone then rings, but it's Maddy (again!). She invites Jonathan over for dinner, but he clearly doesn't buy it. She confesses she needs him, tonight, in her bedroom.

Jonathan taunts the terrified Maddy with the cockroachJonathan stands at the foot of Maddy's bed, as he takes his shoes off. Maddy is under the covers, clutching a pillow to her and looking at him. His eyes never leave her as he stands on the bed, and slowly looks up at the ceiling. A cockroach is there and he proceeds to remove it by trapping it in a drinking glass. It's the third one she's found in two days and she tells him to get rid of it, but not down the toilet,

"Take it to the bottom of the garden and kill it with a spade!"

"Kill it with a spade? What am I?" Jonathan asks, "Jack the Hack McVitie?"

His mobile phone rings in his coat pocket which is hanging up on Maddy wardrobe door. As Jonathan isn't around, Maddy answers it. It's Charlotte, she's trying to reach Jonathan. Maddy stops in mid sentence when she realises who it is, but she passes Jonathan the phone when he returns. Charlotte then tells him it's the worse day of her life. He once told her that there was no such thing as magic, real magic. She tells him that at 4 O'clock that afternoon her mother took her own life, but the events surrounding it are very strange. She defies anyone to explain how she died.

Maddy de-ices the car whilst driving to the Carney householdMaddy and Jonathan then drive to Charlotte's house. On the way we see Maddy spraying the front windscreen with de-icer to clear it. She's got a windscreen washer, she tells Jonathan. "Yeah, it's not much good on the back seat now is it!? he replies. On route he tells her about Marella Carney. She was a big illusionist in her day. The problem was the majority of her tricks relied on the fact she had a twin sister. Marella herself suffered from claustrophobia so her sister, Beryl, used to be the one being locked in cabinets or coffins. No-one really knew about Beryl, she was kept out of the public eye due to the nature of their act. Sadly Beryl died fifteen years ago, and so Marella stopped performing. Beryl died when a rehearsal for a trick using a buzz saw which moved across a table while Beryl was strapped down in its path. A trick blade was supposed to take over from the real one when it got to a certain point. However the switch failed, and sadly Beryl was sawn in half...literally - length ways.

The story causes Maddy to veer off the road and promptly get out of the car and hop around. "That's done it now," she says, "I'm gonna have to sleep with a saucepan between my legs!" The blade didn't go all the way up, but it went far enough up to kill her. A thought then occurs to Jonathan, what if it wasn't an accident?

They arrive at the house, and Charlotte attempts to explain what happened. She starts by telling the story of how Beryl died, but Maddy stops her, saying she's already heard it! Beryl didn't have any family, her husband had left her and her only daughter, Hannah had run away to Australia in her teens to shack up with some keyboard player. No one thought they would ever see Hannah again, but she came back with an Oriental man, Pan Duc Lao, a few weeks ago. Marella received a letter from her saying Hannah was coming to visit. Marella was understandably nervous, thinking Hannah might hold a lasting grudge against her, but Charlotte saw something more. A deeper problem that her mother wouldn't share. Hannah finally arrived along with Pan Duc Lao who is a psychic surgeon and Jerry was all up for that. Charlotte explains that he pulled out some tissue from her father's chest. Maddy and Jonathan exchange looks, neither of them believing in the psychic surgeon. None of them got any sleep that night, least of all Marella who could be heard crying.

The following day Hannah and her friend left, but seemed quite cold towards Marella. Far from being the end of the horror, it was just the beginning.

Jerry then enters the room in his wheelchair. He is hard of hearing and has to lip read. He saw his wife commit suicide, there's nothing wrong with his eyes. Both Charlotte and Jerry left the house around 10:30 that morning, she had a lecture and he was meeting someone in town for lunch. When he returned, around 2:30 the weather was letting up, but they still had a good four inches on new snow on the ground. His friend and butler, Lionel, sets him up in the conservatory with his medication which was to be taken at 4 O'clock. He also gives him an alarm clock set for 4, in case he nods off. He then leaves to go do some whittling in the shed. True to form, Jerry falls asleep, but wakes up just before the alarm goes off. He sees his wife out in the snow in a black cape with a hood arguing with a man. He eventually leaves limping heavily as he goes. Marella is then seen turning a shot gun and putting it in her mouth and pulling the trigger. Jerry immediately tries to scramble out to Marella, but it's hard without his wheelchair and he falls a number of times. He's also clearly upset. Lionel then comes up beside him and asks what happens. Jerry explains about the man, and Lionel asks what man? Then Jerry looks again, he's only a few yards from the body and he can't see any other footprints than those his wife had made. The other man has left no traces that he was ever there.

As the paramedics take away Marella's body one of them speaks to Jerry. Things can't have happened the way Jerry said for the amount of rigour in Marella's body means she died around five hours ago. There's no way she could have pulled the trigger only 40 minutes ago.

Maddy stands between Charlotte and Jonathan in the liftBack in the present, Jonathan quickly dismisses the fact that the psychic surgeon had anything to do with it as Jerry believes. Charlotte then mentions a suicide note that her mother left in her bedroom. They go upstairs in the lift, but it's quite a squeeze, Maddy making sure she stands between Jonathan and Charlotte. Jonathan spots some red nail varnish on the lift wall, but says nothing. He then looks at the note, he does his Hmmm when he mentions that she signed it with a kiss. He then goes back to the lift to find the nail varnish stain has been removed.

Jonathan then meets Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke who is in charge of the investigation. He's all for indulging the "amateur" to help him with the investigation. He then sees Sergeant Richie and gives him the nail varnish stain which he took from the lift to get analysed. Together with the kiss on the suicide note they reach an interesting conclusion. He then asks Jonathan what he thought of the shortened lamp flex in the conservatory. Jonathan hasn't seen it, so they go downstairs to look. The lamp always reached before, so no-one can understand why it doesn't now. If someone wanted just to stop them using the lamp, you could simply remove the fuse, there's no need to shorten the flex. Gideon then asks the butler a question about the last words Marella said to him. It was at 2 O'clock, and all she did was refuse any lunch. Gideon then has the butler taken down to the station to be questioned.

Outside looking at the site where Marella was found he explains. The forensic report on Marella's body confirms that she was in fact already dead by 4 O'clock. Not only was there a bullet wound to the head, but her systems was flooded with barbiturates, the chemical breakdown of which puts a time of death at 12 noon. So she can't possibly have told Lionel that she didn't want any lunch as she was already dead, thus he was lying.

"I can smell guilt on a man like dung on a donkey" he tells Maddy.

At the station, Gideon questions Lionel. He had worked with Marella and Jerry for 33 years, originally as a dresser and wardrobe assistant to Marella. Gideon asks him if he killed Marella, and he gives a rambling answer saying Marella was one of the best people he'd ever worked with, etc. When pressed, he simply replies, no.

Maddy and Jonathan meanwhile are looking at where the limping man would have entered the nearby forest which meets the edge of the grounds of Marella's estate. Maddy offers Jonathan a toffee which he eventually accepts, but sadly it's a hard toffee, and doesn't seem to agree with his teeth at all. Maddy has since opened the boot of her car and is changing into her boots. Jonathan isn't convinced they will find anything as it's been 24 hours since Marella's death and new snow has fallen. Maddy then goes on about how Gideon could probably solve the case on his own, after all he seems more than capable. Jonathan gets out of the car to look for clues.

While they walk Maddy asks him what he thinks about Lionel being carted off. Maddy assumes that the Detective Sergeant is a woman, but Jonathan is convinced its a man. They make a £10 bet and then continue on. Jonathan explains the significance of the nail varnish and the suicide note. There were red bottles of nail varnish on Marella's dressing table, so it was probably hers. But Marella was a claustrophobic, she would never have travelled in a lift the size of a pencil case! Of course she could have got hypno-therapy or something since then, but coupled with the note things get interesting. Why didn't she sign it Marella, or at the very least Mother? Perhaps because even at the end of her life, she couldn't bring herself to tell the truth. For she wasn't Marella at all, but Beryl her twin sister.

They leave, failing to notice some footprints leading to a small shed. They arrive back at Maddy's car to find the passenger door window has been smashed. However far from taking the stereo all the robber seems to have taken is the morning papers.

Jonathan can't believe Adam's frock coat.  Jack the ripper looks more like kermit the frog!The following day Jonathan arrives at the theatre to find the rehearsal for Jack the Ripper going on. Sadly Elsa has mis heard the words "frock coat" literally and Adam Klaus is now in a human sized green frog costume complete with false head and flippers! Jonathan points out that is clashes some what with the old London town scenery and will not work at all with the illusion. Adam however is adamant that it will be used and they will have to work around it. Also, Jonathan should watch what he says when talking about the future Mrs. Klaus!

At the shed not far from Marella's estate, Detective Gideon arrives after some children have reported a man living in the shed which turns out to be some kiddies home made hidey hole. Gideon is there because once the man was discovered he ran, with a pronounced limp. Gideon looks inside the shed and discovers a match box as well as a pre-molar crown with a Maryland bridge. As individual as a fingerprint. It was made especially for someone, and he puts his Sergeant on the case to find out who.

At the theatre Adam is explaining to Jonathan in his dressing room, why he is marrying Elsa. Jonathan's not entirely convinced of his motives, but it's his life. This prompts Adam to ask how things went with Charlotte. Not great Jonathan replies, she was still upset by what had happened. He's stopped from saying more as Maddy walks in. She asks how Adam's gaul stones are doing. Adam replies things are looking up and that he's found a new specialist who's promised to keep him away from hospitals. Maddy and Jonathan are off to the Carney's again, but Maddy (for some reason) says she'll wait if Jonathan and Adam still have things to discuss. She goes to grab a coffee and wait in the car for him. Adam then asks Jonathan to continue his story about Charlotte. Jonathan is about to begin, when he gets up and quickly opens the door to Adam's dressing room. To his surprise Maddy isn't there, so he closes the door and continues. He can't exactly make a move on Charlotte under those conditions can he, even if he wanted to.

"Meaning what? Because you haven't resolved this thing between you and er..." Adam says.

"Oh I dunno. I suppose Maddy's more like. You know when you get a comfy old sweat shirt, that you're happy just to keep putting on day after day?" (Adam nods), "It's like it's not something you even bother to think about..."

We don't hear the rest as the camera pans back to reveal Maddy watching the whole thing on a monitor courtesy of Adam's video pen. She can't hear what is being said, but she's taped it and takes the video cassette out.

Jonathan suddenly regrets locking the car doorJonathan and Maddy stop at a nearby cafe before going to see Charlotte. They agree not to tell her about the fact that Marella was in fact Beryl as they don't think she could cope at the moment. Maddy jumps out the car to go and get some take away food, leaving Jonathan in the car. He's fine until a big man who looks like trouble comes to get in the next car along. Jonathan automatically locks his car door as a precaution. Unfortunately the big man notices this fact and asks him why he did it. Jonathan tries to ignore him, but fails when the man kicks a hole through Maddy's window and proceeds to try and strangle him! Gideon comes to Jonathan rescue by twisting the man's arm behind his back and then showing him his policeman's badge. The man leaves before he's nicked! Maddy then returns to find her car window smashed again, much to her disbelief!

Gideon then tells them that he's come to the same conclusion as Jonathan, that Marella was in fact Beryl. He's certain that Lionel is the murderer, and sadly he's had to release him for now, but he'll give himself away in due course. Gideon then lets them know about the lead on the limping man. He reckons to have a name on him in the next few days once the dental records have been found.

At the Carney mansion, Charlotte is removing what seems like half a windscreen from Jonathan's stomach. He asks what she's doing now. She's at City University doing a post-graduate degree in cytology (the study of the structure, functions etc of cells), until she finds a teaching job. They hear a gun shot from outside, but it's only Jerry shooting his gun. His a perfect shot scoring five out of five shots in the bullseye.

Jonathan then goes to look at some of Marella's old scrap books, leaving Maddy and Charlotte together. Maddy tries to find out what went on between her and Jonathan.

"You've known him quite a few years now..." she says.

"There was a time once...I thought...definitely. It's going to happen. We'd had this really fantastic evening together, you know when you just get a feeling about someone? I virtually offer myself to him on a plate that night. But then, for whatever reason, he just made a polite excuse and....there you go at the end of the day I suppose I wasn't his type."

Maddy doesn't correct her assumption.

Upstairs Jonathan looks out the window to where Marella was found. From this angle the grounds all look the same, especially under a blanket of snow. He looks at Marella's scrap books and comes across a newspaper report which sparks the old brain cells into action!

Downstairs, Jerry is listening to an old record from the sixties. He used to be a song writer back then and it's one of his. It was number 23 in the hit parade when he first met Marella. Maddy asks him politely to turn it off, and then reminds Charlotte that she was going to fix some tea. Charlotte leaves, and Maddy then asks Jerry to do her a favour which hasn't anything to do with his wife's death. She plays him the tape of Jonathan talking in Adam's dressing room and asks Jerry to tell her what he says. Jerry does some lip reading and tells her (see previous quote somewhere above!). She's not happy about it, but at least now she knows!

Jonathan comes downstairs with a look on his face that Maddy recognises. It's the one he gets when he's worked things out! Sadly it's only a suggestion that someone has done something very clever but also very stupid. He then asks Jerry which leg the limping man was limping on. He was dragging the left leg. It tells them nothing at the moment, but it could be vital later on.

Gideon has an insight whilst playing with his lampGideon Pryke sits in his office slowly switching his desk lamp on and off and moving the neck up and down. He's thinking allowed, saying perhaps they are looking at this case the wrong way. He then looks at the lamp, and a thought suddenly strikes him. They still have the lamp as a clue.

As Jonathan and Maddy leave (with Charlotte and Jerry showing them out to the gates of the mansion) they see a bat fly by. It's the second one Jerry's seen that day. What are they doing flying around in January? Charlotte then offers to give Jonathan a lift home, to save Maddy going round the houses, and going cross country shouldn't take them 40 minutes. Maddy says she's fine about it, even thanks Charlotte, but you can tell she's not too happy. Jonathan feels bad, but doesn't say anything.

Maddy gets home only to find that her cockroach infestation is a lot worse now. She pulls back the bed covers to find cockroaches have set up home in her bed!

Over 2 hours later Jonathan and Charlotte arrive at his windmill. They stopped for a pub lunch on the way and it seems to have gone very well. Charlotte has a guess as the decor, and she's correct. Sadly however once again Jonathan fails to ask her in, but he has his reasons. Maddy is standing outside the car and knocks on the window asking for a bed for the night.

Jonathan then makes a cup of tea by banging all the cups around. He's clearly angry that Maddy has showed up.

"Look Alright, it's bad enough I get home to the seven plagues of Egypt, without you giving me a hard time. I just thought maybe I could be useful here tonight that's all..."

"What as? A contraceptive!?"

"As a sounding board, case you wanted to discuss stuff. I suppose you'd have just got into bed and been eaten alive!"

"Chance would be a fine thing! Talk about a winning line on your lottery ticket! There's skid marks out there now where she couldn't get away fast enough! God what are you like?!

"I don't know Jonathan, what am I like!? A comfy old sweat shirt, you're happy to keep putting on day after day? Or a pair of underpants you can't be bothered to change for a month?"

How did she know that he'd said that? He'll never know. But now that she has his attention, she asks about the stuff he found in Marella's scrap book. It was an article from a magazine about 16 years ago. A reporter came round to interview her, and got treated to an impromptu trick where she turned a Rolls Royce into a Porsche before his very eyes. It has the shape of something, but he doesn't know what yet. He needs to sit down with it for a while. Maddy then has a quick recap of where they are, a murder made to look like a suicide? "Or a suicide made to look like a suicide" Jonathan says. It would be nice if they could confirm that it was in fact Beryl not Marella, perhaps if they found Hannah and the physic Surgeon again? But they've probably found a new sucker with more money then sense. A thought then strikes him as he remembers something Adam said, surely he wouldn't be so stupid?

At Adam's house, he's getting ready to have his gaul stones removes the psychic surgeon way. Maddy and Jonathan arrive before anything has happened and show that he's a fraud. They then talk to Hannah about Marella's death, but she hadn't heard about it. She knew it was her mother and not Aunt Marella as soon as she hugged her. She can't really describe what went through her mind at that point. She should have felt joy, her mother had just returned from the dead. Instead she felt cheated, how dare she deny's her own daughter her existence. Beryl apologised, and then told her what happened 15 years ago. Once the accident had happened, she couldn't speak or feel anything. Then she heard Charlotte and her father playing downstairs in the garden. She had half a minute to make a decision that would last a lifetime. So she took the wedding ring off of Marella and placed it on her own finger. She had a chance to let Charlotte believe her mother was still alive, and she took it. Hannah asks why she didn't think about her when making this decision. Beryl replies she had no reason to, she had run away, floating down a river somewhere with a needle in her arm. Didn't it occur to her, Hannah says, that she would grow up eventually and need her mother, but she wouldn't be there? For what she's done, Beryl can rot in hell for all she cares.

She apologies to Jonathan and Maddy. She can't bring herself to cry at news of her mother's death. She was already dead to her.

Maddy is now stuck, where do they go from here? A good question, one which Jonathan thinks will be answered by the local wildlife trust. Why would bats be flying around in January? They get some directions to a local place where bats are known to sleep. Someone has disturbed the bats from their hidey hole, someone who was driven out of his hidey hole earlier in the day...

They go inside and find the limping man, he's lying face down on the floor. Maddy bends down to see if he's alive when the man suddenly turns over. They are both as frighten as each other and Jonathan and Maddy fall down backwards. The man gets up and runs away. Maddy isn't very happy, but Jonathan is. Didn't she notice which leg the man was limping on?

The following day, Charlotte is collecting some branches in the mansion grounds, when Hannah appears behind her.

At his office, Gideon then receives via e-mail with the name and address of the owner of the crown he found in the hut. Out of all the people he was expecting, the name he gets wasn't even on the list. Maddy and Jonathan then arrive in his office saying that they've worked out what happened. Gideon says they've made progress as well, they know the name of the limping man. He turns the computer screen around, it shows the name of Jonathan Creek and his address. Maddy asks if it's a joke. No, Gideon is deadly serious. He then explains about the molar, and Jonathan understands. When Maddy gave him the toffee a few days ago, it lifted the molar crown clean out. Jonathan put it in the match box and thought he'd put it in his pocket. When the limping man broke into Maddy's car and took the newspapers, he probably took the match box as well to start a fire, and was disappointed to find no matches in it. Jonathan apologises to Gideon for wasting his time.

They then tell Gideon that they have an idea of how it was done. He waits to hear what they have got, but Jonathan and Maddy have become distracted. Gideon's Sergeant has gone to the loo, and they are waiting to see which loo he walks into, to settle their bet! Alas Gideon shuts the door to his office before they can get an answer.

Back at the Carney mansion Jerry is cleaning his gun when he sees Charlotte and Hannah arguing out the window. Hannah has told her the truth and obviously Charlotte is upset, she refuses to believe it's true. At this point Jonathan and Maddy arrive, along with Gideon and his Sergeant and a policeman. Lionel lets them into the mansion, and calls upstairs for Jerry, he's not sure where Charlotte is. Hannah then enters via the back door, saying Charlotte is in the garden collecting her thoughts. She turns to leave with the psychic surgeon, but Gideon asks them both to stay and listen to what they have to say. They all go to the living room, but Maddy holds Jonathan back, she senses something is very wrong and drags Jonathan upstairs.

Outside in the garden Charlotte climbs up her ladder and throws a noose over a nearby tree. She attempts to hang herself, but her father shoots the rope in half and she falls to the ground. Maddy and Jonathan arrive just as Jerry shoots the gun.

Eventually everyone assembles in the living room and between them Jonathan, Maddy and Gideon explain all.

Gideon explains that the lamp flex hadn't been shortened, the table it was on had simply been moved, but why? Jonathan then takes over the story. No such thing as magic? he says. It's hard to keep that in perspective when you're faced with a woman committing suicide when she's already dead, and disappearing footprints. But then, he realised the question shouldn't be why weren't there any footprints? But, why can't you see them? We then see a view of the day of the so called suicide from an up stairs window. We see Jerry and Lionel looking at the body, and then the camera pans left. Another set of footprints can be seen, but they don't start at Marella's body.

He then shows the group the press cutting from Marella's scrapbook. The trick she did for the journalist rung a bell with him. And if you look at the perfect symmetry of the grounds there was only one way she could have done it so quickly and simply. And once you understand that, that you're not looking through a window, but at a mirror, things start to fall in place. Of course the person watching has to be in a certain place, hence the moved chair, table and lamp flex. With a bit more time that could have been sorted out, but then, the killer only dreamed it up the night before.

Gideon was right, it was Lionel. He had overheard the conversation between Hannah and her mother that night, and he didn't believe a word of it. So he set about planning her murder, Beryl had too much to gain in killing her sister. She'd gain a loving family.

This image shows the two sets of foot prints in the snow.  Jerry doesn't noticed the set made by Lionel when he was pretending to be Marella Lionel then sets about setting up the trick, and cleans up the mirror putting it in place. He then uses one of Jerry's guns to perform the deed and shoots Beryl while she's sleeping. He then sorts out two coats which are a good match, one for him and one for her. He places Beryl in the coat on the ground where she was found. Only Jerry can't see her from where he sits in the conservatory, because the mirror is in the way. With the body safely hidden by the mirror, Lionel then takes up position to the left of the body which will be seen from where Jerry's sitting, reflected in the mirror.

Just before 4 O'clock Lionel takes up position, but is interrupted by the limping man. He argues with the man, telling him to go away and eventually points the gun at him. The man limps away, but with luck Jerry hasn't seen that, it's not quite 4 O'clock yet. Lionel then goes through the motions of pretending to commit suicide using another gun to fire the shot which Jerry hears.

Lionel comes out of the conservator to remove the mirrorInstead of going into the house for help like he was expecting Jerry to do, Jerry comes out of the conservatory towards Beryl. Still it doesn't matter too much, he's too busy looking at the body to notice Lionel off to his left. Lionel then makes a dash into the house removing the coat. He then comes through the conservatory to remove the mirror before it's seen by Jerry and hides it. He then pretends to comfort Jerry. Lionel thinks he's got away with murder, but the one thing he doesn't realise is that Beryl had already committed suicide earlier that day by taking an overdose.

As they leave the mansion, Lionel being taken away to be charged (with what we don't know, it's not a crime to kill someone who's already dead, but Gideon is sure they'll think of something!), Jonathan, Maddy and Gideon talk about the case. Gideon then leaves and both Maddy and Jonathan produce a tenner to give to each other. Both think they have lost their bet regarding Gideon's sergeant. Maddy then doubles the bet saying Jonathan's wrong. He agrees.

Jonathan then gets a call telling him Adam has been rushed to hospital. It's not for his gaul stones though. His bride to be tried to beat him to death with a poker! They arrive at the hospital and Adam tells them what happened. His first pre-wedding sexual encounter with Elsa didn't go as planned.

"Our first pre-nuptial adventure, she steps out of the shower, naked before me for the very first time. And suddenly, do you know what I'm staring at?"

"I think we've got a shrewd idea..." Maddy says.

"To find threaded through an intimate area of your fiancée body a ring, is challenging enough. To find threaded upon that ring, a small nickel plated swastika, takes me somewhere I don't wanna go."

Soon after a doctor appears to treat Adam. Sadly he is Adam's worse nightmare saying such things as:-

"Okay dokey Mr Klaus, what's this a conjuring trick that went wrong? You keep sticking swords into young ladies they're bound to turn nasty! I wonder if we ought to strap him down nurse, you never know with these magicians. They might start flying around the room or something!"

With his gaul stones as well, Adam will be in hospital for a few days...he's clearly not happy with the prospect!

Jonathan and Maddy leave Adam to it, and Maddy tells Jonathan a little white lie. Charlotte told her that Jonathan just wasn't her type....! And of course she had to pass it on... The exterminators are still at Maddy's place, so it looks like she's still staying with Jonathan. He asks how long it's going to take. Until the millennium, she jokes. Would she lie to him? ;-)

corner imageGuest cast
Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke
Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke
Marella Carney
Marella Carney
Jerry Bellenitis
Jerry Bellenitis
Charlotte Carney
Charlotte Carney
Lionel Prokopp
Lionel Prokopp
Adam Klaus
Adam Klaus
Pan Duc Lao
Pan Duc Lao
Sgt Richie
Sgt Richie
Burger Man
Burger Man
Young Charlotte
Young Charlotte
Christmas special 1998
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