Jonathan Creek takes aim at Sherlock with pastiche of Benedict Cumberbatch

The new series of Alan Davies's whodunit introduces a character who claims to be able to make Sherlock-like deductions - but can't - in a send up of the hit BBC1 drama

He wears a black coat, has a thick crop of dark hair and an eye for observing details in an attempt to solve crimes in London.


You could be forgiven for thinking that you are watching a version of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, but what you are actually witnessing is what comedian Alan Davies describes as a “piss take” of the cult TV detective, in the opening episode of the forthcoming new series of his hit comedy drama Jonathan Creek.

The direction mimics Sherlock’s flash camera angles and close-up focus on clues as it presents Ridley, a character played by Kieran Hodgson who is studying criminology.

Ridley longs to meet Creek, a detective he admires. But he mistakenly thinks he is capable of using Sherlock’s  techniques and at one point deduces that Creek, played by Davies and his wife Polly (Sarah Alexander) have recently travelled north to Iceland, using the fact that his watch is an hour behind as evidence.

“Shall I tell him it needs a new battery,” says Creek…

Davies said that Creek writer David Renwick is a Holmes fan – but mainly of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books.

“Sherlock is great – I’m a fan,” said Davies at the launch of the new three-part series today.

“I don’t know what Benedict Cumberbatch would make of it. He is probably far too busy as a Hollywood superstar,” added Davies.

Davies revealed that he hasn’t yet caught up with the latest series of Sherlock.

“I have a two year old and a four year old – I haven’t had a chance to watch them,” he said.

Asked why the show had engaged in the parody, Davies said that writer David Renwick “never panders to what’s in vogue.”

“He will never watch Sherlock and say all the fast cutting… and so on and say we should do that. He will watch that and take the piss out of that.”

Kieran Hodgson (pictured, below), the actor behind the parody, admitted that he studied Cumberbatch for inspiration.

He told he watched Cumberbatch’s Sherlock performance in order to get the “patter” and “delivery”, adding: “”Wearing the coat and everything I felt a bit like Sherlock. It’s quite nice flouncing around.

“It was very interesting, trying to be him, it feels quite busy but a lot of the movement comes from the camera.”

However he does not believe Cumberbatch will see the tribute.

“I imagine he will be too busy to watch it. I am sure he will like it. It’s not the only pastiche going at the moment and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

* Jonathan Creek is due to air on BBC1 next month (February)