JONATHAN CREEK. “The The Wrestler’s Tomb.” BBC, 1997 (Series 1, Episode 1). Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek), Caroline Quentin (Madeline Magellan), Anthony Head (Adam Klaus). Teleplay: David Renwick. Director: Marcus Mortimer. Currently streaming on Britbox (available via Amazon Prime).

   Jonathan Creek is a young lad with more hair than I have, and he seems to be getting by, but probably not lavishly, as a magician’s assistant – no, that’s misleading. He’s not the beautiful girl in net stockings whose primary job is to distract the audience away from seeing what the magician is really doing. What he is is the fellow who comes up with and designs the stage props for the fakery that goes on there while the audience is watching the girl get closed up as a mummy in a sarcophagus covered with the sharpest spikes pointing inward that you will ever see.

   In the BBC series that bears his name he also becomes the solver of “impossible” crimes, and in this the pilot episode for the series, it is that of a philandering artist who is killed in an upstairs room of his home by what is thought by the police to be a burglar, while the model he is supposed to be philandering with is taped up and gagged in the same room.

   If it is not a burglar, the most obvious suspect is his wife, but she was at the time known to be in her sequestered office. If she really did it, the key question is, how? Investigative reporter Madeline Magellan wants to know, and co-opts Jonathan’s assistance, using her own charming ways.

   Having to date watched this one twice, I can tell you that this one is a good one, and mean it. The clues are well set up, even the false ones, there is a lot of humor to go with the mystery, and I’m willing to wager you’ll have no more idea who did it – and how – than I did.

   Here are some things I liked. Jonathan meeting Maddy for lunch for the first time shows her a bit of sleight of hand that I thought wouldn’t be explained (magicians never tell), but wrong. It is, and quite satisfactorily so.

   Then about half way through, Jonathan shows Maddie a 3-D doll house replica of the wife’s office (see above) to explain (and quite cleverly) how she could have left the office unseen and gone off to commit the deed.

   Ha! Not so. It almost would have worked, and the reason why it doesn’t occurred to me just before it does to the two TV stars. (I also knew that they wouldn’t “explain all” at a point in the episode only halfway through, so there is that.)

   And believe it or not, the real solution, while admittedly somewhat far-fetched, really *could* have happened, making for a quite satisfying ending to the first of several seasons of adventures of one young Jonathan Creek. I’m already looking forward to the next one.