No Trace of Tracy - Episode 4 - Jonathan Creek Podcast

No Trace of Tracy – Episode 4

No Trace of Tracy was the fourth episode of Jonathan Creek’s first season and featured a mysterious case of a girl who walked through a doorway and disappeared. In this podcast Gerry and Iain take a look at tree-worshipping, ark building and faded rock stars.

 

 

Roy Pilgrim (Ralph Brown), the ageing front man of 70’s rock band Edwin Drood, returns from a run to find his patio doors ajar and his safe opened. Before he can appraise the situation he is knocked unconscious and wakes to find himself chained to his radiator, leading to a long wait for rescue. Meanwhile teenage fan Tracy Cook (Heather-Jay Jones) is on her way to Pilgrim’s home, believing he has agreed to meet her.

 

When Tracy disappears police attention is immediately focussed on Pilgrim, who maintains his seemingly implausible alibi which, if true, would mean he was staring at the patio door that witnesses saw Tracy enter before she vanished. Ray is offered support by members of a cult he financially contributes to, particularly their leaders Jacob and Polly Flowers (Mel Cobb and Christine Moore).

 

Jonathan and Maddy are aided (hindered?) in their efforts to figure the case out by Maddy’s friend Sheena (Caroline Loncq), who takes a bit of a shine to Jonathan, while real-life rockers Lou Sexty and Hank Wangford portray Ray Pilgrim’s former bandmates Jerry and Glenn. Rob Jarvis and James DeGazio also appear as Tex (a frustrated pizza-toting musician) and Toby Flowers (‘nephew’ of Jacob and Polly) respectively. Geraldine Alexander appears as Ray’s furious fiancée Francine.

 

No Trace of Tracy was again written by the show’s creator, David Renwick. There was a change of director with Sandy Johnson taking the helm, while Susan Belbin remained as producer.

 

No Trace of Tracy was released in 1997. It is 59 minutes long and originally aired on the BBC. An abridged edition can be viewed on Netflix in the UK and Ireland and the original cuts are available on DVD in other countries, including a comprehensive box set of all the episodes up until Christmas 2016, released by the BBC.

 

  • Largo

    No Trace Of Tracy (or as I call it, “The Mystery Of Edwin Drood’s Tree Hugging And Frog Sucking Hippie Pals”) is a pretty good show, overall. In my humble opinion, it’s a better production than the preceding Jonathan Creek episode and I would give this one a solid ‘B’ for a grade. Despite my incredulous response to those ridiculous rock concert video sequences involving Roy Pilgrim and his ‘Edwin Drood’ band, I still felt sorry about Pilgrim’s plight. I enjoyed the fact that we as an audience were in the know regarding Pilgrim’s innocence and I for one was actually invested in seeing that he eventually got freed from the suspicion of murder by our hero sleuth, Mr. Jonathan Creek. It also helped that Roy Pilgrim (for some inexplicable reason) was engaged to a controlling shrew of a woman (in my opinion) which made me pretty much on Pilgrim’s side from the get go, eh! 😀

    But it is rather interesting that David Renwick appears to be against ecologically minded activists … or maybe it’s hippies living in a commune that Renwick doesn’t like here — I don’t know. Whatever the case may be, I found it rather amusing that those liberal, tree hugging hippies turned out to be the real culprits in this mystery. What could be next on the the Renwick Agenda — animal rights advocates, perhaps? David Renwick at first presents these tree loving, frog licking types as a bunch of well-meaning but misguided eccentrics. Renwick then reveals during the denouement that these same hippies are greedy, kidnapping thugs who might have eventually brainwashed poor Tracy Cook and forced her into their cult-like communal existence. It was most fortunate that our resourceful hero, Jonathan Creek, was on hand to sort out this whole Tracy Cook / Roy Pilgrim conundrum — in spite of the fact that he appeared to be a type of ‘Edwin Drood’ groupie. Be seeing you! 🙂

  • Margaret Williams

    When contemplating this Jonathan Creek production, four words come immediately to mind: worst ventriloquist act ever! But more importantly, I think about that poor, pathetic creature named Tracy Cook. Oh, Tracy, Tracy, Tracy … what WERE you thinking!?! Pining after a rock singer who is old enough to be your father!?! Shame on you, girl! But even more outrageous was this poor girl’s mother! I tell you — what kind of a mother would let her teenaged daughter go out like that to meet a middle-aged rock star!?! Can you say super creeper enabler? Ugh! However, it truly was a huge relief for me when the police finally rescued Tracy: I let out a shriek-like sigh when this particular scene appeared on the screen. And those wacky hippies: did anyone else here get a kind of Charles Manson-like vibe from that eco-cult leader guy? EEK! Well, that’s all I have for now. Toodles! 🙂

  • Kiara

    I stangely like this episode. I too thought maybe his watch was wrong and there was a time difference too but it does seem they go out of their way on this one. All that prep and didn’t put things back in the right place! I love the characters in this episode. We get more insight into Maddies life and how she lives. Still a kind of will they won’t they get together but not actually addressing it in the right way and just getting pissed off with each other. The Shena character was annoying me but I’m sure that’s what the director wanted. Overall I good episode I thought and have watched over many times. I use quotes in my daily life often ‘better hurry up or you won’t miss your train’ ‘ever been up in an oak tree?’ hmm maybe that’s weird no one really understands what I’m chatting about lol Don’t think I’d want to lick a frog tho yuk! Great podcast looking forward to the next one 🙂 cheers Gerry and iain

    • Jonathan Creek Podcast Team

      Thanks @Keezeeweezywoo:disqus, love the thought of people staring back blankly when you drop those references into conversation!

      • Kiara

        Yeah my obsession is bad 🙁 I must say I know a lot of episodes word for word.

  • Kryptonian

    I agree with most of the issues you raised about this episode but I always (naively perhaps) assumed that the commune guys would let the girl go and Ray wouldn’t be going to jail so they wouldn’t have to rely on him sending cash from prison. I must have thought that once Francine had left she wouldn’t come back as it made her more aware of his shady past and despite being innocent now, it wasn’t something she wanted to be associated with. Maybe that isn’t fair to her but she didn’t have a lot of redeeming features anyway…

    • Jonathan Creek Podcast Team

      That’s actually a good thought @disqus_xNQiO9qyqf:disqus. Perhaps a little generous to the commune folks!

  • Kiara

    Haha I went to the theatre last night to see a Victorian magic act. They played danse macabre I got very excited!! I wonder if they would ever make a Jonathan creek a play for theatres?? Hmm

  • Steve Cloutier

    I’m not sure that we should be so surprised that the commune inhabitants hadn’t thought it through. They do sexually molest trees! I’m all for protecting the environment, but…

    Another question I had has nothing to do with the plot. It’s this: who is the first person to say “Oh, what a pretty frog. I wonder what would happen if I sucked it?”

    • Kiara

      There are some very odd people about! That’s all I can say.

  • Kiara

    In need of Jonathan creek fix 🙁

  • Jilly Fernandez

    Polly Flowers says ‘vindictive thugs’ but I can see how it could sound like something else. Did you also spot Sandy Johnson as the paramedic (when Toby is found)? So both Johnson and Rob Jarvis from this episode were also in ‘Time Waits for Norman’.

    Excellent podcast chaps, very much enjoying it 🙂