The Reconstituted Corpse - Episode 3 - Jonathan Creek Podcast

The Reconstituted Corpse – Episode 3

The Reconstituted Corpse was the third episode of Jonathan Creek’s first season and featured a seemingly impossible scenario involving a dead body and a locked wardrobe. In this podcast Gerry and Iain take a look at the late-1990s equivalent of online dating and a nasty break-up.



When Zola Zbzewski (Kika Mirylees) is confronted by her former partner (and plastic surgeon) David Churchin (Ron Berglas) on Cleo Paterson’s (Hilary Lyon) chat show she reaches the unfortunate conclusion that he will never let her live in peace and permanent action is required. When she is arrested for his murder her daughter Victoria (Rebecca Johnson) and agent  Sam Brickman (Philip McGough) call for Maddy’s help and an alibi swiftly becomes apparent.


Meanwhile, Maddy engages in an awkward and inevitably doomed courtship with Shelford (Nigel Planer), a local professional whose dating profile featured a suspiciously out of date photograph. Ralf Beck (as Victoria and Zola’s shared boyfriend Rudi), Geoffrey McGivern (as Maddy’s agent Barry Opper) and Michael Mellinger (Mr Schmitz) played supporting roles in this episode.


The Reconstituted Corpse was again written by the show’s creator, David Renwick. The director was once more Marcus Mortimer in the last of his three episodes, while Susan Belbin remained as producer.


The Reconstituted Corpse 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.


40 thoughts to “The Reconstituted Corpse – Episode 3”

  1. The Reconstituted Corpse (or as I call it, “The Lying, the Bitch and the Wardrobe” — sorry, I just couldn’t help myself) is just an average Jonathan Creek production, in my opinion, and is yet another step down from the previous episode. Yes, Virginia, there actually are plastic people in the world and some of them are horrid and do nasty things … like raise their daughters in a hedonistic environment and murder their plastic surgeons! Oh, the humanity! Overall, I’d give this Jonathan Creek mystery a ‘C’ for a grade.

    But there are lessons to be learned from watching this particular episode. First, steer clear of any and all media whores. Second, never buy furniture from a street vendor — you just never know what you’ll actually end up with when you get said piece of furniture back into the privacy of your own home! Be seeing you! 🙂

  2. Even though this “The Reconstituted Corpse” Jonathan Creek episode was fairly weak in the story department, it left me with mixed emotions. For the most part, I didn’t care one bit about either Zola Zbzewski or her ex-lover, the plastic surgeon, David Churchin. However, I did feel kind of sorry for the daughter, Victoria. But when Zola got accidentally conked on the head with that lead pipe and then subsequently dying from it later on, I began to think about what happened to poor Natasha Richardson back in 2009.

    It was at this point that I got rather teary eyed and then I started to think about poor Victoria having no parents in her life — and this reminded me of the similar tragedy in my own life. I had to stop watching this episode here and it took me quite some time before I could get back to finish it. Oh, how I really miss my mom and dad! Oh, dear — I’m being overwhelmed with all of these emotions all over again! I’ve got to be running along now! Too**SNIFFLE**dles! :.(

  3. I think the missus and I may be less demanding watchers than most–we’ve both quite enjoyed each episode up to this point. To be sure, there are nitpicks, but plenty of those in Columbo as well. Speaking for myself, these characters, the show’s humor, mysteries, actors, etc. really come together nearly so perfectly, I’m happy to overlook all but the most glaring flaws. Greatly enjoyed your presentation this week as well, Gerry and Iain. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks salty. I always try to approach each episode with the thought that it will be *someone’s* favourite.

    2. “I think the missus and I may be less demanding watchers than most–we’ve both quite enjoyed each episode up to this point.”

      Please pay no mind to that ‘Largo Snarkiness’ and feel free to write at length about how much you enjoy these Jonathan Creek Mysteries, Salty. And if anyone on the forum happens to disagree with you about any particular element within these episodes, you just keep on writing with unbridled enthusiasm. So go forth and be bold, Salty. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead, bro! 🙂

      1. Thanks Largo, but I’m never concerned with opinions on the forum–always happy to allow folks theirs and myself mine. 🙂 As for writing at length, life is a bit fuller for both the missus and me than when we were going through Columbo, so my guess is my input here will be on the shorter end of things more often than not–except for those times when I absolutely cannot help myself. 😉 Cheers!

        1. I totally agree, Salty! I too won’t be writing at length for the most part because I’ve only come to this series very recently — and so far it hasn’t inspired me to write that much at all. However, being an international wiseguy, I’ll probably find myself writing a whole lot of snarky nonsense despite my very best intentions. Be seeing you! 😀

        2. How’s about we let you off with short comments for now in exchange for some iTunes reviews? 😉

          1. For sure. I actually did one in March, but it doesn’t show on the site. However, when I attempted to write a second one it gave me a message saying “you already wrote a review on such and such a date for this item.” It didn’t explicitly say I couldn’t leave a second one though, and I haven’t tried to see if it will let me do that yet, but I’ll give it another shot.

  4. I was unsure about this episode but I must say I did jump when the body fell out of the wardrobe! I love Jonathan and his mind just ticks over and Maddy just struggling to work out what Jonathan thinks is obvious. I love that chemistry and just how different they are. Guess that’s why they work. I don’t think this one stands out as much as jack in the box. A locked room case. The video tape evidence is just far to obvious and yes I noticed they said watch for finger prints then played the tape lol. Oh well this was filmed a while ago guess you notice little things the more times you watch them.

    1. Personally, I’m getting loads of 90s nostalgia from these. Great times!

      1. Yes. Definitely with the tape and the size of Sam’s mobile phone! I still use 1471 sometimes does that mean I’m stuck in the 90’s tho? Eeek! Keep up the good work love looking forward to the podcasts! 🙂

          1. Wow! That is quite a phone, Largo. Does it make coffee or vacuum the rugs as well? 🙂 Reminds me of the new desk phone at the job I’ve just started–still trying to figure that thing out as well….

          2. It’s funny that you should mention coffee making and vacuuming abilities being associated with my Panasonic phone, Salty. I can actually program my robot sentry to do these particular tasks — plus plenty of others — just by entering specific numerical code sequences on this phone. 😉

  5. The music is very integral to the dynamics of the show. Very well done. I would compare Jonathan Creek more to Patrick Jane of The Mentalist than Columbo. All great shows. Good work lads, crack on!

  6. There was some discussion (I think it was Gerry) about what kind of meeting Shelford was at that just happened to be near Maddie’s house. I saw it differently. Who says he actually had a meeting? I figured he “accidentally” showed up. Haven’t we all been in a situation when someone we like is going to be some place, and we plan to go there to “accidentally” meet them? Or is that just me?

Comments are closed.