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Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The

"Which is it tonight, Holmes - heroin, or cocaine?"DEFINITIVE SMALL-SCREEN sleuthathon saddling JEREMY BRETT, for good or ill (the latter, as it turned out) with the role of a lifetime. Hard to find a word to say against this meticulously turned-out period perfectionism, at least not during the early years when Brett was on top hair-dyed, rake-thin, pipe-chimney, violin-scratching, blind-fury, arch-pompous, bone-dry-wit form. Accompanied first by the almost too-youthful DAVID BURKE, who regenerated into EDWARD “COLDITZ” HARDWICKE in 1986, here was the humorous (“Watson, this is no time for eating humbugs!”) and the introspective (“It seems death is all around us”) just as thrilling as the discovery of the next dead body. A fully-functioning Baker Street, slung up just round the corner from the Rovers Return and peopled with numerous rozzers, coppers, tinkers and nabobs, kept Granada in pocket to boot. Later years, saddled with numerous name changes (THE RETURN OF…, THE MEMOIRS OF…, THE CASEBOOK OF) and two-hour one-off specials, hampered by less money and Brett’s fading health. Final episodes almost ghoulish in their intimations of mortality. Still, the best of its kind and no fooling, with the finest late-Victorian smog (“Hmmm, it’s a real pea-souper this time!”) on the box.



  1. George White

    November 21, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    The later years increasinly resembled a Catherine Cookson adap.

    Interesting, when the series had one of its breaks, Yorkshire rushed in their own rival TV movie for CBS, Hands of a Murderer, based on a script from the curtailed Ian Richardson series for the then-nascent HBO (which had ended due to Granada rushing in their series at the last minute as the copyright ran out, while Otto Plaschkes had paid considerable money to the Conan Doyles for the rights for the Richardson films, resulting in Plaschkes suing Granada), which feels very much like “We got Sherlock at home.” Anthony Andrews’ Moriarty is a bad impression of Eric Porter’s, while Edward Woodward sadly isn’t very good as a rather rotund Holmes, but Peter Jeffrey while a splendid Mycroft may have been better swapping roles with Ewah. John Hillerman, however is a decent Watson.

  2. Richardpd

    November 21, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    This is a good series for spotting actors at different times of their careers.

    A pre-Next Generation Marina Sirits is in The Six Napoleons.

  3. Sidney Balmoral James

    November 21, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Americans loved this, but they seem very slow when seen today, and padded out to fill the hour – although Brett’s extravagant performance keeps them going. I remember the Final Problem had a terrible (but no doubt extremely difficult to arrange) stunt sequence, when Holmes and Moriarty fall into the Falls (which of course didn’t happen anyway, as Holmes managed to shove Moriarty off on his own)- whereas most people would have thrown a couple of dummies over the edge, they had two stunt men clearly on pulleys lowered down the falls – they start grappling as they fall, and then just basically hang there, flailing their arms about as they descend. I bet they spent a fortune on that. Now, who remembers the cracking BBC production from the 80s, of the Hound of the Baskervilles with Tom Baker – that was great.

  4. Richardpd

    October 23, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    It’s a shame Jeremy Brett died before the every story was adapted, but by the end they only had the weaker ones left.

    Supposedly Tom Baker lamented that he really tried to get his Sherlock Holmes right, but never managed to click as well as he would like.

    I managed to visit the Granada Studios Tour while it was open & got to see the Baker Street backlot.

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