Jeremy Brett. Includes some of Holmes' finest moments: A Scandal in Bohemia," The Naval Treaty," The Greek Interpreter," The Red-Headed League" in 13 episodes and more on 5 DVDs. 1984-85/color/11 hrs., 30 min/NR/fullscreen.
Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is perhaps the best filmed version of Arthur Conan Doyle
's famous detective, showcasing Holmes's dazzling brilliance without ignoring his unnerving intensity or drug dependencies. First aired on Britain's Granada Television in 1984, the series offered perfect casting (David Burke, replaced later in the run by Edward Hardwicke, played Dr. Watson as Holmes's sturdy companion and chronicler rather than as a buffoon), marvelous period music
by Patrick Gowers, and a running time of almost an hour per story, which allowed superior detail and faithfulness to the original source.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes marked the beginning of the long-running series. Highlights of these 13 episodes include "A Scandal in Bohemia," which introduces Irene Adler (Gayle Hunnicutt), whom Holmes uncharacteristically describes as having "a face a man might die for"; the chilling locked-room mystery "The Speckled Band"; the introduction of Sherlock's brother Mycroft (Charles Gray) in "The Greek Interpreter"; and "The Final Problem," in which Holmes confronts his arch-enemy Professor Moriarty (Eric Porter) at Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. The five-disc boxed set is a great bargain compared to previous VHS releases, although bonus features are limited to English subtitles and galleries of Sidney Paget's famous illustrations. The series would continue on Granada with The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes as well as the stand-alone treatments of The Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles. --David Horiuchi