Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes - Dr. Bell & Mr. Doyle
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Outside of the refined halls of Edinburgh University, a young Arthur Conan Doyle is learning his first lesso... in murder.
In 1878, when Mr. Doyle (Robin Laing) meets the brilliant Dr. Bell (Ian Richardson), he is drawn away from his medical studies into a new world of crime investigation. As the pair assist local police in solving their most gruesome cases, Doyle becomes fascinated with Bell's uncanny talent for outthinking seasoned detectives and outwitting the most clever criminals.
However, one particularly vicious cat-and-mouse game has a different outcome. Doyle finds his life completely changed and even Dr. Bell's agile mind cannot predict how this story will end!
Top Customer Reviews
The subject here is how author Arthur Conan Doyle created his character, Sherlock Holmes. Because of a restriction on Doyle's personal papers, there is not a lot of evidence of Doyle's early life. So the script is based on an "idea", rather than fact. But as a "mystery" this film is highly recommended. Ian Richardson, as Dr. Bell - for whom Doyle (allegedly) was a clerk while in medical college - is superb. And the much lesser known Robin Laing (as Doyle) is nearly as good. The cleverness of Bell's deductions which help find the serial killer are what keep you interested. And, since this is a "period piece", the film - at least in this transfer - doesn't appear dated.
There is the requisite "romantic angle" to the story but this is carried out without destroying the mystery.
The BFS release adds a few "special features" including "text on screen" Production Notes, Actor bios and - as a DVD-ROM bonus, the full text of the novel The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
I enjoyed this and any Holmes fan - or lover of high quality BBC-TV dramas - should as well.
From there, Doyle becomes Bell's clerk, and they head off in search of a serial killer with a mystery involving a bloody room, some possible poisonings, and severed ears. There's a solution, but Bell doesn't believe it, and that will make an impact on Doyle's life.
The picture and sound are quietly well-done, with no noticeable problems. Extras include a text biography of Doyle and production notes, both of which will help viewers to piece together what was real and what was fiction in Dark Beginnings. Cast bios and a DVD-ROM edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are also included. It's a decent DVD package, although viewers might be distressed to learn it only contains the initial movie, and not the follow-up series.
I don't believe Doyle was really out there playing Watson to Bell's Holmes, but the performances make the unlikely into something entertaining to contemplate.
-Full review at dvdverdict.com
As was true of the excellent Sherlock Holmes series BBC put out some decades ago, Bell and Doyle is interesting but not exciting, there are no truly explosive incidents, no raw sex, no shoot-outs, no cussin', just solid character development, realistic scenic design, and interactions on a plain human level.
Those who crave fast action and contemporary ethos will not be satisfied. Those who liked Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, and others of the staid school of law enforcement should find it nourishing fare.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very well acted and scripted movie. Great period reenactment, keeps your interest and you will not be disappointed if you buy it. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Judith O. Neff
Well not as interesting as I hoped. Without Dr. Watson its not such a good story either. I was kinda disappointedPublished 11 months ago by Bill Towle
A different take on Doyle-related detective stories. I especially liked the occasionally conflict between Doyle's gullibility with respect to the supernatural and his mentor's... Read morePublished 14 months ago by W. Ivey
I greatly respect Ian Richardson as an actor...whether he plays a villain or a good guy he's right on spot! Read morePublished 15 months ago by CatziAggie
not quite sherlock but after all it was only the beginning. it kept my interest, perhaps i will catch more detail the 2nd time i view.Published 23 months ago by staupin
Jeremy Brett IS Sherlock Holmes, bar none! Even so, Ian Richardson is excellent as Dr. Bell in this one-episode beginning tale of a young Arthur Conan Doyle and how he met Dr. Read morePublished on December 20, 2013 by The Lilac Poet
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