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Murder Rooms - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes

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Editorial Reviews

Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes tells the story of the relationship between the young Arthur Conan Doyle (Charles Edwards, Batman Begins) and his real-life mentor and a noted forensics scientist, Dr. Joseph Bell (Ian Richardson, From Hell), as they unite to solve the most baffling murder cases in Edinburgh in the late 1800s. The 2-disc set includes four episodes: The Patient’s Eyes – A beautiful young woman is haunted by a masked cyclist who pursues her through the woods. To Doyle’s surprise, the pursuer is real. And so are the hideous murders connected to a gruesome incident in the Boer War. The Photographer’s Chair – Doyle and Bell investigate a serial killer’s victims, all of whom bare unusual markings. Doyle looks to a spiritualist for answers and is cautioned about his investigation from beyond the grave. Little does he know about the murderer’s plans for his victims in the afterlife. The Kingdom of Bones – When an ancient Egyptian mummy is unwrapped in public, a recently murdered Englishman is found, involving Doyle and Bell in a bombing conspiracy. The White Knight Strategem – Two men with knowledge of a woman’s suicide are murdered, setting off a heated disagreement between Bell and an old police rival. At the risk of alienating Bell, Doyle sides with the policeman, but both men prove only partly correct.


Special Features

  • Four episodes on two discs: The Patient's Eyes, The Photographer's Chair, The Kingdom of Bones, The White Knight Strategem

Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Richardson, Charles Edwards, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Ben Macleod, Mossie Smith
  • Directors: Paul Marcus, Simon Langton, Tim Fywell
  • Writers: Daniel Boyle, David Pirie, Paul Billing, Stephen Gallagher
  • Producers: Alison Jackson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EXZFRG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,393 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Murder Rooms - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 131 people found the following review helpful By jammer on May 27, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Murder Rooms" consists of five episodes, starring Ian Richardson as Dr. Joseph Bell, the historical personage on whom Arthur Conan Doyle allegedly based Sherlock Holmes; with Dr. Watson based on Doyle himself. The 116-minute first episode ("Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle, The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes") was a BBC series pilot released in January 2000. In "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle...," Robin Laing starred as the young Doyle in medical school. This pilot has been available in NTSC for two years (see Amazon's listing) and IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS PACKAGE. In the remaining four 90-minute episodes comprising this set (on BBC in September-October 2001), episode chronology begins three years later, Charles Edwards assuming Laing's role as the young, idealistic but adult Doyle with his own medical practice. Information on source books, author David Pirie, screen credits, histories, plot synopses and cast are available at murder-rooms.com

FOR BEST APPRECIATION, ONE MUST TREAT THIS SERIES AS AN INTEGRATED FIVE-PART, EIGHT-HOUR MINISERIES, beginning with the pilot "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle..." setting the backdrop against which the other four, described IN ORDER below, play out. Missing "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle...," this reviewer STRONGLY RECOMMENDS you purchase this set now and set it aside until that pilot can be seen. In "The Patient's Eyes," a black-shrouded cyclist repeatedly stalks a lady patient cycling to Dr. Doyle eye appointments through eerie wooded terrain, leading to a mysterious abandoned house, love-interest conflicts, betrayal, and murder. (There are striking scene similarities to "The Solitary Cyclist.
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Format: DVD
When we last saw the great forensic professor of medicine, Dr. Joseph Bell (Ian Richardson), from the University of Edinburgh, it was 1873. He and his callow young medical student, Arthur Conan Doyle, had just solved a horrendous series of murders, but at great cost. The young woman Doyle had loved was the last victim and the murderer had escaped. It's now a few years later. Doyle has his degree and is trying to establish his own practice. Bell has chosen to become friends with Doyle, drawn by Doyle's eagerness to learn, his intelligence and his concern for the sick and weak. Bell also is touched by the knowledge of Doyle's great loss. He is sensitive enough not to comment on Doyle's physical change. Instead of a callow youth, Doyle, while still tentative in manner, now looks something like a Hollywood hunk. Where earlier Doyle had been played by Robin Laing, a fine actor but no matinee idol, now he is played by the handsome actor Charles Edwards. Bell and Doyle have become friends, something on the order of mentor and student, and Bell continues to help Doyle when mysteries arise. In Murder Rooms, four do.

This series of four 90-minute episodes has some of the greatest production values I've ever come across in British period dramas and mysteries. It must have cost a bundle to mount them and may account for Murder Rooms not being renewed for further episodes. We don't simply have dark, wet cobblestone streets, foggy nights and horse-drawn carriages. There are great dining rooms and entrance halls, a lavish banquet, Victorian velvet settees and well-groomed riding horses, lecture halls sided by carved, polished dark oak with seats filled by prosperous elderly gentlemen in evening clothes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Martin Vogt on August 3, 2006
Format: DVD
I am a keen reader of the Holmes stories and a admirer of Ian Richardson, whose acting I thoroughly enjoyed watching the "House of Cards" triology. The stories on this DVD are much darker then the Holmes stories and one shouldn't watch them when feeling depressed. However, there are some really funny scenes, for example, when Doyle's pompous former anatomy professor is reading the riot act to a journalist in "The Kingdom of Bones." The atmosphere, the writing and the superb acting make this one of the favourite DVDs in my collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Luster on July 31, 2007
Format: DVD
What a brilliant method to give us another Sherlock Holmes series. While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was at medical school and first starting his medical practice he met a real-life surgeon named Dr. Bell that was a living Sherlock Holmes. What an inspiration he would be for books would he not? So the first two hour movie, "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle", introduces us to this excellent Murder Rooms series of four movies. During the first movie, "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle", we find Doyle in medical school working with the forensics expert Dr. Bell that assists the police from time to time with their investigations. All five movies are a must see for fans of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series a few years ago. The stories are slightly different takes on some of the books Doyle wrote. All four movies in this set are 90 minutes each and very interesting. This set picks-up with Doyle after he gets out of medical school and starts his practice. In the first movie Dr. Bell comes to visit Doyle after hearing about a hooded cyclist following a lady. The acting, directing, costumes, sets, scenery, and music are all first rate in all four movies. The DVD quality is very good. Sound and clarity was excellent. I highly recommend this series for the whole family.
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English Subtitles or Closed Caption?
Have you heard whether "Murder Rooms" DVD has closed captions? I too would like to know before I purchase. Thanks
Jan 30, 2010 by James W. Mclaughlin |  See all 3 posts
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