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The Return of Sherlock Holmes Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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(Aug 26, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES DVD COLLECTION The celebrated duo of Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke are back as the masterful Sherlock Holmes and his faithful cohort Dr. Watson. Based on the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the spellbinding adventures of THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES are packed with mystery and suspense. Don’t miss a single clue in these deadly games of cat and mouse! Produced by Granada Television and filmed on location in London.
DVD Extras:

-"Elementary, My Dear Watson: An Interview With Edward Hardwicke"
- Director's Commentary with John Madden
- Production Notes


Granada Television followed The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with The Return of Sherlock Holmes, 11 more episodes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective played by Jeremy Brett. After his apparent demise at the hands of Professor Moriarty, Holmes is resurrected in "The Empty House." Brett is outstanding as the famed sleuth, whose return from what Sherlockians call the Great Hiatus is challenged by one of Moriarty's most murderous lieutenants (Patrick Allen), already a killer on the run in London. "The Abbey Grange," a bloody mystery with significant moral and ethical implications, was also an early episode in the new onscreen association of Brett and Edward Hardwicke (who ably replaced the departed David Burke as Dr. Watson), and the two actors seem as perfectly meshed as their allied characters. Arguably the most entertaining and satisfying episode from the entire series, "The Second Stain" finds Holmes facing intertwining problems, each with very different consequences. The look of epiphany on Brett's face when the ever-clueless Inspector Lestrade (Colin Jeavons) tells Holmes about an odd detail in the murder victim's home is enormous fun.

Counselor Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation--or rather actress Marina Sirtis--is part of the cast of "The Six Napoleons," a wild mystery that suggests that a madman with a grudge against Napoleon Bonaparte is smashing clay busts of his likeness all over London. "The Priory School," one of the most interesting stories from Doyle's Holmes canon, makes for a particularly taut and exciting episode in which Holmes and Watson are summoned by the desperate founder of an exclusive prep school for boys to locate the missing son of a duke. An extreme rarity in the Holmes canon, a policeman of real competence named Inspector Baynes (Freddie Jones), is also on the case in "Wisteria Lodge," making this tale all the more interesting for Holmes fans interested in comparing and contrasting investigative styles. "The Devil's Foot" finds Watson pressuring the exhausted sleuth into joining him on a vacation on the Cornish coast. Instead of relaxation, however, Holmes and Watson encounter one of the most horrifying multiple murders they have yet come across.

Doyle caught a fair amount of flak for getting a lot of details wrong in "Silver Blaze," a story about the training and racing of horses. Nevertheless, it is one of his most popular yarns and makes a fine basis for a keen mystery with one of Doyle's most inventive solutions. A strong story with some of the sleuth's most impressive investigatory work, "The Bruce Partington Plans" also saw the return of Mycroft Holmes (Charles Gray), brother of the Great Detective and indispensable repository of government business. Holmes's methodical approach to the arcane problem in "The Musgrave Ritual" is a lot of fun, and Brett and Hardwicke seem to be having a particularly good time outdoors, pursuing the solution under a bit of sunshine. "The Man with the Twisted Lip" is one of the most ingenious of the Holmes stories, satisfying from beginning to end, with a witty conclusion and unexpected moral about class pressures. --Tom Keogh

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Brett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2003
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009WVO2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,467 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Return of Sherlock Holmes Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Granada's Sherlock Holmes series concludes its move into DVD format with this well priced 5 disc set. Like its predecessor, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", Holmes is portrayed by Jeremy Brett: he is, as others have noted, the "definitive Sherlock Holmes". I cannot imagine anyone ever excelling Brett in this role. Watson is played by Edward Hardwicke, the son of noted actor, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and he, too is definitive in the role. Everything is near perfect in this set, including the adaptions from the Doyle stories, and the very real sense of being in 19th century England. I have only one reservation: the tape to disc transfer is far from perfect. I do not know whether this is a reflection of poor storeage of the master tapes or sloppy transfer procedures. The result is a fair amount of "ghosting", especially in the night scenes. Having noted this, the performances are, without an exception, excellent. No fan of "the world's first consulting detective" should be without this set.
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Format: DVD
On reviewing this excellent Granada series, one must always keep in mind two separate criteria. One, the original writing of Doyle and two, the Granda production team, including of course the now legendary performance of Jeremy Brett, without question now the ultimate Holmes for the 20th century. You can't really fault the Granda production for what is unfortunately, some of Doyle's weaker stories such as Lady Carfax, for instance.

In this series of 11 episodes however, both the writing and the production are top notch all the way, and it is arguably the best collection of the whole group.

Doyle purists may prefer the Adventures, and with good reason, for the stories were fresh, creative and Doyle had not yet tired of writing about his famous detective.

But was it luck or theatrical Fate that brought Edward Hardwicke into the series, precisely at the point where Holmes and Watson's relationship necessarily becomes more personal and complex - right from the first episode where Watson displays a range of emotions upon finding Holmes alive in "The Empty House"?

Although David Burke does an admirable job in the first series, it is Hardwicke who is able to take us further into the personal ups and downs of their friendship with all the humor and understanding that fully fleshes out the two main characters.

Hardwicke's subtle psychological insight into Watson's role is only one of the rewards of this magnificent series.

Where else will you see the humanity of Holmes so revealed as in "The Devil's Foot" - the only time Holmes ever addresses Watson as "John" - as he battles his cocaine addiction? Where else will you see a more mature and compassionate Holmes comforting women in distress, as in "The Man With the Twisted Lip"?
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Format: DVD
"The Return of Sherlock Holmes Collection" continues the almost-perfect adaptation of Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes cannon. Jeremy Brett returns as Holmes incarnate, slightly less exuberant due to his illness, but lacking none of the spark and charisma of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." Edward Hardwicke takes over as Watson so completely that David Burke is hardly missed.
All of the high-production values, including excellent location shootings and costumes and such, are carried over along with the cast. Granada Television really put care into this series, and it shows.
There are some great episodes here, such as "Silver Blaze" with Holmes and Watson investigating a missing race horse, "The Devil's Foot" with Holmes battle against his own addiction as well as crime, the wonderful "The Six Napoleons" and the eerie "The Musgrave Ritual." Actually, they are all top-quality.
This series is the finest Sherlock Holmes adaptation, bar none, and the high quality contines in this set.
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Format: DVD
In his foreword to Bantam's "Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories," Loren Estleman called the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson literature's warmest, most symbiotic and most timeless: rightfully so. Not surprisingly, film history is littered with adaptations of Conan Doyle's tales and Holmes pastiches (using the protagonists but otherwise independent storylines). Yet - and with particular apologies to the fans of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce canon - none of these prior incarnations can hold a candle to the ITV/Granada TV series produced between 1984 and 1994, starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes and first David Burke, then, beginning with this cycle and in near-seamless transition, Edward Hardwicke as a refreshingly sturdy, pragmatic, unbumbling Dr. Watson.

Jeremy Brett was the only actor who ever managed to perfectly portray Holmes's imperiousness, bitingly ironic sense of humor and apparently indestructible self-control without at the same time neglecting his genuine friendship towards Dr. Watson and the weaknesses hidden below a surface dominated by his overarching intellectual powers. The series takes the titles of its four cycles of shorter episodes - "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," "The Return of Sherlock Holmes," "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" - from four of the five short story collections featuring London's self-appointed only "consulting detective" (published 1892, 1905, 1894 and 1927, respectively).
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