The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 4 - The Devil's Foot / Silver Blaze / The Bruce Partington Plans
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THE DEVILS FOOT
Dr. Watson insists that the nervous and exhausted Holmes should take a holiday in a small Cornish cottage. But there is no rest for the detective when a young woman is found dead, but has no apparent injuries. In addition, her two brothers have become raving lunatics overnight. Holmes and Watson investigate.
Silver Blaze, a highly prized racehorse, disappears the night before a big race. The horses trainer is found dead and his owner faces ruin. Sherlock Holmes, with the aid of a dog and some sheep, finds a strange solution.
THE BRUCE PARTINGTON PLANS
A young man is found brutally beaten and murdered on a railway line leading from the Underground. Strange plans of a secret submarine are found in his pocket. Is he a hero or a traitor? Aided and abetted by the master detectives brother Mycroft, Holmes and Watson follow a trail through fog-shrouded London to find the truth, and the murderer.
"The Devil's Foot"
One of the most interesting stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon, "The Devil's Foot" finds the Great Detective's friend and ally, Dr. Watson (Edward Hardwicke), pressuring the exhausted sleuth (Jeremy Brett) 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. Though our heroes nearly die from Holmes's effort to prove the cause of death, they carry on until Holmes finally unmasks the identity of the culprits--and then makes a controversial decision about the fate of one. Brett and Hardwicke excel as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous team, who are under more duress than usual in this fascinating tale.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle caught a fair amount of flak for getting a lot of details wrong in this story about the training and racing of horses. Nevertheless, it is one of his most popular yarns and makes a fine basis for this vigorous 1988 episode from the Granada Television series about Sherlock Holmes. The Great Detective and Dr. Watson hurry to Devonshire, following the murder of a trainer and the disappearance of Silver Blaze, a swift horse heavily favored to win the big-money Wessex Cup. Holmes takes some snarly barbs from Blaze's rich owner in stride--though he has his revenge on the arrogant fellow later. The mystery is a keen one and the solution is among Doyle's most inventive. Brett and Hardwicke are at their best as the dynamic duo.
"The Bruce Partington Plans"
A junior clerk working for Britain's defense planning dashes off in the middle of a date with his fiancée, and turns up dead along some railroad tracks--apparently having been pushed from a train while carrying several secret documents related to England's development of a submarine warship. Was he a traitor? If so, who killed him? The case is brought to the attention of Sherlock Holmes and his Dr. Watson, by none other than Mycroft Holmes (Charles Gray), brother of the Great Detective and indispensable repository of government business. Sherlock's conclusions, however, prove there is more to the truth than meets the eye. Brett, as always, is the perfect Holmes while Hardwicke is the ideal Watson for the latter years of their crime-fighting career. A strong story with some of the sleuth's most impressive investigatory work, "The Bruce-Partington Plans" is a worthy part of the long-running Granada Television series, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character. --Tom Keogh
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Top customer reviews
Particularly memorable are the drug sequences in Devil's Foot, along with the story's very odd and lucid atmosphere. Bruce Partington is one of the best episodes since it has brilliant interaction between Sherlock, Holmes, Mycroft, and Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock's ever working, ever chiding house keeper. This story based around stolen plans for a top secret submarine puts Holmes through his greatest odds against a case with a thinnest thread to begin. And it is also the case with the greatest political conseqences for the world. It seems everytime the highest level of government calls on Holmes he winds up going to the furthest extreme, such as the cat burglery he commits in this episode. Arthur Conan Doyle's writing plays on so many levels and in Bruce Partington it is particularly adept because he writes about the arms race and balance of power in Europe that would eventually snap into World War One. His stories of Holmes also persevere because of the underlying optimism of his Britain; he writes the main criminals as generally rich and priviledged while the average man might be grubby, unrefined and ignorant, is extremely loyal and hardworking. It is no doubt why these are classic literature, and now classic television.
I have several Sherlock Holmes' DVDs. I apologize for the wrong episode on an other DVD. Nevertheless, Jeremy Brett stays the unmistakeable Sherlock Holmes.