The Sherlock Holmes Collection [DVD]
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Having already starred as Holmes in the famous Hammer film Hound of the Baskervilles, Cushing was uniquely suited to craft the definitive portrayal for these five captivating televised mysteries. For his first outing as the BBC s Holmes, Cushing revisits the moors of Dartmoor for a feature-length version of Holmes most well-known case, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Subsequent adventures pit his vaunted intellect against murderers, cannibals and Australian bushwackers in faithful productions of The Sign of the Four, The Blue Carbuncle, A Study in Scarlet and The Boscombe Valley Mystery.
Sherlock Holmes: The Great Detective bonus documentary
Top Customer Reviews
The Hound of the Baskervilles (a two-part episode)
The Sign of the Four
The Blue Carbuncle
A Study in Scarlet
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The main reason to get this set is Peter Cushing. It's great to see him playing one of his favorite characters at the prime of his career. Cushing had already played Holmes in Hammer Films' THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES in 1959. Cushing's TV Holmes is a bit calmer
than his Hammer Holmes. The mannerisms and behaviour of the literary Holmes are still present, though.
Unfortunately the episodes themselves do not live up to the star of the series. It's obvious the BBC did not spend the money necessary to bring Doyle's stories to life properly. Most of the scenes in the episodes are indoors and filled with dialogue. It's sometimes like watching a play. The action and atmosphere of Doyle seem to be avoided due to budgetary reasons. A prime example is The Sign of Four. This is one of Doyle's best works, but here it is condensed down to a Cliff Notes version. The Sign of Four should have been a two-parter as well.
Nigel Stock does a decent job as Watson, but the supporting players in the episodes tend to overact badly. In later interveiws, Peter Cushing would express his disappointment with how the series turned out. The BBC made a total of sixteen episodes, but only these six survive, because in those days the BBC would erase or re-use their tapes!
Overall, the picture and sound quality are fine (the episodes are in color). Even though these are not the best presentations of Doyle's detective, this series is a must for Peter Cushing fans and for Sherlock Holmes lovers.
Picture quality is very good, and sound is likewise better than expected, with five tales told in Victorian times, and with enough suspense and humor to please any Holmes fan.
The biggest surprise here is a complete verison of "A Study in Scarlet", which one book claimed only had a few scenes that still existed. The changes in the story were minor, a minus being in not keeping the first meeting of Holmes and Watson, a big plus being the deletion of the dull flashback from the book.
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" is a bit disappointing, it suffers from the two part telling and, being fairly faithful to the novel, has far too little Holmes. Two other flaws, a cave floor creaks badly and the story ends abruptly.
"The Boscombe Valley Mystery" wasn't one of Doyle's best and is probably the weakest in the collection here, due in part to the poor supporting cast.
"The Sign of Four" stuck fairly close to the novel, except for the end. Only the Arthur Wontner verison actually had the nerve to allow watson to marry.
"The Blue Carbuncle" has the most padding to fill the time, but does feature a good scene where Watson gets a laugh at Holmes' expense after a faulty deduction.
Those who think Cushing was too short to play Holmes should reread "The Three Students" and "The Abbey Grange", where Holmes gives himself gives his height at six feet, the same as Cushing. (Arthur Wontner was an inch shorter by the way.)
Even with the flaws this is easily the best television Holmes collection out there and is second only to the better Rathbone films.
One should take note, however, that THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES of this BBC TV set IS NOT the one of the 1959 movie also starring Christopher Lee. All features within this 3 disc set are from BBC TV. While interesting to see they can be a bit ragged in places and some of the sets leave a bit also to be wished for.
Overall if one enjoys Holmes and the Holmes' stories there cannot be any disappointment in these discs. It's unfortunate that only these handful of stories survive from those years.
Though I yet prefer the Jeremy Brett series as being more professionally done, these discs are good and enjoyable to watch. Unfair perhaps, but forty-plus years of improvement in film does make a difference. But Peter Cushing has left us with a capital performance where Sherlock Holmes is concerned, while the role of Dr. Watson is more than ably performed as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed it.
I hadn't seen these but had been meaning to for decades
The intro movie(2 parts) is more like the Dr. Watson show? Sherlock rounds it up in the end. Hvn't seen all the shows yet though.Published 2 months ago by Andrew P Carpenter
In my opinion, Jeremy Brett fulfills the role of Sherlock Holmes as conceived by Arthur Conan Doyle!
The DVD Collection is a must have for Sherlock Holmes devotees! Read more
Anything with Cushing in it is for me. I also love Sherlock Holmes movies. So, between the two what can I say.Published 7 months ago by David W. Barsness
Love Peter Cushing and Sherlock Holmes, so this was a must-have - and I am so glad to have it. Jeremy Brett is still the finest SH, but these are very well done. Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. M. Joyce
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