The Sherlock Holmes Collection [DVD]
No enhanced packaging
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Only five episodes of the BBC s celebrated 1960s Sherlock Holmes series survive. Coincidentally, all five star the inimitable Peter Cushing (Star Wars) as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle s legendary detective, with Nigel Stock as Dr. Watson. And, fortunately for Holmes fans, they have finally been made available on DVD in North America, courtesy of A&E.
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.
There will certainly be some car-door slamming on Baker Street with the release of this essential collection of the long-thought-lost 1960s BBC TV series. The set contains five surviving episodes starring the venerable Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes, whose deerstalker he first tried on for size in the 1959 Hammer production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. That classic mystery gets the two-part treatment here and is easily the highlight of the set. The other stories--"A Study in Scarlet," "The Sign of Four," "The Blue Carbuncle," and "The Boscombe Valley Mystery," each clocking in at less than an hour--are a little worse for the abridgment, but watching Cushing's cool and collected Holmes is good to while away an hour or two. To paraphrase Paul Simon, every generation throws a Sherlock Holmes up the pop charts, and Cushing ranks with the best of them (Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett). "I am no policeman," he proclaims at one point. "I am the last and highest court of appeal in detection. When the official police are out of their depth, the matter is laid before me." His partner Watson (Nigel Stock) is wrong when he states that "anticipation is the worst part of any adventure." On the contrary, one eagerly anticipates Holmes's arrival on the scene, where he will meticulously examine the clues and use his "remarkable powers of observation" to solve cases the police consider closed. Each baffling mystery is but "child's play" or "commonplace" to him. As Watson gasps after Holmes makes another brilliant deduction, "You amaze me." And so will this collection, no doubt. --Donald Liebenson
Sherlock Holmes: The Great Detective bonus documentary
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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.
1-It is extremely cheap and a great value for the money.
2-It presents the complete 39 episode TV series.
3-I've purchased a number of DVDs from other manufacturers presenting the Ronald Howard TV series (Mill Creek, Madacy, Echo Bridge, etc.), and believe everything is sourced from the same poor quality prints, this included, but comparing this PopFlix release to those other ones, the video quality here seems to be just slightly better than anything previously released. If you can't get the full series on DVD from PopFlix, the Echo Bridge 4-disc set is next best, but it only provides 33 of the 39 episodes.
4-The PopFlix company did something unusual on each of the 4 discs of the TV series, by including the complete opening title, credits and theme music, then just the episode titles for the remaining episodes on that DVD. At first I didn't like this approach, but later came to like it a lot. Although I like the memorable theme music, you don't have to sit through it when you want to watch multiple episodes and get right to the story.
The TV episodes were shown on public TV stations in the mid-1970s and the video quality seemed to be better, in my memory, than what has ever been available on VHS and DVD over the past 30 years. The original prints must exist somewhere and it's unfortunate the owner has evidently not allowed their release so we could enjoy this great series with better video. Until then, I really believe this PopFlix release has the best available video quality. It's not great by any means, but it's better than the rest.
I bought it for the Ronald Howard complete TV show episodes. The remaining 2 discs show several other actors' portrayals of Holmes in films of varying quality, and of course the Basil Rathbone portrayals are the best, but these are taken from public domain prints. It's a nice bonus though to buying the TV show.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This collection of nine public domain Sherlock Holmes movies feature four movies made in Hollywood with Basil Rathbone...Read more
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > A&E Home Video > All A&E Titles
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Mystery & Suspense
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Television
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Horror
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Mystery & Thrillers
- Movies & TV > TV