An American is found dead with the word RACHE - German for
"revenge" - written in blood above the body. Holmes's investigation
takes him from the dangerous London streets to the atmospheric
world of the music hall...
volume contains two more of the six surviving Peter Cushing
episodes of Sherlock Holmes.
One of the first BBC programmes to be made in colour, this
series, produced between 1968 and 1969, clearly had a lot
of money spent on it. If you didn't know better, its production
values might lead you to believe it was a product of the late
1970s rather than the '60s. The episodes do show their limitations
when the sets or cameras wobble occasionally, but then many
a classic show, including Doctor Who and Fawlty
Towers, have been prone to such failings.
this is exciting stuff. A Study in Scarlet has been
adapted into a standard-length 50-minute episode, despite
being based upon a novel (the very first Holmes book in fact)
rather than a short story. Dramatist Hugh Leonard has pared
down the plot accordingly, omitting the initial introduction
of Watson (Nigel Stock) to Holmes, since the audience already
knows the characters well.
is notable how some '60s sensibilities have crept into the
adaptation. Rather than being a helpless victim of the advances
of Enoch Drebber (Craig Hunter), Alice Charpentier (Edina
Ronay) appears to put up only a token resistance.
A young man is found over the body of his father, an odious
bully who has been brutally beaten to death. Holmes is called
in to ensure that an innocent man is not hanged for the crime...
Each of these episodes boasts a stellar cast, including plenty
of faces that will be familiar to sci-fi fans. The Boscombe
Valley Mystery is no exception, featuring Space 1999's
Nick Tate as James McCarthy, while A Study In Scarlet stars
Gerry Anderson stalwart Ed Bishop as Joseph Stangerson. Doctor
Who fans might also recognise Jack Woolgar, alias Staff
Sergeant Arnold from The Web of Fear, as Moran in Boscombe
course the star of the show is Peter Cushing, an actor whose
willowy frame and well-spoken panache were made for the role
of Holmes. It's just a pity that he couldn't have been cast
as a regular far earlier. In Hammer's 1959 film version of
The Hound of the Baskervilles he was just the right
age, whereas by the time of this series he was looking rather
old and grey.
Nigel Stock, who had previously accompanied Douglas Wilmer's
Holmes in an earlier BBC series, provides good support as
Dr Watson, though he is prone to some of the bumbling tendencies
that Nigel Bruce brought to the role in the 1940s movies.
Not until the '80s would David Burke finally distance the
character from such associations.
are no special features on this DVD, apart from subtitles,
but at such a bargain price who's complaining?
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