Sherlock Holmes (1984 TV series): Wikis


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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Format Mystery
Created by Michael Cox
Starring Jeremy Brett
David Burke
Edward Hardwicke
Eric Porter
Rosalie Williams
No. of series 9 (including The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes)
No. of episodes 41
Producer(s) Granada Television
Running time 50 to 120 minutes
Original channel ITV
Original run 1984 – 1994

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the name given to the TV series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations produced by British television company Granada Television between 1984 and 1994, although only the first two series bore that title on screen. The series was broadcast on the ITV network in the UK, and starred Jeremy Brett as the famous detective. The portrayal remains very popular.

In addition, Holmes's faithful friend and companion Dr. Watson is scrupulously portrayed as the kind of thoroughly competent sidekick Holmes would want. Watson was portrayed by David Burke in the two Adventures series before he elected to leave so as to spend more time with his wife and young son. He was replaced by Edward Hardwicke, who played Watson for the remainder of the run.

Forty-one of the 60 Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were adapted in the series, spanning 36 one-hour episodes and five feature-length specials.



The series was initially produced by Michael Cox, with later episodes produced by June Wyndham Davies. It was developed for television by screenwriter John Hawkesworth, who also wrote many of the episodes. Other writers to contribute included Jeremy Paul, T. R. Bowen and Alan Plater. A full-scale outdoor replica of Baker Street was constructed at Granada's studios in Quay Street, Manchester, which later formed a central part of the Granada Studios Tour tourist attraction, before that venue's closure in 1999.

In addition to Brett, Burke and Hardwicke, other regular cast members included Rosalie Williams as housekeeper Mrs. Hudson and Colin Jeavons as Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. Also appearing in several episodes was Charles Gray as Holmes' brother Mycroft Holmes (who played the same character in the 1976 film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution), and Eric Porter portrayed Holmes' nemesis Professor Moriarty in the second series of Adventures. The role of the servant Joe Barnes who impersonates Lady Beatrice in the 1991 episode The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place was played by Jude Law.

In all, forty-one out of the sixty Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were adapted in the TV series, across thirty-six one-hour episodes and five feature-length specials. The series came to an end due to the death of Brett at the age of sixty-one from heart failure in 1995. It has, however, been reported that by that stage he had already decided not to play the role of Holmes again — he had been gravely ill during the making of the final run of the series, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and even collapsed on set during the making of one episode.

The series possibly presents the most faithful screen adaptations of many of the Holmes stories, although liberties were taken with some plotlines and characters, particularly later in the run during the 1990s episodes. A big change was Holmes quitting his cocaine habit in the episode "The Devil's Foot," which was done at the approval of Conan Doyle's granddaughter when it was discovered that the series had a considerable child audience. Nonetheless, the series has been highly praised for its star, its adherence to Doyle's original concept in the characterisation of Watson, its high production values and close attention to period detail.

As well as being broadcast by ITV in the UK, the series was popular overseas, particularly in the United States, where the episodes initially ran on PBS stations there in the Mystery! strand. Later series gained co-production funding from Boston PBS broadcaster WGBH. The shows have also been transmitted on cable television stations Disney Channel and A&E Network in the US, and on CBC in Canada. In the UK, the series has often been repeated on Granada Plus, ITV3 and BBC Two, who ran the complete series on Saturday afternoons from 2003 to 2005. This makes the series one of the very few major in-house ITV series ever to have been subsequently shown on the BBC. In March 2006, the series returned to its original channel for the first time in over a decade, as part of the daytime television line-up on weekday afternoons.

The complete series has also been released on VHS and on DVD, twice on the latter medium, with the most recent 2005 release taking advantage of the digitally remastered film prints originally prepared for the BBC Two repeat run.


Although all of the series bear the titles of Conan Doyle short story collections, the adaptations shown in the series do not always correspond to the stories featured in those print anthologies. The dates shown are the original UK airdates on the ITV network.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


  1. A Scandal in Bohemia — 24 April 1984.
  2. The Dancing Men — 1 May 1984.
  3. The Naval Treaty — 8 May 1984.
  4. The Solitary Cyclist — 15 May 1984.
  5. The Crooked Man — 22 May 1984.
  6. The Speckled Band — 29 May 1984.
  7. The Blue Carbuncle — 5 June 1984.


  1. The Copper Beeches — 25 August 1985.
  2. The Greek Interpreter — 1 September 1985.
  3. The Norwood Builder — 8 September 1985.
  4. The Resident Patient — 15 September 1985.
  5. The Red-Headed League — 22 September 1985.
  6. The Final Problem — 29 September 1985.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes


  1. The Empty House — 9 July 1986.
  2. The Abbey Grange — 16 July 1986.
  3. The Musgrave Ritual — 23 July 1986.
  4. The Second Stain — 30 July 1986.
  5. The Man with the Twisted Lip — August 6, 1986.
  6. The Priory School — 13 August 1986.
  7. The Six Napoleons — 20 August 1986.


  1. The Sign of Four — 29 December 1987. (Feature-length episode).


  1. The Devil's Foot — 6 April 1988.
  2. Silver Blaze — 13 April 1988.
  3. Wisteria Lodge — 20 April 1988.
  4. The Bruce-Partington Plans — 27 April 1988.
  5. The Hound of the Baskervilles — 31 August 1988. (Feature-length episode).

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes


  1. The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax — 21 February 1991.
  2. Thor Bridge — 28 February 1991.
  3. Shoscombe Old Place — 7 March 1991.
  4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery — 14 March 1991.
  5. The Illustrious Client — 21 March 1991.
  6. The Creeping Man — 28 March 1991.


  1. The Master Blackmailer — January 2, 1992. (Feature-length episode; based on the short story The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton).


  1. The Last Vampyre — January 27, 1993. (Feature-length episode; based on the short story The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire).
  2. The Eligible Bachelor — 3 February 1993. (Feature-length episode; based on the short story The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor).

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes


  1. The Three Gables — 7 March 1994.
  2. The Dying Detective — 14 March 1994.
  3. The Golden Pince-Nez — 21 March 1994.[1]
  4. The Red Circle — 28 March 1994.
  5. The Mazarin Stone — 4 April 1994.[2]
  6. The Cardboard Box — 11 April 1994.

DVD releases


Region 1

MPI Home Video has released the entire series on DVD in Region 1, in various incarnations. MPI released The Adventures & The Return in single disc volumes as well as complete collections. The Casebook & The Memoirs were released as a single collection box sets. In addition, on 25 September 2007, a complete series set was released featuring all 41 episodes in one complete collection for the very first time.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes: Boxed Set Collection 13 30 April 2002
The Return of Sherlock Holmes DVD Collection 11 26 August 2003
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes DVD Collection 6 28 September 2004
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes DVD Collection 6 26 October 2004
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series 41 25 September 2007

Region 2

ITV DVD has released the entire series in various collections as well as a complete series box set.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Sherlock Holmes: The Adventures / The Return 26 21 February 2005
Sherlock Holmes: The Case Book / The Memoirs 15 21 February 2005
Sherlock Holmes - The Complete Collection 41 21 February 2005 and 24 August 2009[1]

Other productions

During 1988–89, Brett and Hardwicke appeared in West End play The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, a two-hander written especially for them by the television series screenwriter Jeremy Paul. In 1992, the pair appeared in a short mini-episode as part of The Four Oaks Mystery, shown as part of the ITV network's Telethon 92 charity telethon. This episode formed one of a four-part sequence of stories featuring the stars of four ITV detective shows of the time all separately working to solve the same mystery, broadcast at two episodes per night across one weekend. The other shows which produced mini-episodes for the special were Taggart, Van der Valk and Inspector Wexford.

External links


  1. ^ Does not feature Edward Hardwicke as Watson, as he was busy completing work on the film Shadowlands. Instead, Charles Gray appears as Mycroft Holmes, filling Watson's role in the story.
  2. ^ Also includes storyline material from The Adventure of the Three Garridebs. Jeremy Brett only appears in a cameo role as Holmes due to ill-health. In his place, Charles Gray appears again as Mycroft Holmes.


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