The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes – Set 1 (1971/Acorn Media DVD)
C Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B
clever Magic Lantern opening, The Rivals
Of Sherlock Holmes is a series that suggests that new technology appeared
hand in hand with new crime detection.
However, this is not a series about other detectives in Doyle stories
but totally separate detectives of the same period created by other authors
that have not remained as well known.
However, their work is impressive and the following adaptations are
Neville as Dr. Thorndyke in A Message
From The Deep Sea
Stephens as Max Carrados in The Missing
Vaughn as Dorrington in The Affair Of The
Avalanche Bicycle & Tyre Co. Ltd.
Dotrice as Simon Carne in The Duchess Of
Pleasance as Carnacki in The Horse Of The
Vaughn as Dorrington in The Case Of The
Mirror Of Portugal
Fraser as Dixon Druce in Madame Sara
Hines as Jonathan Pryde in The Case Of
The Dixon Torpedo
as Lady Molly in The Woman In The Big Hat
Barkworth as Martin Hewitt in The Affair
Of The Tortoise
Sinden as Romney Pringle in The Assyrian
Lang as Bernard Sutton in The Ripening
Barkworth as Martin Hewitt in The Case Of
a few repeat performers, this Thames production featured some of the best
actors around and was produced on the heels of the Universal-produced NBC Mystery Movie. If you liked that show (including Columbo, McCloud and the like) and you have not seen this series, you are in
for a very big surprise. The writing is
top notch, the mysteries very clever and even the production looks good and
period convincing. They are all strong,
but Donald Pleasance is so good as Carnacki, you’ll wish he had a long-running
hit series playing the character.
hour-long show is as strong as some of the best adaptations of Holmes himself
and plays like a lost gem of Detective TV.
If you did not know better, you’d think you hit the jackpot for a bunch
of lost pilots that were all gems, but this is a unique and important mystery
anthology show that holds up very, very well for being nearly 40 years
old. These were built to last, much like
the mystery set-ups in each and are all strongly recommended.
X 1 image was shot mostly in PAL analog video with some 16mm in spots (here off
of the PAL video of the time, unfortunately; hope that footage survived) and
you can see haloing and other color weakness, to say nothing of detail limits,
but they look about as good as PAL tapings of this time can, so the transfers
are decent. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is
good for its age with some expected distortion.
Extras include text profiles of all the characters featured.
way, I pulled out the famous compilation book Detectionary (1977), a
must-have for anyone serious about reading early Mystery fiction. Simon Carne (created by Guy Newell Boothby), Horace
Dorrington (created by Arthur Morrison), Jonathan Pryde (created by Arthur
Morrison, the creator of Martin Hewitt), Dixon Druce (created by L.T. Meade), Lady
Molly (created by Baroness Emma Orczy), Bernard Sutton (created by Sir Max
Pemberton) and Romney Pringle (created by R. Austin Freeman & Dr. John
Jones Pitcairn under the pseudonym Clifford Ashdown) were not listed!
This is a
must for fans.
- Nicholas Sheffo