The Best Episodes of Sherlock Holmes (1984)
Last Updated: Apr 4, 2019
Sherlock Holmes is one of the world’s most popular fictional detectives, famed for his legendary powers of observation and deduction. Adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original novels, this classic series by Granada Television starred Jeremy Brett as the definitive Holmes, with David Burke and later Edward Hardwicke as his able assistant Dr. Watson.
#2 - The Hound of the Baskervilles
Season 4 - Episode 6
Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on Dartmoor, with his face contorted in terror and the footprints of a huge dog near his body. On arrival in England, Sir Charles's American heir, now Sir Henry Baskerville, engages Holmes to come to Devon and get to the bottom of the age-old legend of the Hound of the Baskervilles - a phantom which kills.From the outset, Holmes is convinced there is a human murderer at work and he lays a deep plan to foil him.
#3 - The Six Napoleons
Season 3 - Episode 7
Holmes is curious about a series of attacks on figures of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte around London. One such incident leads to a violent death, and he investigates. Lestrade sees an Italian connection and proposes to focus Scotland Yard's attention on the Italian quarter of London, but Holmes is more interested in Chiswick.
#4 - The Man with the Twisted Lip
Season 3 - Episode 5
Neville St Clair works in the City of London and is a man of very regular and respectable habits. One day, his wife goes into town for lunch and is shocked to see her husband in the window of an opium den. That evening, he fails to return home, and Mrs St Clair decides to consult Holmes.
#5 - The Eligible Bachelor (1)
Season 6 - Episode 5
American heiress Henrietta Doran (known as Hatty) marries Lord St Simon, but she vanishes without trace on her wedding day, leaving London agog. Later, the police find her wedding dress in the Serpentine, a lake in a London park, with a note in the pocket of the dress. While investigating the case, Holmes suffers from nightmares, which he sees as a factor in the mystery.
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#6 - The Master Blackmailer (2)
Season 6 - Episode 2
Concluding the case of Charles Augustus Milverton, king of blackmailers, who has given Holmes a good run for his money.
#7 - The Illustrious Client
Season 5 - Episode 5
Colonel James Damery calls on Holmes when the rich and beautiful Miss Violet Merville announces her engagement to Baron Gruner, a dangerous Austrian. Gruner has persuaded Violet that he is not a killer, and Holmes has to establish the truth and foil the powerful baron.
#8 - The Second Stain
Season 3 - Episode 4
The British Prime Minister himself calls at Baker Street to seek Holmes's help with a political crisis. A highly confidential letter from a foreign power has been stolen from the Secretary of State for European Affairs, threatening the world with war. Minutes after the Prime Minister's departure, Holmes receives another visit, from a veiled lady.In his investigation, a bloodstain is clearly an important clue, but whose is the blood? Holmes sees through the deceptions of great and small alike.
#9 - The Last Vampyre (1)
Season 6 - Episode 3
Holmes investigates a killing which has all the hallmarks of the worst kind of Ruritanian vampire. He is sceptical (to say the least) about the possibility that the undead are up to their mischief just a short train journey from his rooms in Baker Street. If a local resident really found his South American wife sucking blood from their young son, what might it signify?
#10 - The Norwood Builder
Season 2 - Episode 3
A young solicitor, John Hector McFarlane, seeks Holmes's help after retired builder Jonas Oldacre dies in a fire. McFarlane, who benefits from Oldacre's will, is suspected of murder and asks Holmes to clear his name. Holmes looks for another motive and another killer, and dresses up as a tramp to get the information he needs about the Oldacre household. The surprising answer he finds is that Oldacre is not exactly dead.
#11 - The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Season 5 - Episode 4
Alice Turner sends for Holmes when her lifelong friend farmer William McCarthy is killed and police suspicion falls on his son, James. James McCarthy admits quarrelling with his father, but he will not explain what their argument was about.
#12 - The Sign of Four
Season 4 - Episode 1
For years after her father's disappearance, the beautiful Miss Mary Morstan receives anonymously every year one large and valuable pearl. When, finally, an invitation arrives to meet the mysterious pearl-giver, Mary Morstan seeks Holmes's advice, and he begins to unravel some remarkable clues, including a poison dart and a man with a wooden leg. What Holmes finds is an old soldier who is determined to punish those who betrayed him and his friends by stealing their oriental treasure.
#13 - The Final Problem
Season 2 - Episode 6
The French government sends for Holmes when the Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre. Holmes swiftly decides he is dealing with a mastermind - and none other than his old enemy Professor Moriarty himself.Holmes foils Moriarty's plans to sell Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece and trails him to Switzerland, where they meet and fight to the death above the famous waterfall at Reichenbach.
#14 - The Empty House
Season 3 - Episode 1
Three years on from Holmes's fatal fall into the Reichenbach Falls, Watson wrestles with a murder case under his own steam. But who is the enigmatic stranger in the Coroner's court, listening intently to all the evidence?Holmes returns home and explains how he escaped death at Reichenbach, while Moriarty lost his life. Holmes and Watson must now bring a partner of Moriarty's to justice, by proving he is a murderer.
#15 - The Greek Interpreter
Season 2 - Episode 2
Holmes's brother, Mycroft, seeks his help in deciphering the story a man tells about being kidnapped and forced to translate for an injured Greek. Holmes investigates the disappearance of Paul Kratides, abducted by two villains, Latimer and Kemp, with the aim of forcing him to sign a document releasing his sister Sophie to marry Latimer.
#16 - The Bruce Partington Plans
Season 4 - Episode 5
The body of one Cadogan West is found in an underground tunnel near Aldgate Station, with his skull smashed, and Holmes is puzzled by the interest his brother Mycroft is showing in the case. Mycroft explains that the top secret plans for a new submarine were in the dead man's pocket, but three of the ten pages were missing when the body was found. Mycroft, on behalf of the British Government, asks his brother to find the missing pages.
#17 - Shoscombe Old Place
Season 5 - Episode 3
Sir Robert Norberton stakes a huge amount (much of it borrrowed) on his horse Shoscombe Prince winning a race. His trainer thinks Sir Robert has gone mad and consults Holmes. Then one of the many creditors disappears and human bone is found in a furnace...
#18 - The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
Season 5 - Episode 1
Watson, on holiday in the Lake District, meets the enigmatic Lady Frances Carfax, who is being haunted by the ghost of a horseman. Holmes decides to come up to join Watson, but by the time he arrives Lady Frances has vanished without trace. Holmes investigates and becomes very curious about the ghost.
#19 - The Red-Headed League
Season 2 - Episode 5
A notice in a newspaper seeks red-headed men, inviting them to join a league which will pay them well - and Jabez Wilson, a pawnbroker who responds, finds he is hired and paid generously for spending four hours a day copying an encyclopedia in long hand. When the league is suddenly dissolved, Holmes is asked to find out what has been going on, and he quickly suspects crime. Indeed, behind this curious arrangement lurks Holmes's arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty.
#20 - The Master Blackmailer (1)
Season 6 - Episode 1
Holmes and Watson are called in to deal with a blackmailer. A dazzling young lady is about to be married, and Charles Augustus Milverton, the slithery king of all blackmailers, has letters she wrote to another man. Watson is astonished when Milverton calls at Baker Street at the invitation of Holmes, who has a plan to thwart him. As ever, things are not quite as they appear to be.
#21 - The Speckled Band
Season 1 - Episode 6
Holmes is approached by Helen Stoner, who feels threatened by her domineering step-father, Dr Grimesby Roylott. Her sister died mysteriously just before her planned wedding, and Helen has heard again the curious whistle she first heard on the night of her sister's death.Holmes perceives great danger and lays a complicated plan to defeat the threat to the beautiful Helen.
#22 - The Devil's Foot
Season 4 - Episode 2
Reluctantly, after an illness, Holmes takes a holiday in Cornwall, with Watson for company. Then one day he finds himself investigating a mysterious death... after a quiet evening at home playing cards, three local inhabitants have been found in the morning in a terrible way: the two brothers overtaken by sudden mental illness, babbling incoherently, and their sister dead, with her face twisted into a look of terror. Holmes is delighted with the chance to bury his holiday boredom by taking on the case.
#23 - Wisteria Lodge
Season 4 - Episode 4
On a visit to Wisteria Lodge, Scott Eccles gets a strange reception. A mysterious note arrives for his host, Garcia, and the next morning Garcia and his servants have vanished without trace. Eccles consults Holmes, who decides to treat the case as a murder investigation, but it appears that Holmes and Watson are on a wild goose chase.
#24 - The Musgrave Ritual
Season 3 - Episode 3
Holmes and Watson are staying with Reginald Musgrave, the head of an ancient Sussex family, when his butler, Brunton, suddenly disappears. Brunton (something of a ladykiller and a highly educated man) had been taking an interest in an ancient family tradition called 'the Musgrave Ritual', which centres on a Carolingian riddle. And then a second member of the household vanishes, equally suddenly. The old riddle proves to be the key to tracing the butler's body and finding the treasure the dead man was after - the crown jewels lost in the English Civil War. And as so often, it's a case of 'cherchez la femme'.
#25 - The Blue Carbuncle
Season 1 - Episode 7
A plumber, John Horner, is arrested just before Christmas and charged with stealing a famous jewel, the Blue Carbuncle, from Lady Morcar. He denies the theft - but he has a criminal record, and all the evidence is against him. After Holmes's doorman finds the Carbuncle in a Christmas goose, Holmes uses an old hat to track the goose to a poultry dealer, then traps the servant who stole the jewel and framed the plumber. The Blue Carbuncle has a dark history, and the stone features in the programme's opening credits with turbulent scenes from its past.