The Adventures of Shirley Holmes
|The Adventures of Shirley Holmes|
|Created by||Ellis Iddon
|Written by||Susin Nielsen
|Directed by||Gary Harvey
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Executive producer(s)||Derek Mazur
|Camera setup||François Balcaen
Robert L. O'Hara
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Original run||May 7, 1997 – May 7, 2000|
The Adventures of Shirley Holmes is a Canadian mystery TV series that originally aired from 1997 to 2000. The show was created by Ellis Iddon and Phil Meagher (of Winklemania Productions, UK) who had produced a successful series of books with Harper Collins, teaming up with Credo and Forefront to develop the TV series. Filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the series follows the life of Shirley Holmes, the great grand-niece of Sherlock Holmes who, with the help of ex-gang member Bo Sawchuk, tackles a variety of mysteries in and around the fictional Canadian city of Redington. On some occasions, she found herself matching wits with nemesis Molly Hardy (whose name is a word play on Sherlock's enemy Moriarty).
The show has been broadcast in over 80 countries and has been dubbed in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Norwegian, Polish and Turkish.
Her performance in the show led to actress Meredith Henderson being nominated for a Gemini Award in 1998 and winning one in 1999. The show itself was twice nominated for a Gemini Award in the category "Best Children's or Youth Program or Series" in 1998 and eventually won it in 1999. In the spring of 1998 Susin Nielsen won a Gemini Award in the category "Best Writing in a Children's or Youth Program" for her screenplay of the episode "The Case of the Burning Building". In the same year, Elizabeth Stewart won a WGC Award from the Writers Guild of Canada for her writing of the episode "The Case of the Maestro's Ghost".
Credo spokesperson and producer Kim Todd named a growth spurt in the cast as one of the key reasons for cancelling the show. The aging of the actors would have meant a distinct change in tone and content had the show continued.
Cast & Characters
- Meredith Henderson as Shirley Holmes: The great-grand niece of Sherlock Holmes, Shirley is the daughter of British diplomat Robert Holmes and virologist Dr. Joanna Holmes. She carries on her famous ancestor's legacy of solving crimes through deductive reasoning while attending the prestigious Sussex Academy. In addition to Sherlock's detective skills such as deductive reasoning and disguise, she also has his mannerisms, but she can still express her emotions. She prefers to keep a low profile so she can continue her sleuthing. She wears a variety of hats throughout the series.
- John White as Francis Boris "Bo" Sawchuk: Shirley's sidekick. An ex-gang member, Bo attends Sussex Academy on a scholarship. He first met Shirley in afterschool detention and was amazed at the girl detective's deductions about him. Shirley came to his aid after he was falsely accused of setting a work shed on campus on fire. After that case was solved, Bo became her sleuthing partner and best friend. Bo first appeared in "The Case of the Burning Building." At the end of the series, he leaves for Ukraine to further his studies.
- Sarah Ezer as Molly Hardy: Shirley's nemesis, and Moriarty counterpart. A newcomer to Sussex Academy, Molly first appeared as Alicia Gianelli's running mate during the school election for student council president. Through an elaborate scheme, Molly is elected student council president. Her true scheming nature is hidden from everyone except Shirley and Bo. Although her machinations are routinely thwarted by Shirley, Molly manages to escape punishment. She is revealed to be a sociopath in "The Case of the Crooked Comic" and is a mastermind of evil genius with an IQ of 160. Molly first appeared in "The Case of the Ruby Ring." It is possible that she is in fact descended from Professor Moriarty.
- Annick Obonsawin as Alicia Gianelli: Alicia first appeared in "The Case of the Ruby Ring". Alicia is a good friend of Shirley and Bo, and she works at the Quazar Cafe, often mixing up orders of her customers. However, she also bows out easily to peer pressure and appears more simple-minded and materialistic than Shirley is.
- Brendan Fletcher as Sterling "Stink" Patterson: Class clown and prankster. His parents run the local novelty store. If Molly is Shirley's 'Moriarty', Stink could be considered her 'Colonel Moran', though while being a trouble-maker he is far less malicious. Stink first appeared in "The Case of the Ruby Ring."
- Blair Slater as Bartholemew "Bart" James: Bart first appeared in "The Case of the Ruby Ring." He is highly interested in the paranormal and considers it good fortune to be abducted by aliens. He is also very concerned about his studies, as seen when Math is taken out of the curriculum in Sussex during "The Case of the Calculated Crime". He may be a little queer, but Bo and Shirley still treat him as a friend, and he is aware of Shirley's sleuthing activities and sometimes helps out.
- Chris Humphreys as Robert Holmes: The grandnephew of Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Holmes first appeared in "The Case of the Burning Building." He is Shirley's father. He is mostly worried for his daughter because he knows her tendency to get involved in cases out of curiosity, and at first he had almost given up hope on finding his wife.
- Elizabeth Shepherd as Peggy "Gran" Holmes: The niece of Sherlock Holmes. Shirley's grandmother and Mr. Holmes' mother.
- Maggie Huculak as Dr. Joanna Holmes: Shirley's mother, who had disappeared for several years as a result of being in Rwanda during a civil war. She, Shirley, and Robert are reunited when Mr. Holmes is offered the chance to go to Rwanda on business. It is often said that Shirley shares her curiosity and determination to never give up.
- Marie Stillin as Ms. Cynthia Stratmann: Principal of Shirley's school, Sussex Academy. She often caught Shirley arriving late to class, therefore giving her detention where she ended up meeting Bo.
- Colin Fox as Mr. Arthur Howie: Shirley's history teacher at Sussex. He used to attend Sussex and boarded at the dorm, and was also a very popular student, as shown in "The Case of the Dead Debutante". However, he has kinderphobia, the phobia of children, as revealed in "The Case of the Alien Abductions".
Original music was composed by Terry Frewer, although the theme tune was written and performed by show creators Ellis Iddon and Phil Meagher.
- Watson, Neal (1998-06-21). "Q & A". Edmonton Sun. pp. TV04.
- Awards section for "The Adventures of Shirley Holmes" at the Internet Movie Database (accessed July 6, 2006)
- "Holmes Retires" (Playback Magazine Website 2000) (accessed July 6, 2006)