The Adventures of Shirley Holmes
|The Adventures of
|Created by||Ellis Iddon
|Written by||Susin Nielsen
|Directed by||Gary Harvey
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Executive producer(s)||Derek Mazur
|Camera setup||François Balcaen
Robert L. O'Hara
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Original release||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-grandniece 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 Holmes' archenemy Professor Moriarty).
The show has been broadcast in over 80 countries and has been dubbed in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, 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-grandniece 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, akin to the relationship between 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Dr. Watson'. 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 'Sebastian 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 kinder-phobia, the phobia of children, as revealed in "The Case of the Alien Abductions".
- Rick Howland as Bernie Szabo in "The Case of the Bouncing Baby"
- Rebecca Gibson as Angela
- Ep.1 - The Case Of The Burning Building - May 7, 1997
- When ex-gang member and "new kid" at Sussex Academy, Bo Sawchuk, is a suspect in a number of suspicious local fires, Shirley Holmes is on the case.
- Ep.2 - The Case Of The Ruby Ring - May 14, 1997
- When Sussex Academy Presidential candidate Alicia Gianelli is electrocuted at the podium, all fingers point to the obvious suspect—her opponent Sterling 'Stink' Patterson.
- Ep.3 - The Case Of The Liberated Beasts - May 21, 1997
- Watson, Shirley's not very faithful and often disobedient basset hound, leads her to Redington's latest crime—a break-in at "Pete's Rare Pets".
- Ep.4 - The Case Of The Precious Cargo - May 28, 1997
- Shirley notices that Rita, the cafeteria assistant, is stealing food. By following her, Shirley discovers why: Rita is hiding her young niece in the school's laundry room.
- Ep.5 - The Case Of The Alien Abductions - June 4, 1997
- In one month, three citizens of Redington have been attacked and knocked unconscious with no explanation other than—one victim claims it was an alien abduction!
- Ep.6 - The Case Of The Blazing Star - June 11, 1997
- Bo has quit the football team, flunking half of his classes and falling asleep at school - and he won't tell Shirley what is going on.
- Ep.7 - The Case Of The Maestro's Ghost - June 18, 1997
- It is the fiftieth anniversary of the disappearance of Sussex student Maggie Hancock and Maestro Vespemi, the school's music teacher. Every year on the anniversary the Maestro's ghost comes looking for Maggie.
- Ep.8 - The Case Of The Mystery Child - June 25, 1997
- After receiving an ancient Egyptian toy from an old colleague on his deathbed, Peggy Holmes starts acting very strangely. Does the toy carry an ancient curse?
- Ep.9 - The Case Of The King Of Hearts - July 2, 1997
- The students at Sussex Academy cannot figure out what is wrong with the usually stern and strict Ms. Stratmann—she is smiling and laughing all the time and she is even complimenting Stink on his practical jokes.
- Ep.10 - The Case Of The Exact Change - July 9, 1997
- When Stink, the class clown, goes missing from his thirteenth birthday party everyone, including his dad, thinks his disappearance is an elaborate practical joke. Everyone, that is, except Shirley.
- Ep.11 - The Case Of The Cunning Coyote - July 16, 1997
- Ancient native ceremonies and a mysterious tribal trickster follow Shirley Holmes as she tries to find out what happened to a box of two-hundred-year-old bones that has gone missing from a reservation.
- Ep.12 - The Case Of The Singer's Secret - July 23, 1997
- Bo is stunned and Shirley is devastated when they find Robert Holmes, Shirley's dad, kissing the pop music superstar Leah Farrell.
- Ep.13 - The Case Of The Second Sight - July 30, 1997
- While performing in a local theatre production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Shirley discovers that the lead actress, Rebecca Radcliff, is a jinx—or so the entire cast and crew believe.
- Ep.1 - The Case Of The Wannabe Witch - January 5, 1998
- Could Ms. Flitt, the Sussex school librarian, be a witch? It is a possibility that Shirley must entertain as she investigates a series of ominous mishaps at Sussex Academy.
- Ep.2 - The Case Of The Doggone Cats - January 12, 1998
- Barf, Stink's dog, is under suspicion when neighborhood cats start disappearing. When he is nabbed by Hoskins, the over zealous local dogcatcher, his life hangs in the balance.
- Ep.3 - The Case Of Babyfingers - January 19, 1998
- Shirley infiltrates an organized gang of kiddie thieves after her backpack is "snatched" by a six-year-old pickpocket.
- Ep.4 - The Case Of The Bouncing Baby - January 26, 1998
- Shirley and Bo join the circus as they try to find out who left a baby boy on Mr. Howie's doorstep in the middle of the night.
- Ep.5 - The Case Of The Rising Moon - February 2, 1998
- Shirley's attempts to uncover the truth about a mysterious new boarding student at Sussex Academy place the young stranger's life in danger.
- Ep.6 - The Case Of The Exploding Puppet - February 9, 1998
- There is trouble on the set of The Happy Valley Show: props are exploding, background walls are falling over and Freddie the Firefly recently blew his light-bulb.
- Ep.7 - The Case Of The Cryptic Creature - February 16, 1998
- Sitting on the toilet becomes unsafe at Sussex Academy when the kids discover there is a slithering creature living in the water system.
- Ep.8 - The Case Of The Missing Marbles - February 23, 1998
- When Bo befriends "the crazy old lady" who lives down the block, he and Shirley find themselves being pursued by a criminal impostor as they race to find a bag of stolen diamonds.
- Ep.9 - The Case Of The Mischievous Poltergeist - March 2, 1998
- Bart is turning twelve—and everyone hopes his party won't be as boring as last year's. They needn't worry. Bart has a special guest lined up—his very own poltergeist!
- Ep.10 - The Case Of The Left Thumbprint - March 9, 1998
- When Robert Holmes is accused of stealing a top secret government decoding key from the British Consulate, Shirley jumps to her father's defense and vows to find the real offender.
- Ep.11 - The Case Of The Golden Cave - March 16, 1998
- An orienteering excursion into the deep woods brings to life a ghost story for the students of Sussex Academy.
- Ep.12 - The Case Of The Patron Saint - March 23, 1998
- When a disoriented stranger appears at the Holmes' front door with Joanna Holmes' stethoscope in his hand, Shirley is certain that the man has information on her missing mother's whereabouts.
- Ep.13 - The Case Of The Broken Oath - March 30, 1998
- Shirley suspects that Bo's cousin Zack, a musician, has something to do with the strange accidents that are taking other performers out of the picture and helping his career skyrocket!
- Ep.1 - The Case Of The Celestial Signal - September 14, 1998
- At the observatory, Bart hears signals from outerspace and runs into Shirley on the case. When two officials show up, it becomes clear that the man in charge of the observatory is not who he says he is.
- Ep.2 - The Case Of The Galloping Ghost - September 21, 1998
- At a horse ranch, the ghost of a horse seems to be stealing other horses. Shirley meets a boy working at the ranch that may be able to help solve the case.
- Ep.3 - The Case Of The Crooked Comic - September 28, 1998
- Molly and Stink are accused of stealing exam questions. Stink gets kicked out of the Academy and sets out to become a stand-up comic.
- Ep.4 - The Case Of The Flim Flam Farm - October 5, 1998
- Mr. Howie stays at the Howie Farm, but when he stays their longer than he had expected, Shirley has questions. Not only do the animals on the farm act nuts, but there is a ghost legend, and a feud between the Howies and the Wilkinsons.
- Ep.5 - The Case Of The Mysterious Message - October 12, 1998
- Shirley receives a message that her grandmother has been kidnapped. As Shirley looks for her grandmother, her own friends think that she was abducted.
- Ep.6 - The Case Of The Second Take - October 19, 1998
- Alicia shoots a movie, but when strange occurrences and disappearances happen, Shirley follows the wrong suspect and puts herself in danger.
- Ep.7 - The Case Of The Code Of Silence - October 26, 1998
- To protect a friend, Bo sabotages the presses of the Redington Tribune.
- Ep.8 - The Case Of The Bamboozling Blonde - November 2, 1998
- After accepting a Woman of the Year award, Mrs. Stratmann is arrested for fraud. She is believed to be the wanted Honey Boulet, but Shirley believes that she's being framed.
- Ep.9 - The Case Of The Real Fake - November 9, 1998
- Shirley witnesses a death threat against author Constance Quick and believes that the intended target may be a lip-syncing singer Jake Bane.
- Ep.10 - The Case Of The Open Hand - November 16, 1998
- After Bo is attacked and his clothing is stolen by a gang of girls, Shirley joins them in order to find out more information about a former member they may have kidnapped.
- Ep.11 - The Case Of The Ten Dollar Thief - November 23, 1998
- Local stores are being robbed of $10 bills, and the thief is returning them afterwards. Shirley and Bo figure that the thief is looking for a special bill.
- Ep.12 - The Case Of The Miraculous Mine - November 30, 1998
- When a fever strikes a ruby mine in Rwanda, its cure provides clues to the whereabouts of Shirley's missing and presumed dead mother.
- Ep.13 - The Case Of The Forbidden Mountain - December 7, 1998
- Shirley and her dad head to Rwanda in order to gather more information on Shirley's mother.
- Ep.1 - The Case Of The Calculated Crime - February 13, 2000
- Math classes at school are suspended due to budget cuts. Instead, the school receives new electronic equipment. Bo attends another school that has banned electronics and kept math in order to find out what's going on.
- Ep.2 - The Case Of The Dead Debutante - February 20, 2000
- A ghost takes over Alicia's body and tries to make her kill Mr. Howie.
- Ep.3 - The Case Of The Vanishing Virus - February 27, 2000
- A very rare and dangerous sample of a deadly virus is stolen from the laboratory.
- Ep.4 - The Case Of The Virtual Zeus - March 5, 2000
- Shirley and Bo, along with 'Cowboy Matt' try to find the head of Kaeon. Meanwhile, the students start a protest to get math classes back.
- Ep.5 - The Basket Case - March 12, 2000
- Strange incidents are keeping the Sussex Hornets from winning the basketball championships. After one of the 'accidents' causes Bo to hurt his ankle, Shirley decides to find out who is behind the sabotage.
- Ep.6 - The Case Of The Skeleton in the Closet - March 19, 2000
- Shirley discovers a skeleton out while walking Watson. However, she suspects something is suspicious when the coroner won't admit to the fact that the body had a ring on one of its fingers.
- Ep.7 - The Case Of The Perfect Boyfriend - March 26, 2000
- A French boy, Maurice, is trying to get Alicia's attention. Shirley believes that he is too perfect. Meanwhile, Alicia is also being scouted by an ad agent. The agent and Maurice seem to be connected.
- Ep.8 - The Case Of The Falling Star - April 2, 2000
- Shirley and Bo must protect a teen TV star from an assassin.
- Ep.9 - The Case Of The Puzzle from the Past - April 9, 2000
- When Shirley receives an orchid from a secret admirer, a bee sting sends her into an anaphylactic-shock-induced dream where she tries to figure out who was the sender, with the help of clips from past shows.
- Ep.10 - The Case Of The Desperate Dancer - April 16, 2000
- When a dancer in a visiting Ukrainian dance troop steals a religious icon, Bo learns an unpleasant Sawchuck family secret.
- Ep.11 - The Case Of The Hidden Heart - April 23, 2000
- Shirley and Bo discover a new side to Molly when they try to save Molly's horse, Foxglove, from being put down due to a suspected rabies infection.
- Ep.12 - The Case Of King Arthur's Alibi - April 30, 2000
- Shirley tries to find out what's wrong with Mr. Howie after he's arrested for imprisoning Ms. Stratmann during a medieval festival.
- Ep.13 - The Case Of The Dragon's Breath - May 7, 2000
- Bo gets sucked into a real-life adventure game.
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. p. 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)