The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (TV series)

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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (TV series).jpg
GenreAnthology
Period drama
Crime
Mystery
Detective
StarringVarious
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes26
Production
Running time50 minutes
Production companyThames Television

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is a British anthology mystery television series produced by Thames Television which was originally broadcast on the ITV Network. There were two series of 13 fifty-minute episodes; the first aired in 1971, the second in 1973. The programme presented adaptations of short mystery, suspense or crime stories featuring, as the title suggests, detectives who were literary contemporaries of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes took its inspiration – and title – from a series of published anthologies by Hugh Greene, elder brother of author Graham Greene and the former director-general of the BBC.[1] Greene is credited on the programme as a creative consultant.[2]

Recurring characters[edit]

Episode list[edit]

Series 1 (20 Sep – 9 Dec 1971)[edit]

No. Title Fictional detective(s) Author(s) of original story Actor(s) who portrayed detective(s)
1.1 A Message from the Deep Sea Dr John Thorndyke, forensic scientist R. Austin Freeman John Neville
1.2 The Missing Witness Sensation Max Carrados, blind detective Ernest Bramah Robert Stephens
1.3 The Affair of the Avalanche Bicycle & Tyre Co. Ltd. Horace Dorrington, corrupt detective Arthur Morrison Peter Vaughan
1.4 The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds Simon Carne, gentleman thief Guy Boothby Roy Dotrice
1.5 The Horse of the Invisible Thomas Carnacki, occult detective William Hope Hodgson Donald Pleasence
1.6 The Case of the Mirror of Portugal Horace Dorrington, corrupt detective Arthur Morrison Peter Vaughan
1.7 Madame Sara Dixon Druce, trade investigator L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace John Fraser
1.8 The Case of the Dixon Torpedo Jonathan Pryde,[n 1] enquiry agent Arthur Morrison Ronald Hines
1.9 The Woman in the Big Hat Lady Molly of Scotland Yard Baroness Orczy Elvi Hale
1.10 The Affair of the Tortoise Martin Hewitt, working-class detective Arthur Morrison Peter Barkworth
1.11 The Assyrian Rejuvenator Romney Pringle, reformed con artist "Clifford Ashdown" (R. Austin Freeman and John Pitcairn) Donald Sinden
1.12 The Ripening Rubies Bernard Sutton, professional jeweller Max Pemberton Robert Lang
1.13 The Case of Laker, Absconded Martin Hewitt and Jonathan Pryde[n 1] Arthur Morrison Peter Barkworth and Ronald Hines

Series 2 (29 Jan – 7 May 1973)[edit]

No. Title Fictional detective(s) Author(s) of original story Actor(s) who portrayed detective(s)
2.1 The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway Polly Burton,[n 2] lady journalist Baroness Orczy Judy Geeson
2.2 Five Hundred Carats Inspector Lipinzki, South African police detective George Griffith Barry Keegan
2.3 Cell 13 Professor Van Dusen, the Thinking Machine Jacques Futrelle Douglas Wilmer
2.4 The Secret of the Magnifique John Laxworthy, reformed criminal E. Phillips Oppenheim Bernard Hepton
2.5 The Absent-Minded Coterie Eugene Valmont, private investigator Robert Barr Charles Gray
2.6 The Sensible Action of Lieutenant Holst Lieutenant Holst, Danish police detective Palle Rosenkrantz John Thaw
2.7 The Superfluous Finger Prof Van Dusen, the Thinking Machine Jacques Futrelle Douglas Wilmer
2.8 Anonymous Letters Dagobert Trostler, Viennese sleuth "Balduin Groller" (Adalbert Goldscheider) Ronald Lewis
2.9 The Moabite Cypher Dr John Thorndyke, forensic scientist R. Austin Freeman Barrie Ingham
2.10 The Secret of the Fox Hunter Duckworth Drew of the Secret Service William Le Queux Derek Jacobi
2.11 The Looting of the Specie Room Mr Horrocks, ship's purser C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne Ronald Fraser
2.12 The Mystery of the Amber Beads Hagar Stanley, Gypsy detective Fergus Hume Sara Kestelman
2.13 The Missing Q.C.s Charles Dallas, defence barrister "John Oxenham" (William Arthur Dunkerley) Robin Ellis

DVD availability[edit]

The first series was released on a 4-disc Region 2 DVD set by Network Distributing on 15 June 2009.[3] Acorn Media released a Region 1 version of this set on 1 September 2009.[4] Series Two was released on a Network DVD 4-disc Region 2 release on 15 February 2010;[5] Acorn followed with a Region 1 version on 27 April.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Greene, Hugh; editor. The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Pantheon Books, 1970; ISBN 0-394-41330-X
  • Greene, Hugh; editor. Cosmopolitan Crimes: Foreign Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Pantheon Books, 1971; ISBN 0-394-47340-X
  • Greene, Hugh; editor. Further Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Pantheon Books, 1973; ISBN 0-394-48827-X
  • Greene, Hugh; editor. The American Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Pantheon Books, 1976; ISBN 0-394-40921-3

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jonathan Pryde is an original TV creation, replacing Martin Hewitt from Arthur Morrison's stories.
  2. ^ The screenplay for this episode rewrites the original story to make Polly Burton, the secondary character in Baroness Orczy's "The Old Man in the Corner" stories, the detective in this episode.

References[edit]

External links[edit]