The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (TV series)

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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes
Genre Anthology
Crime
Mystery
Detective
Starring Various
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) Thames Television

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is a British anthology mystery television series that was produced by Thames Television and 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] Hugh Greene is credited on the programme as a creative consultant.[2]

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)
1x1 A Message from the Deep Sea Dr. Thorndyke, forensic scientist R. Austin Freeman John Neville
1x2 The Missing Witness Sensation Max Carrados, blind detective Ernest Bramah Robert Stephens
1x3 The Affair of the Avalanche Bicycle & Tyre Co. Ltd. Horace Dorrington, corrupt detective Arthur Morrison Peter Vaughan
1x4 The Duchess of Wiltshire's Diamonds Simon Carne, gentleman thief Guy Boothby Roy Dotrice
1x5 The Horse of the Invisible Thomas Carnacki, occult detective William Hope Hodgson Donald Pleasance
1x6 The Case of the Mirror of Portugal Horace Dorrington, corrupt detective Arthur Morrison Peter Vaughan
1x7 Madame Sara Dixon Druce, trade investigator L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace John Fraser
1x8 The Case of the Dixon Torpedo Jonathan Pryde,[n 1] enquiry agent Arthur Morrison Ronald Hines
1x9 The Woman in the Big Hat Lady Molly of Scotland Yard Emma Orczy Elvi Hale
1x10 The Affair of the Tortoise Martin Hewitt, working-class detective Arthur Morrison Peter Barkworth
1x11 The Assyrian Rejuvenator Romney Pringle, reformed con artist "Clifford Ashdown" (R. Austin Freeman and John Pitcairn) Donald Sinden
1x12 The Ripening Rubies Bernard Sutton, professional jeweller Max Pemberton Robert Lang
1x13 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)
2x1 The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway Polly Burton, lady journalist Emma Orczy Judy Geeson
2x2 Five Hundred Carats Inspector Lipinzki, police detective George Griffith Barry Keegan
2x3 Cell 13 Prof Van Dusen, the Thinking Machine Jacques Futrelle Douglas Wilmer
2x4 The Secret of the Magnifique John Laxworthy, reformed criminal E. Phillips Oppenheim Bernard Hepton
2x5 The Absent-Minded Coterie Eugene Valmont, private investigator Robert Barr Charles Gray
2x6 The Sensible Action of Lieutenant Holst Lieutenant Holst, police detective Palle Rosenkrantz John Thaw
2x7 The Superfluous Finger Prof Van Dusen, the Thinking Machine Jacques Futrelle Douglas Wilmer
2x8 Anonymous Letters Dagobert Trostler, Viennese sleuth "Balduin Groller" (Adalbert Goldscheider) Ronald Lewis
2x9 The Moabite Cypher Dr. Thorndyke, forensic scientist R. Austin Freeman Barrie Ingham
2x10 The Secret of the Fox Hunter Duckworth Drew of the Secret Service William Le Queux Derek Jacobi
2x11 The Looting of the Species Room Mr. Horrocks, ship's purser C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne Ronald Fraser
2x12 The Mystery of the Amber Beads Hagar Stanley, Gypsy detective Fergus Hume Sara Kestelman
2x13 The Missing Q.C.s Charles Dallas, defense 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ History of the BBC: the 1960s
  2. ^ BFI.org.uk
  3. ^ Network DVD
  4. ^ Acorn Media press release, accessed 23 July 2009
  5. ^ Network DVD

External links[edit]