Sherlock Holmes (1984-1994) TV Series Plays

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle's first and best work "Sherlock Holmes" started with 'A Study in Scarlet' in 1887 continued 'The Sign of Four' [1890], 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' [1892], 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes' [1894], 'The Hound of Baskervilles' [1902], 'The Return of Sherlock Homes' [1905], 'The Valley of Fear' [1915], 'His Last Bow' [1917], 'The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes' [1927] and 'The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Short Stories' [1928].

Out of 60 stories, only 42 were adapted by British Broadcast Company "Granada Television' featured in ITV network in UK between 1984 to 1994 starred 'Jeremy Brett' (Sherlock Holmes) as famous Detective and 'David Burke & Edward Hardwick (Dr. Watson)' as his companion and friend.

The following titles below embedded YouTube links of TV Series adapted:

A) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984-1985)

B) The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986-1988)

C) The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1991-1993)

D) The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994)

E) The Sherlock Holmes Long Plays (Lengthy Episodes)

37) The Sign of Four (1987)
40) The Last Vampyre (1993)
41) The Eligible Bachelor (1993)

Although the above features films are not in sequence as written by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes starts with the reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D., late of the Army Medical Department.

In the the year 1878 I took my degree of
Doctor of Medicine of the University of
London, and proceeded to Netley to go
through the course prescribed for surgeons
in the army. Having completed my studies
there, I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland
Fusiliers as Assistant Surgeon. The regiment
was stationed in India at the time, and before
I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken
out. On landing at Bombay, I learned that my
corps had advanced through the passes, and was
already deep in the enemy’s country. I followed,
however, with many other officers who were in the
same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching
Candahar in safety, where I found my regiment,
and at once entered upon my new duties.

The campaign brought honours and promotion
to many, but for me it had nothing but misfortune
and disaster. I was removed from my brigade and
attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at
the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck
on the shoulder by a Jezail bullet, which shattered
the bone and grazed the subclavian artery.
I should have fallen into the hands of the murderous
Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and
courage shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw
me across a pack-horse, and succeeded in bringing
me safely to the British lines.

Worn with pain, and weak from the prolonged
hardships which I had undergone, I was removed,
with a great train of wounded sufferers, to the base
hospital at Peshawar. Here I rallied, and had already
improved so far as to be able to walk about
the wards, and even to bask a little upon the verandah,
when I was struck down by enteric fever,
that curse of our Indian possessions. For months
my life was despaired of, and when at last I came
to myself and became convalescent, I was so weak
and emaciated that a medical board determined
that not a day should be lost in sending me back
to England. I was dispatched, accordingly, in the
troopship Orontes, and landed a month later on
Portsmouth jetty, with my health irretrievably ruined,
but with permission from a paternal government
to spend the next nine months in attempting

to improve it.

I had neither kith nor kin in England, and was
therefore as free as air—or as free as an income
of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit
a man to be. Under such circumstances, I naturally
gravitated to London, that great cesspool into
which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are
irresistibly drained. There I stayed for some time
at a private hotel in the Strand, leading a comfortless,
meaningless existence, and spending such
money as I had, considerably more freely than I
ought. So alarming did the state of my finances
become, that I soon realized that I must either
leave the metropolis and rusticate somewhere in
the country, or that I must make a complete alteration
in my style of living. Choosing the latter alternative,
I began by making up my mind to leave
the hotel, and to take up my quarters in some less
pretentious and less expensive domicile.

On the very day that I had come to this conclusion,
I was standing at the Criterion Bar, when
some one tapped me on the shoulder, and turning
round I recognized young Stamford, who had
been a dresser under me at Bart’s. The sight of a
friendly face in the great wilderness of London is
a pleasant thing indeed to a lonely man. In old
days Stamford had never been a particular crony
of mine, but now I hailed him with enthusiasm,
and he, in his turn, appeared to be delighted to
see me. In the exuberance of my joy, I asked him
to lunch with me at the Holborn, and we started
off together in a hansom.

“Whatever have you been doing with yourself,
Watson?” he asked in undisguised wonder, as we
rattled through the crowded London streets. “You
are as thin as a lath and as brown as a nut.”
I gave him a short sketch of my adventures,
and had hardly concluded it by the time that we
reached our destination.

“Poor devil!” he said, commiseratingly, after he
had listened to my misfortunes. “What are you up
to now?”
“Looking for lodgings,” I answered. “Trying to
solve the problem as to whether it is possible to
get comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.”
“That’s a strange thing,” remarked my companion;
“you are the second man to-day that has
used that expression to me.”
“And who was the first?” I asked.
“A fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory
up at the hospital. He was bemoaning himself
this morning because he could not get someone
to go halves with him in some nice rooms
which he had found, and which were too much
for his purse.”

“By Jove!” I cried, “if he really wants someone
to share the rooms and the expense, I am the very
man for him. I should prefer having a partner to
being alone.”
Young Stamford looked rather strangely at me
over his wine-glass. “You don’t know Sherlock
Holmes yet,” he said; “perhaps you would not care
for him as a constant companion.”
“Why, what is there against him?”
“Oh, I didn’t say there was anything against
him. He is a little queer in his ideas—an enthusiast
in some branches of science. As far as I know
he is a decent fellow enough.”

“A medical student, I suppose?” said I.

“No—I have no idea what he intends to go in
for. I believe he is well up in anatomy, and he is a
first-class chemist; but, as far as I know, he has
never taken out any systematic medical classes.
His studies are very desultory and eccentric, but
he has amassed a lot of out-of-the way knowledge
which would astonish his professors.”
“Did you never ask him what he was going in
for?” I asked.

“No; he is not a man that it is easy to draw out,
though he can be communicative enough when the
fancy seizes him.”
“I should like to meet him,” I said. “If I am to
lodge with anyone, I should prefer a man of studious
and quiet habits. I am not strong enough yet
to stand much noise or excitement. I had enough
of both in Afghanistan to last me for the remainder
of my natural existence. How could I meet this
friend of yours?”
“He is sure to be at the laboratory,” returned
my companion. “He either avoids the place for
weeks, or else he works there from morning to
night. If you like, we shall drive round together
after luncheon.”

“Certainly,” I answered, and the conversation
drifted away into other channels.
As we made our way to the hospital after leaving
the Holborn, Stamford gave me a few more
particulars about the gentleman whom I proposed
to take as a fellow-lodger.

“You mustn’t blame me if matter. Is this fellow’s temper so formidable, or
what is it? Don’t be mealy-mouthed about it.”
“It is not easy to express the inexpressible,”
he answered with a laugh. “Holmes is a little
too scientific for my tastes—it approaches to coldbloodedness.

I could imagine his giving a friend a
little pinch of the latest vegetable alkaloid, not out
of malevolence, you understand, but simply out
of a spirit of inquiry in order to have an accurate
idea of the effects. To do him justice, I think that
he would take it himself with the same readiness.
He appears to have a passion for definite and exact

“Very right too.”

“Yes, but it may be pushed to excess. When
it comes to beating the subjects in the dissectingrooms
with a stick, it is certainly taking rather a
bizarre shape.”
“Beating the subjects!”
“Yes, to verify how far bruises may be produced
after death. I saw him at it with my own

“And yet you say he is not a medical student?”
“No. Heaven knows what the objects of his
studies are. But here we are, and you must
form your own impressions about him.” As he
spoke, we turned down a narrow lane and passed
through a small side-door, which opened into a
wing of the great hospital. It was familiar ground
to me, and I needed no guiding as we ascended the
bleak stone staircase and made our way down the
long corridor with its vista of whitewashed wall
and dun-coloured doors. Near the further end a
low arched passage branched away from it and led
to the chemical laboratory.

This was a lofty chamber, lined and littered
with countless bottles. Broad, low tables were scattered
about, which bristled with retorts, test-tubes,
and little Bunsen lamps, with their blue flickering
flames. There was only one student in the room,
who was bending over a distant table absorbed in
his work. At the sound of our steps he glanced
round and sprang to his feet with a cry of pleasure.
“I’ve found it! I’ve found it,” he shouted to my
companion, running towards us with a test-tube in
his hand. “I have found a re-agent which is precipitated
by hoemoglobin, and by nothing else.” Had
he discovered a gold mine, greater delight could
not have shone upon his features.

“Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford,
introducing us.

“How are you?” he said cordially, gripping
my hand with a strength for which I should
hardly have given him credit. “You have been in
Afghanistan, I perceive.”

“How on earth did you know that?” I asked in

“Never mind,” said he, chuckling to himself.

“The question now is about hoemoglobin. No
doubt you see the significance of this discovery of

“It is interesting, chemically, no doubt,” I answered,
“but practically—”

“Why, man, it is the most practical medicolegal
discovery for years. Don’t you see that it
gives us an infallible test for blood stains. Come
over here now!” He seized me by the coat-sleeve
in his eagerness, and drew me over to the table at
which he had been working. “Let us have some
fresh blood,” he said, digging a long bodkin into
his finger, and drawing off the resulting drop of
blood in a chemical pipette. “Now, I add this small
quantity of blood to a litre of water. You perceive
that the resulting mixture has the appearance of
pure water. The proportion of blood cannot be
more than one in a million. I have no doubt, however,
that we shall be able to obtain the characteristic
reaction.” As he spoke, he threw into the vessel
a few white crystals, and then added some drops
of a transparent fluid. In an instant the contents
assumed a dull mahogany colour, and a brownish

dust was precipitated to the bottom of the glass jar.

“Ha! ha!” he cried, clapping his hands, and
looking as delighted as a child with a new toy.
“What do you think of that?”
“It seems to be a very delicate test,” I remarked.
“Beautiful! beautiful! The old Guiacum test
was very clumsy and uncertain. So is the microscopic
examination for blood corpuscles. The latter
is valueless if the stains are a few hours old.
Now, this appears to act as well whether the blood
is old or new. Had this test been invented, there
are hundreds of men now walking the earth who
would long ago have paid the penalty of their

“Indeed!” I murmured.

“Criminal cases are continually hinging upon
that one point. A man is suspected of a crime
months perhaps after it has been committed. His
linen or clothes are examined, and brownish stains
discovered upon them. Are they blood stains, or
mud stains, or rust stains, or fruit stains, or what
are they? That is a question which has puzzled
many an expert, and why? Because there was no
reliable test. Now we have the Sherlock Holmes’

test, and there will no longer be any difficulty.”

His eyes fairly glittered as he spoke, and he put
his hand over his heart and bowed as if to some applauding
crowd conjured up by his imagination.
“You are to be congratulated,” I remarked, considerably
surprised at his enthusiasm.

“There was the case of Von Bischoff at Frankfort
last year. He would certainly have been hung
had this test been in existence. Then there was
Mason of Bradford, and the notorious Muller, and
Lefevre of Montpellier, and Samson of new Orleans.
I could name a score of cases in which it
would have been decisive.”

“You seem to be a walking calendar of crime,”
said Stamford with a laugh. “You might start a paper
on those lines. Call it the ‘Police News of the
Past.’ ”

“Very interesting reading it might be made,
too,” remarked Sherlock Holmes, sticking a small
piece of plaster over the prick on his finger. “I have
to be careful,” he continued, turning to me with a
smile, “for I dabble with poisons a good deal.” He
held out his hand as he spoke, and I noticed that it
was all mottled over with similar pieces of plaster,
and discoloured with strong acids.

“We came here on business,” said Stamford, sitting
down on a high three-legged stool, and pushing
another one in my direction with his foot. “My
friend here wants to take diggings, and as you
were complaining that you could get no one to go
halves with you, I thought that I had better bring

you together.”

Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted at the idea
of sharing his rooms with me. “I have my eye on a
suite in Baker Street,” he said, “which would suit
us down to the ground. You don’t mind the smell
of strong tobacco, I hope?”

“I always smoke ‘ship’s’ myself,” I answered.
“That’s good enough. I generally have chemicals
about, and occasionally do experiments.
Would that annoy you?”
“By no means.”

“Let me see—what are my other shortcomings.
I get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my
mouth for days on end. You must not think I am
sulky when I do that. Just let me alone, and I’ll
soon be right. What have you to confess now? It’s
just as well for two fellows to know the worst of
one another before they begin to live together.”
I laughed at this cross-examination. “I keep a
bull pup,” I said, “and I object to rows because
my nerves are shaken, and I get up at all sorts of
ungodly hours, and I am extremely lazy. I have
another set of vices when I’m well, but those are

the principal ones at present.”

“Do you include violin-playing in your category
of rows?” he asked, anxiously.
“It depends on the player,” I answered. “A
well-played violin is a treat for the gods—a badlyplayed
“Oh, that’s all right,” he cried, with a merry
laugh. “I think we may consider the thing as settled—
that is, if the rooms are agreeable to you.”
“When shall we see them?”
“Call for me here at noon to-morrow, and we’ll
go together and settle everything,” he answered.
“All right—noon exactly,” said I, shaking his

We left him working among his chemicals, and
we walked together towards my hotel.
“By the way,” I asked suddenly, stopping and
turning upon Stamford, “how the deuce did he

know that I had come from Afghanistan?”

My companion smiled an enigmatical smile.
“That’s just his little peculiarity,” he said. “A good
many people have wanted to know how he finds
things out.”

“Oh! a mystery is it?” I cried, rubbing my
hands. “This is very piquant. I am much obliged
to you for bringing us together. ‘The proper study
of mankind is man,’ you know.”

“You must study him, then,” Stamford said, as
he bade me good-bye. “You’ll find him a knotty
problem, though. I’ll wager he learns more about
you than you about him. Good-bye.”

“Good-bye,” I answered, and strolled on to my

hotel, considerably interested in my new acquaintance.

No comments:

Post a Comment