Sherlock Holmes Vol 2
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In "The Crooked Man," Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett) fetches Dr. John Watson (David Burke) on an urgent mission: Colonel James Barclay (Denys Hawthorne) has been found dead in his home, with his comatose wife (Lisa Daniely) beside him. While Holmes and Watson work to clear the widow's name of any suspicion, a weird, badly stooped man (Norman Jones) holds onto the secret of the Barclays' misfortune. This episode in the long-running Granada Television series is a fascinating puzzle all around, highlighted by a long flashback into a grim tale of treachery and revenge.
One of the strongest entries in the series, "The Speckled Band" finds distraught Helen Stoner (Rosalyn Landor) coming to Holmes and Watson in fear for her life since announcing her betrothal. The reason: Helen's sister Julia (Denise Armon) died mysteriously and in apparent terror in her bedroom on the night before her own wedding, and her final words were a strange reference to a "speckled band." This episode has it all: a damsel in distress, a considerable villain, lots of suspense, and a solution worth waiting for. Brett and Burke are at the top of their game as Doyle's dynamic duo; this story was, in fact, Doyle's personal favorite from the Holmes canon. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
In reviewing this DVD, I'm actually examining the actor's performance as the character in the entire series, rather than those encapsulated within the specific titles. I have seen these episodes, and could do a separate review of each, but I think in this case that would actually be inappropriate. I can say, however, that these episodes are very good, and represent this outstanding series very well. The DVD itself is also of very high quality, as far as sound and picture are concerned. Granada did a first rate job, that has translated itself very handily to the new format.
Jeremy Brett's Holmes is something other than the various Holmes' we've been exposed to in the past. I was raised on Rathbone. But when I saw Brett's performances when they first aired on PBS, I slowly forgot Rathbone's influences. Brett immerses himself in such a way that must make it very personal to him, then displays the character of Holmes in a forceful and deliberate manner - and in a depth we may not see again.
The key thing to understanding Holmes, I think, is that he is unique as a genius as any genius would be. Exercising his talents to there fullest doesn't give him super-status as an overall human being by erasing other flaws. Instead, his talent takes precedence, accentuating his human flaws by casting them into a state of neglect that highlights them. Brett understands this, clearly because he himself is either a bona fide genius, or he has somehow deciphered the code that generates a genius' idiosyncratic behaviors. I can't say which. I can say that I really believe his Holmes. Brett may as well BE Holmes.
My second favorite aspect of Brett's Holmes is the level of humor.Read more ›
As the number of television shows increases at very high rates it is comforting to know that shows such as this as preserved for posterity on DVD.
AS the number of DVDs increases now that DVD player ownership has expanded to cover over 25% of US households and the number is poised to double by the end of the 2002 holiday season, the range of quality and reproduction of DVDs is also growing.
This does mean that less profitable ventures such as the Sherlock Holmes series seem doomed to limited treatments during transfer rather than get the full scale upgrading purists would prefer. For myself I would certainly prefer more but I am happy to be able to own these DVDs and watch them repeatedly.
Jeremy Brett, throught his years of portraying Holmes certainly carved out his reputation as being the ultimate Holmes. In these two early episodes one sees the stirrings of a determination by the actor to make the character his own.
There are so many aspects to these shows that it is difficult to know where to start. One of the reasons why the show developed it's avid following in my view is the attention paid to the original stories not only in the detail of portrayal but in observing the spirit of them. David Burke does excellent service in portraying Watson as an intelligent though somewhat limited colleague and pupil of the genius master and an individual in his own right who tries not to be overshadowed. This is a welcome rebuttal to the image of Watson as the buffoon who graced our screens for many years.
The two stories contained in this volume, Crooked Man and Speckled Band are both concerned with familial killings.Read more ›
Lord knows why this series hasn't garnered more attention, but if it had I can guarantee a bit more money and time would have been spent on the DVD's. The content is the most critical element (especially since there are NO special features save a few biographical screens) and again, it never fails to entertain.
The Crooked Man is a rather heart-wrenching episode, showing the cruel machinations of an ambitious soldier and their deadly consequences. Although many episodes of this program are quite funny thanks to Brett's intensely mannered performance, this one relied on emotional content and dramatic irony to keep the viewer engaged. The Speckled Band was the first episode I was lucky enough to see when my mother introduced me to the series, and it too tells a striking and tragic story.
Both episodes are generally humorless but continued the tradition of simple, loyal reproduction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales. Brett is always fantastic and will be missed. (If you are like me, and you usually find something Holmes does or says very funny in each episode, listen for the British military jargon in The Crooked Man. It sounds as strange and silly to me as US army terminology must sound to them.)
Most recent customer reviews
IMO 'the Speckled Band' is the best Holmes story that Conan Doyle wrote.......holds your attention from start to finish and no one plays the character better than Brett. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2008 by terry kelly
Volume 2 of MPI's great series of mysteries from Granada TV/PBS is as enjoyable as its predecessor. In "The Crooked Man", a distinguished army colonel is found dead, and his... Read morePublished on April 11 2002 by Eric Pregosin
Jeremy Brett is superb has Holmes. I think even Basil Rathbone would have to admit this (if he were still with us). Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2002 by wiggles
This TV serie is terrific. This is the ultimate Sherlock Holmes adaptation. Lush sets, perfect acting... Jeremy Brett will make you forgot all the previous Holmes actors. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2001 by xavier75
I remember fondly watching this series when it was aired on PBS some years ago. The quality of the production as well as the stories made me go and read all the Sherlock Holmes... Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2001 by David S. Moore
This is yet another DVD set featuring Jeremy Brett as the super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. This time 2 adventures are featured and the DVD print and sound here are perfect. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2001 by Hazen B Markoe
Brett was the definitive Holmes, in my opinion, and the DVDs of his performances are essential to all Holmes fans. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2001 by R. Riis
Though a little better in quality than the first volume in this series it still lackes the beautiful sounds and film that you'd expect from a DVD. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2001 by Cornelis Oudenaarden
Being a big fan of British television in general, the fact that I had never seen an episode of this series was remedied when I purchased the first disc. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2001 by Christopher Krisocki
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