If you read my review of the first edition of this DVD series, you would know I consider Jeremy Brett's Holmes to be superior to all other interpretations. If you didn't, now you do! After reviewing the DVD I read a review which itemized several technical flaws which I have since noted myself. This disc is no exception, as it includes one quite obvious flaw wherein Brett's face seems to spasm or jiggle unintentionally.
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.)