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"The Priory School"
One of the most interesting stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes canon makes for a particularly taut and exciting episode in the Granada Television series about the famous detective. Holmes (the outstanding Jeremy Brett) and Dr. Watson (Edward Hardwicke) are summoned by the desperate founder of an exclusive prep school for boys to locate the missing son of a duke. The investigation uncovers a nefarious plot, and the major clue (a controversial one at the time Doyle wrote the story) involves nothing more than the direction of bicycle tracks. The suspense never lets up in this excellent program, and Brett and Hardwicke are at their best.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are drawn into the investigation of the murder of Garcia (Arturo Venegas), for which Scott Eccles (Donald Churchill), a guest of Garcia's at Wisteria Lodge, has been arrested--possibly mistakenly. An extreme rarity in the Holmes canon, a policeman of real competence named Inspector Baynes (Freddie Jones), is also on the case, making this tale all the more interesting for Holmes fans interested in comparing and contrasting investigative styles. Brett and Hardwicke, as always, are exceptionally good as the Great Detective and his famous ally. --Tom Keogh