The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (TV series)

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes is a British anthology mystery television series produced by Thames Television which was 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
GenreAnthology
Period drama
Crime
Mystery
Detective
StarringVarious
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes26
Production
Running time50 minutes
Production company(s)Thames Television

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]

Principal characters

Episode list

Series 1 (20 Sep – 9 Dec 1971)

No.TitleFictional Detective(s)Author(s) of Original StoryActor(s) who portrayed detective(s)
1x1A Message from the Deep SeaDr. John Thorndyke, forensic scientistR. Austin FreemanJohn Neville
1x2The Missing Witness SensationMax Carrados, blind detectiveErnest BramahRobert Stephens
1x3The Affair of the Avalanche Bicycle & Tyre Co. Ltd.Horace Dorrington, corrupt detectiveArthur MorrisonPeter Vaughan
1x4The Duchess of Wiltshire's DiamondsSimon Carne, gentleman thiefGuy BoothbyRoy Dotrice
1x5The Horse of the InvisibleThomas Carnacki, occult detectiveWilliam Hope HodgsonDonald Pleasence
1x6The Case of the Mirror of PortugalHorace Dorrington, corrupt detectiveArthur MorrisonPeter Vaughan
1x7Madame SaraDixon Druce, trade investigatorL. T. Meade and Robert EustaceJohn Fraser
1x8The Case of the Dixon TorpedoJonathan Pryde,[n 1] enquiry agentArthur MorrisonRonald Hines
1x9The Woman in the Big HatLady Molly of Scotland YardBaroness OrczyElvi Hale
1x10The Affair of the TortoiseMartin Hewitt, working-class detectiveArthur MorrisonPeter Barkworth
1x11The Assyrian RejuvenatorRomney Pringle, reformed con artist"Clifford Ashdown" (R. Austin Freeman and John Pitcairn)Donald Sinden
1x12The Ripening RubiesBernard Sutton, professional jewellerMax PembertonRobert Lang
1x13The Case of Laker, AbscondedMartin Hewitt and Jonathan Pryde[n 1]Arthur MorrisonPeter Barkworth and Ronald Hines

Series 2 (29 Jan – 7 May 1973)

No.TitleFictional Detective(s)Author(s) of Original StoryActor(s) who portrayed detective(s)
2x1The Mysterious Death on the Underground RailwayPolly Burton,[n 2] lady journalistBaroness OrczyJudy Geeson
2x2Five Hundred CaratsInspector Lipinzki, South African police detectiveGeorge GriffithBarry Keegan
2x3Cell 13Prof Van Dusen, the Thinking MachineJacques FutrelleDouglas Wilmer
2x4The Secret of the MagnifiqueJohn Laxworthy, reformed criminalE. Phillips OppenheimBernard Hepton
2x5The Absent-Minded CoterieEugene Valmont, private investigatorRobert BarrCharles Gray
2x6The Sensible Action of Lieutenant HolstLieutenant Holst, Danish police detectivePalle RosenkrantzJohn Thaw
2x7The Superfluous FingerProf Van Dusen, the Thinking MachineJacques FutrelleDouglas Wilmer
2x8Anonymous LettersDagobert Trostler, Viennese sleuth"Balduin Groller" (Adalbert Goldscheider)Ronald Lewis
2x9The Moabite CypherDr. John Thorndyke, forensic scientistR. Austin FreemanBarrie Ingham
2x10The Secret of the Fox HunterDuckworth Drew of the Secret ServiceWilliam Le QueuxDerek Jacobi
2x11The Looting of the Specie RoomMr. Horrocks, ship's purserC. J. Cutcliffe HyneRonald Fraser
2x12The Mystery of the Amber BeadsHagar Stanley, Gypsy detectiveFergus HumeSara Kestelman
2x13The Missing Q.C.sCharles Dallas, defence barrister"John Oxenham" (William Arthur Dunkerley)Robin Ellis

DVD availability

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

  • 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

  1. Jonathan Pryde is an original TV creation, replacing Martin Hewitt from Arthur Morrison's stories.
  2. The screenplay for this episode rewrites the original story to make Polly Burton, the secondary character in Baroness Orczy's "The Old Man in the Corner" stories, the detective in this episode.

References

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