The Rivals Of Sherlock Holmes: Series 1 Review

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Sherlock-alikes from the time are brought to the small screen with style.


This splendidly ripping 1971 series showcases a number of Victorian sleuths created in the wake of Conan Doyle’s success with Holmes. Almost all of them could have sustained a series of adventures, and a couple get follow-up cases (including one team-up). Especially memorable are Peter Vaughan’s Dorrington, a wily private eye who solves crimes then cuts himself in on the profits; Donald Pleasence’s supernatural sleuth Carnacki; Robert Stephens’ vain, blind know-it-all Max Carrados; and Elvi Hale’s indomitable suffragette, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. Thirteen episodes deliver misappropriated diamonds, scheming rotters, trembling heroines, debonair dicks and a murdered tortoise, while acting is mostly first-rate.