1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 0 (USA/Poland)
24 x 25 minute episodes
Producer Sheldon Reynolds recycled many of the scripts from his 1954 Sherlock Holmes series (starring Ronald Howard) for this Polish/American co-production – dubbed “Sherlock Holmeski”.
Geoffrey Whitehead (of Z Cars fame) provides one of the more ruthless incarnations of Holmes, particularly in the darker episodes, while Donald Pickering is very believable as an ex-military man and comes across as intelligent and capable.
Patrick Newell (Mother from The Avengers) plays Inspector Lestrade as a comic sidekick.
Filmed in Poland (where production costs were low) over eight months at the state-run Poltel studios in Warsaw, no expense was spared to fill the screen with authentic, interesting, and lovely period pieces.
Guests in the episodes included Catherine Schell, Geoffrey Bayldon, Caroline Ellis (from The Bugaloos), Richard Greene, Victoria Tennant, Derren Nesbitt and Glynis Barber.
Towards the end of filming, the head of Poltel (who had sanctioned the production), was arrested for corruption. Even the normally Teflon-coated Reynolds wasn’t immune from disaster.
Caught up in a currency-changing fracas with the Polish authorities, Reynolds was forced to hand over all the film negatives of the series, leaving him only with the so-called ‘cutting copy’ to sell around the world (going some way to explain why this version of the famous sleuth remains the lowest-profile of them all).
The series was sold in Europe and Australia but received no release in the US or UK.