1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 5 (UK)
13 x 60 minute episodes
Modelled closely on the mood and style of the original Victorian Strand Magazine stories (illustrated by Sidney Paget), old Etonian Jeremy Brett’s interpretation of Conan Doyle’s famous creation is generally accepted as definitive.
Handsomely delivered, with a specially created Baker Street set at Granada’s Manchester studios (next to the Coronation Street set), the show presented Holmes as a man of awesome genius, but also prone to melancholia and madness under the influences of his cocaine habit – quite different to the stereotyped Basil Rathbone version.
This Holmes was aloof and vague one minute, razor-sharp and manic the next. Jeremy Brett’s personal battle with bipolar disorder clearly informed his portrayal, and his passionate belief in the character compelled him to continue with the series despite health issues.
Holmes’ adventures came to a close in 1985 with the pipe-smoking sleuth plunging to his death at the Reichenbach Falls in the final episode, ‘The Final Problem’.
Brett’s Holmes was resurrected from the dead, however, in The Return Of Sherlock Holmes (1986) in which the role of Dr Watson was now played by Edward Hardwicke.
Dr John Watson