1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 3 (UK)
9 x 60 minute episodes
This ITV (Granada) series of hour-long adventures featuring fiction’s most famous detective starred Jeremy Brett, who embodied Sherlock Holmes in the same way that David Suchet embodied Hercule Poirot.
His Gothic demeanour added a charisma that was so often lacking in lesser portrayals of the part.
Significantly, in the first episode, it was a good 15 minutes before Holmes uttered a word, but his presence throughout a lengthy introduction, revealed in a letter from Dr Watson (Edward Hardwicke), was keenly felt.
Director John Madden really got to grips with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero and liberated him from the Boys’ Own world he previously inhabited.
No longer the smart-arse, Holmes now trod a darker path.
While the plots were perhaps a bit too predictable and the lines, Holmes excepted, often hackneyed, there was a simple beauty in the camerawork that lifted the show head and shoulders above much of the television costume drama genre.
And not once did Holmes say “Elementary my dear Watson”.