Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (TV Series 1980– ) Poster

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Hard to find series is well worth the hunt
rabbitrunning13 September 2011
The listing here is missing one episode "Murder on a Midsummer's Eve", but all of the episodes are difficult to find. Geoffrey Whitehead is one of the more ruthless incarnations of Holmes, particularly in the darker episodes, but he can take advantage of the humorous scripts as well. Donald Pickering is one of the better Watsons -- you can believe he's been a military man from his bearing and his athletic build -- and he comes across as intelligent and capable, if occasionally astonished or bewildered by Holmes's more brilliant strokes of genius. There's a certain dry humor shared between the two of them, as well, which brightens the opening and closing sequences of several episodes.
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youthful Holmes in a largely pastiche series
didi-512 May 2010
Long unavailable because of rights issues, 'Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson' was the second Sheldon Reynolds series featuring the great detective. The first time featured Ronald Howard as a young and earnest Holmes with H Marion Crawford as a sturdy Watson; this version has similar casting with Geoffrey Whitehead youthful (but more sardonic than Howard) and Donald Pickering the perfect partner as Watson.

Like the 1950s series, Lestrade is a bit of a comedy sidekick, this time played by Patrick Newell (Mother from The Avengers). While he collaborates with Holmes and Watson they do enjoy getting the better of him.

Most stories in this series are pastiche rather than adaptations of Doyle tales; however there is a sterling 'Speckled Band' and versions of stories we first saw Howard/Crawford tackle, like 'The Baker Street Nursemaids'. Whitehead does aim at the more cerebral side of Holmes, and his darkness - something you'd never expect the chirpy Howard to do. I would have liked to see this actor in more straight versions true to Doyle.
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Adequate Holmes, but don't expect too much
jonfrum20005 February 2012
Sheldon Reynolds remade his 1954 television series, this time with Polish and Italian staff behind the cameras. This series is played with less humor and more earnestness, but I find it less appealing. I generally prefer my Holmes played straight, but the earlier version with Ronald Howard grew on me. Some of the episodes in that series went over the top with the humor, but for the most part they were charming in their own way. Howard was an interesting Holmes, more personable than the character is usually played, with an impish humor. In any case, I quickly accepted and identified Howard as Holmes and his Howard Marion- Crawford as his partner Watcon. In this series, however, even though it sticks to my preferred dramatic reading, the actors just don't fill out the parts for me. Watson's role as a straight man can be filled fairly easily, but Geoffrey Whitehead just never convinces me that he's Holmes. I'm four episodes into the series, and there is still nothing to the role that sticks in my mind as Holmes. I've also listened to the BBC4 radio plays featuring Clive Merrison, and I immediately accepted Merrison's voice as Holmes. Writing these words, I barely remember what Whitehead sounds like.

To understand my disappointment with this series, I would recommend watching the original 1954 version of The Case of Harry Crooker and this version. In the original, the escape artist is a whirlwind of anarchic amusement. In the 1980 version, which is a direct copy, not so much. The copy seems bloodless in comparison.

For all my disappointment with the series, I still am watching the episodes. mediocre Holmes is better than no Holmes at all. So if you love Holmes, look for these on Youtube.
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