Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Series 2- The Copper Beeches

"There has been some villainy here..."

Yet again we have a governess (a young Natasha Richardson) called Violet as usual, troubled by the odd behaviour of her employer Mr Rucastle (a gleefully entertaining Joss Ackland), and a splendidly entertaining story of an imprisoned daughter that gets more than a little Charlotte Bronte at the end.

Again, though, the subtext is of the countless young Victorian girls who are being horribly oppressed by these patriarchal figures everywhere, which is really quite dark. And, as Holmes and Watson travel on the train down to deepest, darkest Hampshire, Holmes speaks of how the pretty houses of the countryside are to him a symbol not of beauty but of isolation, of "the impunity with which crimes may be committed". Behind this often light-hearted episode lies some real darkness.

There have been some fine episodes of late but, unlike the first series, the second series starts with one of the finest episodes yet.

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