Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Series 1- The Speckled Band

"You scoundrel, Sir! I've heard of you before. You are Holmes the meddler. Holmes the busybody. Holmes the Scotland Yard jack-in-office!"

We get a variation of the trope here. Holmes is visited by a young woman living in a big house that is being terrorised by a bounder and a cad acting as patriarch, yes, but this time she's the step-daughter and not, as is more usual, a governess. The villain revels in the splendidly dastardly name of Dr. Grimesby Roylott, and is plotting to kill his step-daughter for her inheritance. With a snake, naturally.

This episode ticks all the usual splendid boxes, with some suitably Holmesian dialogue for Jeremy Brett to deliver as only he can. And Holmes handles the case superbly, with rather more actual deductive ability that he showed last episode. Not bad for a case which begins at such an ungodly hour.

And, of course, beneath it all is the awful position of the unmarried young Victorian women at the mercy of such horrid patriarchs as this. No wonder so many of them seek Holmes' help.

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