Regarded by many to be the best incarnation of the Baker Street sleuth, Douglas Wilmer gives a career-defining performance in this celebrated BBC series.
Regarded by many to be the best incarnation of the Baker Street sleuth, Douglas Wilmer gives a career-defining performance in this celebrated BBC series. Intelligent, quick on his heels, and bearing a striking resemblance to the original Sidney Paget illustrations, Wilmer’s portrayal is possibly the closest to Conan Doyle’s original vision that there has ever been. In 2012, his status as legend within the Sherlock pantheon was cemented when he was asked to make a cameo appearance in Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch.
The first story in the series, The Speckled Band, was originally produced as part of the BBC drama strand Detectives. Appearing alongside Wilmer, as Holmes’ loyal companion Dr John Watson, was the great Nigel Stock. Such was the success of the adaptation that Wilmer and Stock were reunited a year later for a full 12-part series. With a supporting cast that included Clochemerle star Peter Madden as Inspector Lestrade, TV veteran Derek Francis as Mycroft Holmes, and guest stars such as Peter Wyngarde (Department S, The Innocents) and Patrick Troughton (Doctor Who), the popularity of the series gave rise to a second series, in which the role of Sherlock was played by Peter Cushing.
Presented for the first time on UK DVD, this long-awaited release also includes an array of fascinating special features, including two reconstructions of partially-surviving episodes, an alternative presentation of the Detectives pilot, an alternative title sequence, an interview with Douglas Wilmer and a number of newly-recorded audio commentaries.
• The Speckled Band (1964) Director: Robin Midgley
• The Illustrious Client (1965) Director: Peter Sadsy
• The Devil’s Foot (1965) Director: Max Varnel
• The Copper Beeches (1965) Director: Gareth Davies
• The Red Headed League (1965) Director: Peter Duguid
• The Abbey Range (Reconstructed Episode) (1965) Director: Peter Green
• The Six Napoleons (1965) Director: Gareth Davies
• The Man With the Twisted Lip (1965) Director: Eric Tayler
• The Beryl Coronet (1965) Director: Max Varnel
• The Bruce-Partington Plans (Reconstructed Episode) (1965) Director: Shaun Sutton
• Charles Augustus Milverton (1965) Director: Philip Dudley
• Retired Colourman (1965) Director: Michael Hayes
• Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax (1965) Director: Shaun Sutton
• Original 1964 Detectives pilot episode The Speckled Band
• All surviving episodes from the 1965 series
• Alternative Spanish audio presentation of The Speckled Band
• Alternative title sequence for The Illustrious Client
• The Abbey Grange episode reconstruction, featuring a newly-filmed sequence with Douglas Wilmer reading the first half of the story, followed by all surviving original footage
• The Bruce-Partington Plans episode reconstruction, using all surviving original footage and original shooting scripts
• Douglas Wilmer… on Television (2012, Simon Harries, 22 mins): the iconic actor discusses his career in British film and television.
• Five audio commentaries, including contributions from Douglas Wilmer and celebrated directors Peter Cregeen and Peter Sasdy, all moderated by actor-comedian Toby Hadoke
• Fully illustrated booklet with essays and full episode credits
Subtitle Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes: The Classic BBC TV Series
Product contents 4 discs
Aspect ratio 1.33:1
Sound Dolby Digital mono audio
Subtitles English, hearing impaired
Running time 650 mins