Plot: What’s it about?
In the realm of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, there are many kinds of projects to be found, that’s for sure. Some stray from the original material, but manage to still hold true to the essence of Holmes, while others seem to way off base, not even close to persona we’ve all come to know. Others remain close to the original material, but still don’t have that special something and then, you have the Granada Television series, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes. This series stuck tight to the source material and ended up the closest thing to the novels you could ask for. The characters seem like they simply rose from the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work and came right into this series, ready for suspense and mystery. The essence and tone of the books is ever present in this series and perhaps that’s why such a loyal following has been gathered, even years down the road. If you’re a fan of mysteries and suspense efforts, then this disc has just what you need, a terrific sampling of what this series has to offer. Those Sherlock Holmes fans out there already know that though and as such, will want to pick this disc up right away.
As I mentioned above, this television manages to remain true to the novels and such, which I think blazed the path for the success involved. I am against wandering from source material by any means, but I am always pleased to see a competent version that sticks to the subject matter and captures the magic of the books. Of course, some aspects do differ with the books and such, but on the whole this is as true to the source as Sherlock Holmes adaptations get. I do like Jeremy Brett’s work on the series, but I have to admit that he is not my choice as the best Holmes. That honor belongs to Basil Rathbone in my opinion, but Brett was still an excellent choice and turns in wonderful performances. Brett (My Fair Lady, Svengali) always seem civil and just, but then again he has that needed edge that Holmes must possess. Also in fine form is David Burke (Saturday Night Out), who gives a solid effort on all fronts as Dr. Watson. The rest of the cast is also up to task, including the various villains, henchmen, red herrings, and distracting dames that appear throughout the series. I am a bit displeased that only two episodes (The Crooked Man and The Speckled Band) have been included here, but if you’re a fan of the series, this disc is still a worthwhile addition to the collection, I think. Let’s just hope future volumes have more content, or perhaps a lower price point to offer some compromise.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame transfers, as intended. I did notice some grain, but this is to be expected from this type of release I think. The colors seem natural, but bright and flesh tones look normal, no discoloration crops up in the least. Contrast is as sharp as a tack, with few exceptions and a high level of overall detail. Aside from a couple minor infractions, this transfer is free from compression woes also. Not pristine by any means, but as good as we could expect. I suppose we could nitpick and such, but I doubt this series is due for a visual restoration any time soon, so I won’t complain too much.
Audio: How does it sound?
A rather basic audio treatment, but given the material involved, that seems to have been a wise approach. The audio is more subtle and that means no surround use or that type of thing, just a straight forward dialogue based experience. This is how it should be though, so no complaints in the end. I would have liked some atmospheric audio at times, but I suppose you can’t win them all, eh? The sound effects still sound clean though, no volume problems in the least arise with these mixes. The dialogue is what matters the most though and no troubles are present, vocals seem loud and crisp and that’s enough for me. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files, information on Sherlock Holmes societies, and a selection of still photos.