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.
This terrific series has brought onto our beloved format by the fine folks at MPI, who want to make sure we know more episodes are in the oven and cooking as we speak. Until then, we can enjoy the four episodes provided on this disc. I am pleased with the total number of episodes and such, as three and a half hours is a nice chunk, but I wish this disc could have been dual layered. I know it might sound like nitpicking, but I hate having to turn the disc over. Yes, I am lazy, but this is my forum and as such, I felt the need to address the issue. Is it a deal breaker? Of course not, but it would have been a wonderful final touch to have the episodes all on one side. A few small extras even make the cut, which is of course welcome and then some. The four episodes are good ones and as follows. On side one you’ll find the episodes titled A Scandal In Bohemia and The Dancing Men, while the second sides offers The Naval Treaty and The Solitary Cyclist, all four excellent choices indeed. I certainly enjoyed these episodes and look forward to future releases from this series.
Video: How does it look?
These episodes of The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes are presented in full frame transfers, which preserve the original aspect ratio of this series. 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.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is Sherlock Holmes and as such, the audio isn’t powerful by any means. 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 subtitles in French, Spanish, and English.
Supplements: What are the extras?
On the first side of this disc you’ll find information files on Jeremy Brett and Arthur Conan Doyle, a promotional teaser piece for this series, and a brief selection of still photos. Not too bad, especially for a television based release.