Essential--let's have the remaining 72% of the series ASAP!
Rudolf Schmid | Kensington, CA | 06/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This boxed set of 5 DVDs contains the first outstanding 13 episodes (which aired 1984-85) of the acclaimed Grenada TV series (1984-94) starring Jeremy Brett (3 Nov. 1933-12 Sep. 1995) as Holmes and David Burke (born 25 May 1934) as Watson (Edward Hardwicke, born 7 Aug. 1932, played Watson on the remaining episodes). This series totaled 41 episodes: 36 episodes (ca. 50-55 minutes each) in 6 series plus 5 double-length episodes (The sign of four, The hound of the Baskervilles, and three very deviant episodes: The master blackmailer, The last vampyre, and The eligible bachelor). The boxed set is of the first 2 TV series entitled "Adventures" and does not correspond to the "Adventures" of the published short stories.
The "Adventures" DVD box is a four-part plastic affair and not simply 5 DVD cases that slip into a large cardboard box. The six-page booklet simply lists "chapter selections" and bonus materials. Disappointingly, the booklet lacks the brief plot summaries and episode pictures on the back covers of the individually sold volumes. Volume 1 is a two-sided disk with 4 episodes and corrects the defect of the original volume 1 where Side A was B and Side B was A. The warbling sound on "The dancing men" is inherent with the source material. Volumes 2-5 are one-sided disks (with 3 episodes on volume 5) that bear a curious design in the 3:00 position that looks like a surface defect but isn't. Picture quality is very good, especially considering that the series was filmed in 16mm.
It took MPI one and a half years to release these first 13 episodes. This is only about 28.2% of the total series (not counting two short episodes). One hopes that the remaining 23 single-length and 5 double-length episodes are issued more expeditiously (the complete series has been available in Japan for well over a year). ..."
Excellent, my dear Watson!
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 07/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jeremy Brett was The Sherlock Holmes. For those of us who love the cerebral and quirky detective of 223B Baker Street, this series was absolutely delicious. Sadly, Brett died in 1995 and there are no more of these to be made.This DVD has the first 13 episodes, some of the finest stories extracted from the entire Holmes volumes. They are:
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Dancing Men,
The Naval Treaty
The Solitary Cyclist
The Crooked Man
The Speckled Band
The Blue Carbuncle
The Copper Beeches,
The Greek Interpreter
The Norwood Builder
The Resident Patient
The Red Headed League
The Final ProblemAs is usual with DVD's you get extras, like info on Holmsian societies and photos. Brett was SO right as Holmes. Even his little movements, that quick turn were right out of Doyle's descriptions. The scenes have that murky, foggy English air, the sets are exquisite. I am captivated every time I watch these and I don't think any set of written stories has been better translated to the small screen. In fact, stories I didn't particularly like are better in this series, such as The Solitary Cyclist, which I never did appreciate in print. The first 13 epsisodes are the best of the best Holmes tales, at least, they have most of my favorites."
Brett WAS Holmes
Mary Gibson | 10/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As there are already plenty of other reviews here detailing the specific episodes, let me just toss in my opinion along with the others that Jeremy Brett played the most authentic Sherlock I can imagine. His body, his voice, his mannerisms, his very BEING was true to the portrait of Holmes that Doyle wrote of. Even now, when I go to read the stories of Sherlock and Watson, Brett is easily pictured as Holmes--all the way down to his graceful fingers and small brief smiles. It was a tragedy to lose Brett, but we can be thankful that he was able to bring these classic mysteries to life before leaving us.Holmes wasn't the only character that was played so perfectly, the role of John Watson is also played quite well by David Burke throughout the "Adventures" section of the Holmes series. In the later sections ("Return", "Casebook", "Memoirs" and all the longer stand-alone movie-episodes) Edward Hardwicke took over as Watson. I am not sure why Hardwicke took over, but I must say of the two I do prefer Hardwicke's Watson over Burke's. In any case, for this "Adventures" DVD set, it is Burke's Watson that you will see, and he does do an admirable job that in no way detracts from the spirit of Watson.In one other area this entire series excells--the care taken with each and every episode. The people behind this series must have truly loved Doyle's Holmes. Every scene is done perfectly, from the idea of the locations to the photography to the scenery. The "mood" is set, and with Brett and Burke prowling the city and countryside, the stories of Sherlock Holmes come to life here like never before (and because of Brett's death, never again). If you love Holmes, you MUST see these!Addendum: I contacted MPI video (the releasers of the Granada TV's Holmes series on DVD) and the person who responded to my e-mail said that they WILL continue to release the next series of Holmes DVDs "next year". When next year, I don't know, but just thought I'd pass the word on to other fans that MPI is in fact going to release more Holmes DVDs."
Wonderful series -- disappointing DVD
Scott M. Benson | Brooklyn, NY United States | 06/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Grenada's Sherlock Holmes series are, for my money, the finest adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories ever filmed, or likely to be. The casting, locations, scripting, direction and atmosphere are beyond reproach. Grenada's aim was to create the definitive Sherlock Holmes, and so they did. Sadly, Jeremy Brett passed away with some twenty of the stories remaining to film, and in the last several shows his illness made him almost painful to watch.... but in this first series of Adventures, he's at the top of his game, as is David Burke, who is the perfect Watson to go with Brett's perfect Holmes.I wish I could be as enthusiastic about MPI's treatment of the series on disc. The extras are all fine, but Disc One has some distressingly bad sound quality, and the video transfer quality on all the discs is uniformly poor. It makes one wish very strongly that A&E had gotten the DVD rights, as their treatment of such classics as MONTY PYTHON and THE AVENGERS is top-notch. It is the quality control problems on these discs that keep me from awarding the full five stars.That having been said: for the Sherlock Holmes fan, this series is worth having on disc whatever the shortcomings."