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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Set 1
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Set 1
Actors: Peter Vaughan, John Neville
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2009     10hr 54min

Genre: Television: British Mystery/Dr Rating: NR Release Date: 1-SEP-2009 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Peter Vaughan, John Neville
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/01/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1971
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 10hr 54min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 08/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All 13 are cleverly written plots in "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes-Set 1".
Unique mystery stories and appealing sleuth characters. Delightfully detailed late-Victorian sets, both indoors and out. Makes one wish they'd lived in the late 1800s.
Scotland yard gets several famous helpers in catching the crooks. Costuming is richly authentic, for wealthy aristocrats, shopkeepers, and the common folk.
The series has continual top-notch performances of some of the best British actors and actresses of the day.

Bonus: SUBTITLES. Also detailed profiles of all the authors making history with these crime investigators of Victorian days. What a bonus for mystery story readers who would like to continue with these great crime solvers. The bonus material lists the writer's other books/stories.

Episode details with no spoilers:
1. A MESSAGE FROM THE DEEP SEA. Dr. Thorndyke (sleuth creator R. Austen Freeman) using fingerprints and other scientific forensic evidence looks for a replacement to the police quick-suspect decision. Thorough evidence examination at the crime scene is, once and for all-time, proved necessary for justice.

2. THE MISSING WITNESS SENSATION. Max Carados (blind amateur detective created by Ernest Bramah, 1914) gets kidnapped by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He admits to being 'a terrible showoff' with his abilities; even though sightless. With Carrados missing, will his affidavit be enough to convict the Irish murderer? Can he escape?

3. THE AFFAIR OF THE AVALANCHE BICYCLE & TYRE CO. Horace Dorrington (criminal/detective created by Arthur Morrison) is not beyond doing a bit of theft himself and then charging fees to his socialite client. He gets involved in the operations of a new emerging bicycle company. An obviously intentional bicycle racing accident gets Dorrington seeking insider evidence, or better yet for him--a percentage?

4. THE DUCHESS OF WILTSHIRE'S DIAMONDS. Simon Carne (gentleman thief created by Guy Newell Boothby)is socially equal to all but also secretly evolves into "Klimo", a crime solving genius. Carne's secretly maintains 2 identities. His disguised appearance in both of his roles makes it possible for him to co-exist and actually live next door to each of himselves. "Klimo's" crime solving & method explanations never end in recovered goods or catching any thief. Why?

5. THE HORSE OF THE INVISIBLE. Ghost Detective Carnacki (creator: Wm. Hope Hodgson) is asked to exorcise a horse ghost from a country home to save he engaged daughter of the family. There is an 1800s history of premature deaths of engaged girls in this family, all relating to horse ghosts. But this ghostbuster is dealing with the 20th century....JUST!

6. THE CASE OF THE MIRROR OF PORTUGAL. (Same sleuth creator as #3) A family feud over a priceless diamond obtained generations ago in revolution days has many interested pursuers, including the criminal/detective Dorrington.
A young JEREMY IRONS (Brideshead Revisited) has a bit part as a nephew, his first film appearance.

7. MADAME SARA. Dixon Druce (L. T. Meade or Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith-Irish creator) is involved when a will's conditions give a fortune to the lone survivor among 2 sisters and their half-brother. His whereabouts is unknown. Madam Sara and her secrets are involved in some mysterious way. What secrets can Det. Druce uncover?

8. THE CASE OF THE DIXON TORPEDO. Jonathan Pride (P.I. creator Arthur Morrison, who also invented Dorrington, #6 & #3) solves 2 crimes without his partner Martin Hewitt, who is away in the country. Russian counterfeit bills are being printed locally. At the same time, Admiralty has Pride watching a torpedo inventor's back. Are the cases related?

9. THE WOMAN IN THE BIG HAT. Lady Molly uses her intuition to outwit her male counterparts of Scotland yard. (creator is Baroness Emma Orczy, better known for 'Scarlet Pimpernel') Investigating a murder by using less-than proper methods causes Lady Molly to be taken off the case. The lead suspect, a lady in a big hat, arrives at Scotland Yard asking for Molly. She is back on the case. Will the Yard's "Ladies Department" solve the case & save the day again?

10. THE AFFAIR OF THE TORTOISE. (same creator as #9) P.I. Martin Hewitt is called to privately investigate a murder with a note leading to the police's obvious suspect. But the body disappears. Hewitt looks for less obvious clues. A turtle dies. Not violently.

11. THE ASSYRIAN REJUVENATOR. P.I. Romney Pringle (creator: Clifford Ashdown) uses disguises to out-maneuver other criminals--thus taking his own gains. A patient medicine con is so elusive the CID Sgt Hawkins suggests Pringle investigate, even encouraging his sometimes less-than-legal methods. Pringle is star struck with by a stage singer, Miss Suzie.

12. THE RIPENING RUBIES. Jeweler, Bernard Sutton (created by Sir Max Pemberton) outwits criminals using his professional knowledge of gems. Reward money follows solving the case. A stolen ruby necklace (one of his own creation) is offered for sale at his own shop. Another gem of a case to solve?

13. THE CASE OF LAKER, ABSCONDED. Partners, Hewitt & Pride (see creator of #9 & #10) look for a bank clerk who ran off with a huge amount of cash. The trail seems much to easy to follow, which causes the P.I. team to consider another direction and case conclusion, while the Yard looks in France for the culprit. The missing suspect's fiancee may hold the clues needed.

Created in the 1970s, but filmed so well, and being a Victorian series, this is a timeless set of mystery productions. Packed with suspense, drama, thriller, mystery, and even some comedy and romance. What's not to like? As good as any of today's Mystery Theatre TV events."
Series Stands on Its Merits
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 09/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Set 1" gives us another classic British mysteries television series, this one featuring the other detectives of Victorian England. These are stories that were initially penned by writers contemporaneous with Arthur Conan Doyle, famed creator of the iconic Holmes: writers who undoubtedly thought: if he can do it, so can I. The entertainment was made by Thames Television, and premiered on the ITV (Independent Television Network) stations in 1971, when it won a BAFTA (British Oscar) for best series design. A second series aired in 1973. The first thirteen episodes now come to us in a box set of four DVDs, running approximately 654 minutes, with subtitles: although the actors so clearly speak the Queen's English, the subtitles are hardly needed.

The series bespeaks the open-handed care with which British TV made these entertainments at that time. Settings, clothing, accessories, sounds, interiors, street scenes and transport are depicted as accurately as they could be. Scenes are filmed lavishly, with many extras, a screen packed full of information. Scripts are intelligently written, and ably acted, featuring several of the stars of the day; support is provided by many contemporary favorites. Some of the episodes are, unfortunately, on the silly, and /or skimpy side - we can blame the original source material for that - but all give us an excellent view of time and place, Victorian era popular culture; the many economic ills of the day.

Among the best-known actors are John Neville (The First Churchills); northern stalwart Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day); theater favorite Donald Sinden (Two's Company - The Complete Series); Donald Pleasance (Blofeld in You Only Live Twice); and a very young Jeremy Irons, making his screen debut and hardly looking like himself (Brideshead Revisited ). I saw Irons in person quite a few years ago, but after he'd made this episode. He was starring on Broadway in a two-hander with Glenn Close, script by Tom Stoppard; the man was handsome, and he wasn't missing any volleys.

Some of my favorite stories were based upon the intelligent work of Arthur Morrison: No. 3, The Affair of the Avalanche Bicycle & Tyre Co, Ltd.; No.6, The Case of the Mirror of Portugal. Northern stalwart Peter Vaughan plays Horace Dorrington, bringing his great energy and sly wit to detection. No. 8, The Case of the Dixon Torpedo; No. 10, The Affair of the Tortoise; and No. 13, The Case of Laker, Absconded. These three episodes feature the detective agency of Martin Hewett and Jonathan Pryde.

And two female-oriented episodes: No. 7, Madame Sara. She's the sphinx of the Strand, in a short story originally published in the well-known contemporary magazine of that name, "The Strand."Mme. Sara is a mysterious creature who looks impossibly youthful; furthermore, she can do wonders for the female clientele of her tiny Strand shop, with her skills as trained doctor and dentist, and her many magic potions. She's the creation of"L.T. Meade," who was actually Irish writer Elizabeth Thomasina Meade Smith, best-known for her "girls' stories." The author, in her lifetime, published over 300 books, including a collection of stories featuring Mme. Sara and detective Dixon Druse, as "The Sorceress of the Strand." Her creation here may well have helped inspired the famous 1933 novel,Lost Horizon, that gave us Shangri-La, by Englishman James Hilton. Several movie treatments have been made of this novel; best-known, 1937's black and white Lost Horizon, starring Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt, directed by Frank Capra.

No. 9, The Woman in the Big Hat, gives us one of the first female detectives, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard; she moves in feminine settings, solves her cases with a woman's reasoning. She's the creation of Baroness Emma Orczy, writer, playwright, and artist, descended from Hungarian nobility, moved to London as a teenager: In 1888, when she had been married but a week, Jack the Ripper left one of his victims outside her front door. Orczy published "Lady Molly of Scotland Yard" in 1910. She is later credited with creating the first "armchair detective," a person who can solve crimes without budging from a favorite chair; an idea that has gone far. But she is best known for her most enduring creation: the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Time has proven that none of the authors upon whose work this series is based could rival Doyle in the detection department. Still, the series stands on its merits.

I remember it too..
Austin Barry | Boston MA | 07/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember watching it in 1975 on PBS. I particularly remember "The Horse Invisible". It's a ghost story, and one of the most frightening that I have ever seen on TV. The other episodes were just as good!"
Par Excellence Detectives/ Most Bent with a Crooked Twist
R. A. Barricklow | Las Vegas NV USA | 10/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Absolute Gems!
Production, scripts, acting, sets, direction: all coming together in a seemless stream of intelligent entertainment that tickles the who, what, and how with sweet satisfaction. Most of the detectectives; besides being observant, intuitive, and with gifted acumens of human nature, find when summing the case up: stepping outside, around, or boldly, across the letter of the law has its rewards - both in wealth and their own wicked sense of honor & humor.