Sherlock Holmes: Season 2, Episode 15

The Sign of Four (16 Dec. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 311 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

When a woman receives a series of valuable pearls from an unknown party after the disappearance of her father, Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.



(novel), (dramatisation), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Sign of Four (16 Dec 1968)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Bell ...
Paul Daneman ...
John Stratton ...
Ailsa Grahame ...
Howard Goorney ...
Grace Arnold ...
Ahmed Khalil ...
Lal Rao (as Ahmed Kahlil)
Syd Conabere ...
McMurdo (as Sydney Conabere)
Tony McLaren ...
Annabella Johnston ...
David Boliver ...
Mr. Mordecai Smith (as David S. Boliver)
Ann Way ...
Zena Keller ...


When she receives pearls beyond price and a mysterious message from an anonymous source, Miss Mary Morstan goes to the famous consulting detective of 221B Baker St., Mr. Sherlock Holmes for advice in how to answer the message. Together with his staunch comrade, Dr. John Watson, and a mutt named Toby, Holmes tracks down the secret of the Sign of Four. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

16 December 1968 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sherlock Holmes: [Last lines] Love is an emotional thing. I shall never marry, lest I bias my judgment.
Dr. Watson: I trust my judgement shall survive it. You are weary, Holmes. You don't ask much of life, do you?
Sherlock Holmes: Work, my dear Watson, a problem to solve is all I ask. I cannot live without brainwork. Give me the pleasure of finding a field for my own peculiar powers. Give me work. This is my reward. And I am content.
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Version of The Sign of Four (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

16 March 2003 | by (Central Michigan University) – See all my reviews

This is almost a direct adaptation of Doyle's "Sign of Four" novel, with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, the exceptions are the ones that sap the story of its humanity.

The novel itself wasn't that great. Pretty much a standard Holmes story. However, the story is kept readable by Holmes' inner conflict. According to the story, Holmes can never truly rest. His mind must always be stimulated. That's why, if he does not have a case to solve at the moment, he uses cocaine to keep his mind going. This is totally missing from the movie. I'm assuming that the filmmakers wanted to preserve the "integrity" of Holmes by eliminating a vile habit from his personality, but in doing so, they remove the personality itself, making Holmes nothing more than a crime-solving machine.

Doyle was not a great romantic author, to be sure, but the relationship between Watson and Miss Morstan seemed to be slapped into the film. In the book, it isn't too much better, but it at least made Watson sympathetic. In the movie, he's pretty much relegated to being an arm for her to hold on to as she hears each bit of bad news.

Overall, this made-for-TV flick is not worth viewing. If you absolutely HAVE to, read the book, but pass on renting the video. It's really bad.

2 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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