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The Eligible Bachelor 

Sherlock Holmes' problem with disturbing dreams proves to be both an impediment and an aid in the search for a missing woman.



(screenplay), (based on "The Noble Bachelor") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs Hudson
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Inspector Montgomery
Henrietta Doran
Lady Florence
Phillada Sewell ...
Lady Mary
Lady Blanche
Heather Chasen ...
Hon. Amelia St. Simon
Bob Sessions ...
Aloysius Doran
Joanna McCallum ...
Myles Hoyle ...
Thomas Floutier
Bruce Myers ...


Sherlock Holmes is unwell and suffering from intense, disturbing dreams. He is also bored with little to do and only the most routine and trivial cases offered to him. Mrs. Hudson is so worried that she summons Dr. Watson, who suggests Holmes consider a trip to Vienna to visit a new doctor who seems to specialize in interpreting dreams, Sigmund Freud; but, Holmes is soon approached by Lord Robert St. Simon over the sudden disappearance of his wife, Hettie. They had only just married when his new bride became deeply disturbed upon leaving the church. He admits to also having had actress Flora Miller as his one-time mistress, a jilted lady who's lately been making trouble for him. He was also previously married, twice, with his first wife dying and his second marriage annulled. It's not till Sherlock receives a visit from Agnes Northcote, sister of Lord Robert's second wife Helena, that he fully realizes the extent of Lord St. Simon's barbarity. When he learns the true reason for ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dream | actress | cage | disrepair | pit | See All (23) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 February 1994 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play that the actors rehearse is Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts from 1881. See more »


At the wedding, Flora Miller claws some lovely deep scratches onto Lord St Simon's face. By the time St Simon subsequently visits Holmes, they've vanished without trace.... See more »


[first lines]
Sherlock Holmes: This is the asylum at Varnish.
Dr Watson: The misery there must be behind those walls. Hm.
Sherlock Holmes: There's no escape from the terrors of the mind.
Dr Watson: Indeed. Well, another case concluded.
Sherlock Holmes: Pah! I needn't have left Baker Street. An observant child could have solved it.
See more »


Featured in Timeshift: A Study in Sherlock (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A Weird and Satisfying Mystery
15 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

This final Sherlock Holmes film from Granada Television is disliked by many fans but I might be among the few who enjoyed it. In fact, in my mind it is an under-appreciated production. It is absorbing from beginning to end. It is powerfully directed by Peter Hammond with superb acting and scripting. The film is one of the few outings from the Granada series that invites multiple viewings.

During the early nineties Granada started producing Holmes films that were loose, expanded versions of short stories with "The Master Blackmailer" and "The Last Vampyre".This film is also an overextended adaptation. It is based on the story called "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor" but even purists would admit that it was one of Arthur Conan Doyle's lesser tales. This film improves what was a mediocre story by turning it into dramatic feature-length film.

This film is rather unconventional for a Sherlock Holmes film or mystery movie. T.R. Bowen's script is solid but it requires patience and careful attention. It gradually reveals interspersed clues where the viewer and Holmes eventually put together. Some might find this storytelling approach irritating but it keeps you thinking all the way until the end. This also adds pretensions that you would not see from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories as this film suggests something spiritual beyond the rational thinking that Holmes himself is known for. Its script has elements of nightmares, premonitions, freundianism, etc.

The acting is excellent. Jeremy Brett gives one of his best performances as Sherlock Holmes. He was certainly ill at the time the film was made but it only benefits his acting as Holmes in this film is in fact suffering from trauma. Edward Hardwicke continues to make a dignified and intelligent Watson. Simon Williams is strong as Lord Robert Simon and Paris Jefferson is splendid as the beautiful Henrietta Doran. Anna Calder-Marshall is also good in a dual role as Agnes Northcote and young Lady Helena (who incidentally is the wife of David Burke, the actor who played Watson in the Granada series before Hardwicke).

The atmosphere in this film is also top-notch. You could say this is the most cinematic of Granada's Sherlock Holmes films. Peter Hammond's direction is superb if not brilliant in creating the film's Gothic, bizarre nature. He skillfully blends visual and audio during Holmes surreal dreams as well the echoing noises that can be heard as Holmes walks through streets of London during the night. It is also has great close-ups particularly with the moment where Doran looks into the eyes of the Jaguar. Set direction is rich in particular such as with the look of Lord Simon's secret mansion known as Glaven, which turns out to be full of empty rooms, cobwebs, and torn furniture.

The Eligible Bachelor is certainly weird, off-putting, and uneven but it is far from being rubbish. It's oddities are part of what makes it unique and different from so many other Sherlock Holmes films. This film is definitely not for the Holmes purists. However, casual viewers (like myself) who enjoy watching Sherlock Holmes but aren't exactly Sherlockians should enjoy it just fine.

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