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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

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Inspector Montgomery
Lord Robert St. Simon
Henrietta Doran
Lady Helena / Agnes Northcote
Lady Florence
Phillada Sewell ...
Lady Mary
Lady Blanche
Heather Chasen ...
Hon. Amelia St. Simon
Bob Sessions ...
Aloysius Doran
Joanna McCallum ...
Flora Miller
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?


Last episode of the series. See more »


Another scratched face: Agnes Northcote's facial disfigurement switches from the left side of her face, when first revealed. to the right side when she is sitting while Holmes is telling her that he envies her for having a worthwhile opponent. They probably didn't even bother to make her up with scars for that scene - she just remains positioned so that only her "unscarred" left side can be seen. 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

seriously weird stuff
23 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Re-watching this feature-length episode from the Granada Holmes series after a long gap I was struck by its extreme strangeness when compared to even the most off-the-wall episodes of the 50 min serial episodes. Simon Williams plays a much-married cad with a murky past and a gothic house which doubles as a dangerous private zoo ... he's about to marry an American heiress who disappears as soon as they are married.

Sherlock Holmes is bored, mentally unstable, and has a recurring nightmare in which images of insanity, spider's webs, and empty rooms merge to form a traumatic whole. All this of course is given extra resonance in terms of Jeremy Brett's portrayal given his own obvious decline around the time this was filmed, and he puts across this facet of the great detective brilliantly. Dr Watson comes to the rescue and helps to solve the mystery of Hattie's disappearance. Another solid performance from Edward Hardwicke.

Another point of interest within this confused jumble of a plot is a rare TV appearance of Mary Ellis, the actress/singer who collaborated on a number of Ivor Novello musicals in the 1930s and 40s. Spot her in a couple of key scenes.

Although 'The Eligible Batchelor' is titled as such, it is the tale of a number of women linked by circumstance. It - despite it's faults - is one of the best episodes of the whole series, and worth persevering with through all its weird and wonderful conceits.

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