Sherlock Holmes Returns (TV Movie 1993) Poster

(1993 TV Movie)

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We thought it was a hoot!
dross9213 April 2005
No, it is not traditional Holmes, but for our family, it was clean, fast-paced and funny ... well worth watching repeatedly!

If you just don't take yourselves and Sherlock too seriously, it's a hoot! Yes, the scene at the beginning was a bit hokey, but his demeanor in performing the initial discoveries upon awakening was hilarious.

We loved the twists ... thought his ineptitude juxtaposed with his genius was fantastic ... and we loved the sling-shot effect his revised conclusions had on us.

I particularly loved his dealing with technology ... his responses to American 20th century slang ... his misdirections as a result of the new "wonders" he had yet to learn ... and yeah, Big Willy ... heh, heh, heh.

And then there was Zapper ... ah, he was absolutely the best ... what growth potential there was for that character!

Dr. Winslow was a perfect foil ... not just a hanging on the coat tails side-kick ... I liked her.

We also had the impression that Mrs. Hudson's character was going to be more present if this had gone into series, and that would have been fun.

I wish we could find it in distribution as a CD so we could watch it more often ... the tape I made from the original TV airing is almost completely worn out.

So, lighten up and I'm certain you'll love it, too ... if you can ever find it.

Please, if any of you find it you'll let me know about it, eh?;-)

Yeah ... I liked Moriarity from 'Young Sherlock' being Sherlock here .... that was kewl.
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Oh, what fun!
Kim Morgan7 August 2006
This has the style and class of an episode of Murder She Wrote (one victim dies when his VW Beetle is filled with beetles!) but is utterly and insanely enjoyable - more bad puns than you can handle. Thank goodness it never made a series as this 90 min pilot is plenty enough to entertain, more would just hurt.

The script is pretty bad, yet romps along with incredible energy. The plot is grade A rubbish, but don't let that distract you from the enthusiasm the actors put in, bless them. Anthony Higgins as Holmes, frozen for 80 years in a device of his own devising and woken up in 1994, is brilliant - so over-the-top it is pure panto.

I don't like the adage "so bad it's good" but this is so camp and groan-worthy I think it may melt any heart into submission.
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Sherlock was great
alyt11 September 1998
I would like to see a sequel. The situation of Sherlock being alive in the 1990's has tremendous potential and Anthony Higgins doesn't hurt either.
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A dumb movie that is just about enjoyable - but Holmes fans will not be able to believe what they are seeing
bob the moo3 May 2004
Dr Amy Winslow (you heard me - Winslow) is visiting Mrs Hudson when she accidentally knocks off the power in her house. This causes Mrs Hudson's secret to be revealed - that a man lies in a suspended state in her basement. The man wakes up and Sherlock Holmes is delighted to find that his formula for allowing suspended animation has worked! After readjusting to his new surroundings Holmes teams up with Dr Winslow (you heard me), who he detects has a sharp mind similar to his own, and immediately picks up an interest in a couple of unusual murders involving wild animals.

I tuned into this film fearing the absolute worst - I consider myself a fan of Holmes and the only film versions I will consistently come back to are those of Rathbone and Bruce. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed the film even if I couldn't not avoid just how silly it all was. I can understand why it was given the pilot treatment - each week a new case driven forward by fast detection, some fighting, fish out of water jokes and, dare I say it, possible romance with Winslow (you heard me). However I can also see why it wasn't picked up - it is silly, the plot is daft and it is difficult to see the humour being taken anywhere from here. Likewise the characters are pretty one-dimensional and look to have no real room to develop; sure you can see what they will do but their characters will not grow - only follow the well worn `will they, won't they' cliché.

What surprised me was the fact that it was actually rather enjoyable. The humour is what makes it work - jokes about misunderstanding over modern things could have been done rather clumsily but the script uses them well occasionally here. The best example is how the film has Holmes show off his deduction skills but gets it wrong by misunderstanding the significance of modern items around the room (thinking a policeman is kind to `short people' on the basis of an award from his Little League!), also a good joke about his sexuality. Of course this is not enough to make it a good film but it makes this less painful and a little bit of fun to watch. Generally of course it is all very weak and is easily one of the worst film versions of Holmes that I have seen for quite a while. Conan-Doyle will be spinning in his grave of course and purists (hell, even many vague fans) will be staring open-mouthed in disbelief. It is not just the updating of the Holmes' character to modern times (they even did that idea in the 1940's versions) but the fact that it turns Holmes into a jokey character that is to be used as a weekly bit of standard romantic/comedy/drama.

Higgins is hardly a good Holmes but he is an enjoyable lead. He holds himself up to ridicule well and it is only where he is required to deliver a more serious side to his character that he falls down and looks like he is unable to do it. Farentino is nice enough but the fate of her character is so obvious that it put me off (I'll wager a tenner that it would have been `will they, won't they' all round); there is no other reason to turn Dr Watson into the female Dr Winslow - they may even have toyed with the idea of having her be a Watson but they were worried of the confusion it may cause viewers - either that or they took the view that it was bad enough to desecrate a tomb without digging up the body and p*ssing on it as well! The support cast is OK but never really get above the TVM standard - Adair-Rios is OK (clearly hoping for a good sidekick role) and Pogue is an acceptable Moriarty despite the material given to him to work with.

Overall this is not a good film but it is reasonably enjoyable in a temporary, silly manner. It is a terrible Holmes film and it is no mystery why it was never picked up for a series, but it has a reasonable touch of humour that can just above cover the weaknesses for most of the time. I enjoyed it but it is a poor film and fans of Conan-Doyle's original work will feel like they are looking at a car crash but unable to look away.
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A Rather Fun Movie
glsilva24 December 2005
This would have proved to be a fun series if produced. The Sherlock Holmes, not usually my favorite character, was well cast and Deborah Farentino would have been a fine addition. Not as serious as the Doyle novels, of which were relatively low brow. The story was interesting and well staged. Its too bad that some have taken them seriously, but when taken with a good mood, I guarantee you could really enjoy this little lark. Living in San Francisco for a number of years it was nice to see the old city. No, it isn't classic mystery, but really, neither was the source material. All in all a well paced breezy mystery worthy of attention it never received.
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A promising TV pilot
nicholas-820 October 2000
This movie seemed to pretty clearly be a series pilot that was not picked up. That's a shame, as I enjoyed the sense of humor in the movie. There were possibilities, as long as they didn't try to get too clever with some of the supporting characters that they seemed to be setting up.
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Done better the first time in 1987.
darth_borehd20 September 2006
This version just doesn't work. The casting and directions are just too off to really get a connection with the viewer. The script and concept, however could work if given some decent production. In fact, it did six years earlier!

This 1993 made-for-TV movie was a remake of a 1987 made-for-TV movie. Obviously meant as a series pilot that just never took off. Even though the 1987 cast and crew did it much better, they decided to remake the same script. If you can find it somewhere, its definitely a must-see for mystery and Sherlock Holmes fans. Check it out at Just forget about this 1993 version. It's painfully obvious they just couldn't get the same cast and crew that worked in '87 version.
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Was Moriarity behind this one?
thedoge18 January 2001
This one's near the bottom of the barrel of Holmes pastiches, with Anthony Higgins wildly miscast as Holmes and a routine TV movie plot. Not worth the time it takes to watch it and lacking the comic awfulness of (say) the infamous Stewart Granger "Hound of the Baskervilles" with it's cardboard sets and William Shatner's over-acting as the villain.
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