An excellent adaptation for British television, of the Conan-Doyle classic.
Peter Duguid can be proud of the efforts he made in adapting this classic to the small screen.
Tom Baker and Terrence Rigby are outstanding as Holmes and Watson, and for once Watson is not the buffoon as portrayed by Nigel Bruce. Baker gives a down to earth portrayal of the great detective, he comes across keen and intelligent, but not so dismissive and patronizing as Jeremy Brett often was in the same role for television.
Woodeson is fine as Sir Henry and Ravenscroft is perfect as the conniving and murderous Stapleton. The doctor, who is a part time archaeologist and collector of skulls, is ably portrayed by Knightley. His apparent willingness to believe in the supernatural dog is offset by his own keen observation and grasp of human nature.
The production values are excellent - typical of a BBC production. THe costumes and sets are very period, as they should be. THe modernized WW II era Holmes portrayed by Rathbone always left me feeling a little unsatisfied. All told, this version is excellent and does not deserve any of the trivial criticism heaped upon it by some. I heartily recommend this film if you can get it on video. I was fortunate to tape it in 1984 and still enjoy it twenty two years later.
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