Holmes is asked by the country's Prime Minister to aid in the recovery of a stolen diplomatic letter, which, if published, might lead England into war.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Sean Scanlan ...
Constable MacPherson
Yves Beneyton ...
Yvonne Orengo ...
Rosalie Williams ...
Alan Bennion ...


Holmes receives a surprise visit from no less than the Prime Minister and the country's chief foreign diplomat, Lord Trelawney Hope. They ask his assistance in the recovery of a sensitive diplomatic letter stolen mysteriously from the Lord's home. Its contents are so incendiary that they might lead Great Britain into war if they were published. Holmes credits only three active criminals capable of masterminding so audacious a theft, and when one is found stabbed to death on the night in question, The Great Detective correctly surmises that it is not a coincidence. Matters are further complicated by a visit to Baker Street by Lady Trelawney Hope, a visit she wants kept from her husband. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

23 July 1986 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Dr. Watson: [narration] One Tuesday morning in autumn at precisely half past eight, Sherlock Holmes received a mysterious message that two men of great public distinction would be visiting Baker Street in their private capacity and under circumstances of complete secrecy.
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Version of Sherlock Holmes: The Second Stain (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

The all-time best
25 November 2010 | by (Czech Republic) – See all my reviews

The very best of all the episodes. The story is intriguing yet easily solved and has Jeremy Brett at the peak of his artistic powers. Every moment of his acting is a bliss to behold.

It has the most funny Lestrade encounter in the series. And all is supported by a great cast: especially Stuart Wilson as the Prime Minister and Yves Beneyton as Eduardo Lucas.

It also succeeds on audiovisual level. There is a nice lighting and music undertones well one of the most cheerful episodes.

The positive feeling comes not only from Watson's support but also from Holmes' approach. Even though, the matter seems almost unsolvable at first, he is driven by it and even claims that it may become one of his greatest triumphs. This very scene is concluded by burning newspapers wonderfully showing Holmes' almost bohemian approach to life (though based on strict logic).

There are many great episodes, The Red Headed League or Silver Blaze come first to mind, but this ones stands atop.

PS: This episode bears similarities with two others: The Naval Treaty and Bruce Partington Plans. All having a spy theme and important documents suddenly gone missing.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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