In the tumult that follows his killing off his fictional character Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle reflects on the man who influenced and provided the prototype for the great detective, Dr. Joseph Bell. A professor at the University of Edinburgh medical school where Doyle is a student, Bell is unconventional in his quest for knowledge and uses his skills of perception and observation to interpret events. He also believes that crimes can be solved in the same way as disease can be diagnosed if the same techniques are used. Having solved the murder of a young woman, Bell grants Doyle greater access to his research. This is also a time when women are being admitted to the Medical School for the first time and Doyle has become attracted to a fellow student, Elspeth Scott. Not all of the students and staff are as accepting as Doyle and someone is trying to frighten her and perhaps even do her harm. When Elpseth's sister Lady Sarah Carlisle takes ill, Doyle comes to believe that her ... Written by
In Doyle's first conversation with Elspeth, she tells him that she's from South Africa. In real life, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first published work of fiction, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", was set in South Africa. Citation: Owen Dudley Edwards, "Doyle, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan (1859-1930)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. See more »
When Sir Henry is confronted about the pills that he gave to Lady Sarah, he takes the box of pills from her. In the next moment, from a different camera angle, Dr. Bell takes the box from Inspector Beecher. See more »
Arthur Conan Doyle:
I only wish I'd never met you. He kills her and then escapes and you can do nothing? Your method sir, is a pitiful lie!
Dr. Joseph Bell:
No, this is the lie! There is no possible reason for it, no gain, no profit - not even wicked pleasure. And if this is the future Doyle, I reject it - utterly and with contempt!
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There is something completely engrossing about this dark drama. The characters are all the more interesting because you know they exist, and all the brilliance of the Sherlock Holmes novels is present.
And whats more, it's a fascinating insight into the beginnings of both Sherlock Holmes, and possibly, more importantly, Dr Watson, who is in fact Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself. It is dark, and may be considered gruesome, but all the while, this TV movie paints a vivid picture of turn of the century England. Entertaining and fascinating, "Dr Bell and Mr Doyle: The Dark Beginnings Of Sherlock Holmes" is possibly the best telemovie I've seen.
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