John Cleese as Sherlock Holmes and William Rushton as Dr Watson in a half hour comedy might not sound like much of a draw, but stay with this absurdist episode of Comedy Playhouse and it may well make you smile.
A letter arrives for Holmes asking for help with a family grudge with a difference: a killer rattlesnake. Holmes' deductions are failing and as he and Watson go to a future of London buses and troubling Intercity trains they are waylaid onto a much greater case, that of the dead solicitors and Fu Manchu.
A side plot has Jack the Ripper phoning the police every few minutes to report a crime, while the tale of the solicitors comes to a head when one becomes mixed up with TV show Call My Bluff. Meanwhile the rattlesnake is steadily sending animals in Lady Cynthia's house to meet their maker, Holmes and Watson heroically push a desk with slumped dead solicitor on it Manchester, and Holmes attempts to get rid of the giveaway deerstalker.
No plot as such allows for such silliness as Bill Maynard dressed in drag as Moriarty, dead carrier pigeons, and the invincible Holmes jumping off a train. Nods to 'reading too much Conan Doyle' and to TV mogul Lew Grade are also clever.
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