The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Season 1, Episode 1

A Scandal in Bohemia (24 Apr. 1984)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Sherlock Holmes finds himself evenly matched when he is employed by the King of Bohemia to retrieve an indiscreet photograph from the American actress and singer, Irene Adler.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Wolf Kahler ...
Michael Carter ...
Max Faulkner ...
John
Tim Pearce ...
Cabby
Rosalie Williams ...
Tessa Worsley ...
Mrs Willard
Will Tacey ...
Clergyman
Tom Watt ...
1st Loafer
Paul Elsam ...
2nd Loafer
David Baukham ...
1st Big Man (as David Bauckham)
Edward York ...
2nd Big Man
John Graham-Davies ...
1st Young Man (as John Graham Davies)
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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes is hired by the King of Bohemia to retrieve a compromising photograph from a certain lady. The King has tried to purchase the photo and even hired burglars to retrieve it, but without success. The woman in question is the very beautiful Irene Adler, an opera singer. She has made no demands of the King so it does not seem that blackmail is her intent. Using various disguises, Holmes learns as much about the woman as he can and is surprised when, after following her to a church, finds that she has married a barrister. Holmes stages a bit of theatre to get her to divulge the location of the photo but he finds he has met his match in both daring and intellect. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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24 April 1984 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The episode begins with an exchange between Watson and Holmes regarding Holmes' drug use, asking "Morphine or cocaine?" Holmes specifies his preference for a 7% solution of cocaine, and that he requires stimulants to deal with stagnation. This dialogue is actually from the story "The Sign of Four". In Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia," Watson merely makes a passing reference to cocaine, curiously referring to "the drowsiness of the drug." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John: [surprising two burglars] Got you!
[Irene enters with a gun, and gestures with it for the burglars to drop their knives]
1st Burglar: Now look here!
[Irene gestures for the burglars to leave]
John: But, ma'am...
[the burglars leave by the window]
Irene Adler: Close the window, John.
Dr. John Watson: [narrating] To Sherlock Holmes, she was always The Woman, the beautiful Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
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Connections

Version of Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Bohemia (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
First Impressions
11 October 2007 | by (Nowhere Interesting) – See all my reviews

A Scandal in Bohemia has its share of "firsts." It was the first short story to feature Sherlock Holmes (after Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the character in his novel, A Study in Scarlet), it was the first episode of the excellent Granada series, and as such, it was the first time the viewing audience had the pleasure of seeing Jeremy Brett in the role of Holmes. It was also the first Granada episode I ever watched.

I went into the Granada series not knowing what to expect. I'd heard many great things said about it, and particularly about Brett, but I had no real expectations. So I decided to give it a go, and to begin at the beginning. Within a few minutes of starting A Scandal in Bohemia, I leapt out of my seat and ran to grab my favorite collection of Sherlock Holmes tales. The reason being that, although I hadn't read A Scandal in Bohemia in some time, I found that it was all coming back to me as I watched the episode. I was literally shocked by how faithful it was, and had to check the story just to be sure that it really was staying as true to the source material as it seemed to be. And indeed, it was.

Throughout the course of the various Granada Holmes series, they would consistently remain true to the source material...or, in the instances where they strayed (mostly in the feature- length adventures), at least remain true to the SPIRIT. This was quite refreshing to me, as someone who loved the stories, and had seen countless adaptations that had strayed so far from what made them great. A Scandal in Bohemia was, to that time, the most faithful Holmes adaptation I had ever seen...and, along with many of the other wonderful Granada episodes, it's still among the most faithful.

Jeremy Brett, as Holmes, is superb from the word "Go." His magnificent performance in this episode engaged me instantly, and prepared me for the 40 adventures to follow...during which time, I would come to embrace his Holmes as THE definitive screen characterization of the world's greatest detective. Brett is the character of Sherlock Holmes come to life. Everything that he was in the stories, and everything that he often WASN'T in other adaptations, Jeremy Brett had it...and his presence alone made each and every episode a delight to watch.

David Burke also bears mentioning here, as a fantastic Watson to Brett's Holmes. Not at all in the Nigel Bruce mold, a characterization which has dogged many other adaptations throughout the years, Burke brings a charm and quiet intelligence to the role that complements Holmes's eccentric brilliance perfectly and, as with anything else in this episode, stays true to the essence of Conan Doyle's original story. Burke would serve as a faithful and amiable Watson throughout the run of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, before being replaced by the equally capable and likable Edward Hardwicke.

As an initiation into the Granada Holmes entries, A Scandal in Bohemia served its purpose admirably. I was struck by how faithful it was, how capable the direction and production design were, and how wonderful the performances were. It was as if someone had breathed life into Conan Doyle's story and raised it from the page for all to see. Suffice it to say, I was mightily impressed, and have been a devotee of the Granada Holmes series, and Jeremy Brett, ever since.


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