The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Season 1, Episode 5

The Crooked Man (22 May 1984)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 313 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Col. Barclay is found dead and his wife is arrested for the murder, but Holmes is convinced a missing door key will reveal the true killer.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Norman Jones ...
Henry Wood
Lisa Daniely ...
Nancy Barclay
Denys Hawthorne ...
James Barclay
Miss Morrison
Paul Chapman ...
Major Murphy
Shelagh Stephenson ...
Young Henry Wood
Catherine Rabett ...
Young Nancy
Young Barclay
Maggie Holland ...
Mrs Fenning
Colin Campbell ...
Private Bates
David Graham Jones ...


Egged on by his friend Dr. Watson, Holmes agrees to investigate the murder of Col. James Barclay who rose from the ranks to command his Regiment. After returning home from her monthly evening out helping the poor, the dead man's wife Nancy had a flaming row with her husband. After hearing a scream, the servants try to enter the room only to find locked from the inside. When they do manage to enter, they find the Colonel dead from what appears to be a blow to the head and Nancy in a feint. Holmes learns that at her charity work, she had reacted in shock when she approached a new arrival, an old man with a bent back and crooked legs. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

22 May 1984 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Watson's line "Elementary, my dear Holmes" is a sendup of the famous "Elementary, my dear Watson", a phrase that never appeared in any of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. 'The Crooked Man' short story does however have Sherlock saying "Elementary" and "my dear Watson" in two separate pieces of dialog. See more »


[last lines]
Dr. John Watson: Holmes, there's just one thing I don't understand. If the Colonel's name was James and Wood was called either Henry or Harry, them who the deuce was David?
Sherlock Holmes: Ah, my dear Watson, that name 'David' should have told me the whole story had I been the ideal reasoner which you are so fond of depicting, but, alas, my powers of deduction failed me. You see, 'David' in this case was evidently used as a term of reproach.
Dr. John Watson: Reproach?
Sherlock Holmes: Don't you remember how King David sent Uriah the Hittite into ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are Paget's illustrations from the story during credits. See more »


Version of The Crooked Man (1923) See more »

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User Reviews

A Career Built On The Sepoy Mutiny
24 October 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Despite the Sherlock Holmes Stories being timeless in their narrative of an intricate mind at work, Arthur Conan Doyle was in fact writing for the British public. By giving some of them a fixed place in British history he stimulated interest from his readers all the more.

The Crooked Man begins when Holmes and Watson are summoned by the acting commander of a regiment that had been posted to India. It's the proverbial locked door mystery. The regiment's late colonel is lying dead with a look of horror on his face and his wife in a dead faint. She hasn't awakened from her swoon, but it is certain she will be charged with her husband's murder as there was a large cut on the back of his neck, the blunt instrument trauma. The new commander hopes that scandal to the regiment's name can be averted.

The fixed place in British history this story starts with is during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. This is when the native Indian soldiers rose against the British occupiers and it was put down, but bloodily. Our victim was a hero during that uprising, he was a man in the ranks and got a commission and eventually became the commanding officer. He also married the regimental sergeant major's daughter.

Holmes of course solves the mystery and I won't reveal, but let's say that our colonel was not what he seemed and another man suffered dreadfully for his ambition. Jeremy Brett and David Burke are the usual intrepid duo of Holmes and Watson and Norman Jones is unforgettable in the title role. And remember the title.

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