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: 7.9/10 from 322 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 »


Oh My Darling, Clementine
Written by Percy Montrose
Performed by the Pub crowd
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User Reviews

Brilliant, one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations
27 May 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I am a huge fan of the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, and in my mind The Crooked Man is one of the best. As is the case with all of the adaptations in this fine series, The Crooked Man production-values wise is very well made. As I have said before, you can never go wrong with authentic costumes and scenery and excellent photography, and The Crooked Man succeeds brilliantly here. The music is very beautiful and haunting, the story is well paced and interesting, as well as being a contender for the most emotionally affecting of the entire series, and the writing is sophisticated and thoughtful, Holmes' line on military morality is epic. At the top of my head, there is no other adaptation in the series where you not only hate the victim from minute one but also identify and feel great sympathy for the wronged "perpetrator". I would also like to credit The Crooked Man's atmosphere, Sherlock Holmes is a vast majority of the time very good with being atmospheric and especially with the ending(one of the series' most powerful) The Crooked Man is no exception. The acting is top notch, Jeremy Brett as always is nigh-on perfect as Holmes and David Burke is a composed Watson. While the support cast are solid, the best of the lot is Norman Jones, whose haunting yet often poignant performance, bringing heart-breaking pathos to a very long monologue that could easily have rambled, gives meaning to the phrase "once seen, never forgotten". Fiona Shaw has never been more entertainingly aloof either. Overall, The Crooked Man is brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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