When a notorious retired builder is found dead, his recently-named heir is the prime suspect.



(short story "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" from volume "The Return of Sherlock Holmes") (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (developer) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Mrs Lexington
Matthew Solon ...
Mrs McFarlane
Anthony Langdon ...
Ted Carroll ...
Seafaring Tramp


Knowing that he is about to be arrested for murder, John Hector McFarlane asks for Sherlock Holmes' assistance in establishing his innocence. McFarlane is a solicitor who was visited the previous day by Jonas Oldacre who wanted to draw up a will. McFarlane was astonished to learn that Oldacre was naming him as the beneficiary of his fortune. McFarlane had never met the man who claimed to have known his parents long ago and having no issue of his own, wanted to leave everything to him. McFarlane drew up the papers and called at Oldacre's home that evening to have everything signed but sometime in the night the man was killed and the body burned beyond all recognition. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard thinks he has an open and shut case but after Holmes interviews McFarlane's mother, he thinks there is something else afoot. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery




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Release Date:

8 September 1985 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original short story The Norwood Builder describes Jonas Oldacre as "a strange little ferret-like man". The actor who plays him here, Jonathan Adams, was, on the other hand, a tall thick-set person. See more »


When Holmes is explaining the murder of the old sailor he produces what he calls a Great White shark tooth as evidence. The tooth actually belongs to a Sperm whale. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. John Watson: Thank you, George.
Sherlock Holmes: From the point of view of the criminal expert, London has become a singularly uninteresting city.
Dr. John Watson: Well, I hardly think you'll find many decent citizens to agree with you.
Sherlock Holmes: Well, well, well, one must not be selfish. The community's the gainer and no-one the loser, save the poor unfortunate specialist whose occupation has gone.
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Version of The Norwood Builder (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

Introducing Inspector Lestrade
29 April 2009 | by (Hungary) – See all my reviews

The Norwood Builder belongs to my favorite Sherlock Holmes stories.It is the first time when Inspector Lestrade appears - he is such a great character!It is a pleasure to watch his way of investigation, he is so self-assured and narrow-minded that he tries his best to hinder Holmes and insult him.Their duel of words is very entertaining.Just watch the various expressions on the face of Holmes - simply marvelous! My other favorite is the scene where Holmes finds the witness for Lestrade.I cannot express how much I love Jeremy's smooth, velvet voice! As he shouts 'Fire'...it is soooo masculine, powerful and overwhelming!And he looks absolutely awesome: he is tall, elegant, aristocratic and graceful like a giant cat.

Colin Jeavons was an excellent choice for Lestrade, and in the later episodes we can see a kind of friendship between him and Holmes. David Burke is as good as always, and the supporting cast is fine too.

I highly recommend this Holmes tale, it is worth watching!

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