IMDb > "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" The Red Headed League (1985)

"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" The Red Headed League (1985)

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Season 2: Episode 5 -- A strange "league" places a mysterious advertisement in the paper, promising good wages to all red-headed men.


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8.7/10   401 votes »
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Arthur Conan Doyle (by)
John Hawkesworth (developed for television by)
Original Air Date:
22 September 1985 (Season 2, Episode 5)
What seems at first to be a harmless prank played upon a red-headed man is soon revealed to be much more: a sinister scheme devised by the Napoleon of Crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Handsomely Done See more (4 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes

David Burke ... Dr Watson

Roger Hammond ... Jabez Wilson

Tim McInnerny ... John Clay

Richard Wilson ... Duncan Ross
Bruce Dukov ... Sarasate
John Woodnutt ... Mr. Merryweather
John Labanowski ... Athelney Jones
Reginald Stewart ... Doorman (as Reg Stewart)
Ian Bleasdale ... Accountant
Malcolm Weaver ... Archie
Eric Porter ... Professor Moriarty
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Goodier ... Policeman (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
John Bruce 
Writing credits
Arthur Conan Doyle (by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

John Hawkesworth (developed for television by)

John Hawkesworth (dramatised by)

Arthur Conan Doyle  short story "The Red-Headed League" from volume "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (uncredited)

Produced by
Michael Cox .... producer
Stuart Doughty .... associate producer
Original Music by
Patrick Gowers 
Cinematography by
Mike Popley (lighting cameraman)
Film Editing by
David Stocks 
Casting by
Carolyn Bartlett 
Production Design by
Margaret Coombes (designer)
Costume Design by
Anne Salisbury 
Makeup Department
Deborah Tinsey .... makeup artist
Production Management
Bill Shephard .... production manager
Art Department
Diane Crossley .... assistant designer
Ray Freeman .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Ray French .... sound: film
John Whitworth .... dubbing mixer
Visual Effects by
Tony Willis .... effects cameraman (uncredited)
David Brandon .... stunt policeman
Camera and Electrical Department
Lawrence Jones .... camera operator (as Laurence Jones)
Other crew
Nicky Cooney .... research
Jonathan Dynevor .... floor manager
Lynne Marriott .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

Additional Details

53 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
UK:U (video rating) (1989) (1999) (2005) | USA:TV-PG

Did You Know?

At the end, Holmes slightly misquotes Gustave Flaubert (the author of Madame Bovary). The actual quotation is "L'homme n'est rien, l'oeuvre - tout", but Holmes' version essentially means the same thing. It translates as "The individual is nothing, the work is everything."See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): (at around 17 mins) At the end of Wilson's workday for the Red-Headed League, Ross locks the office and wishes him, "Good morning." But Wilson's workday always ends at 2PM.See more »
[first lines]
Sherlock Holmes:Hm!
Dr. John Watson:[entering] Oh. Sorry, Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes:No no. You couldn't have come at a better time.
Dr. John Watson:Well, I was, I was afraid you were engaged.
Sherlock Holmes:I am. Very much so.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes (2010) (V)See more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Handsomely Done, 16 February 2012
Author: TigerShark 90 from United States

While not one of my favorites this one is certainly one of Granada's top Holmes adaptations. The story is slick, interesting, and elegantly unfolds itself. It starts out as a laughable case but it becomes serious with a bigger picture beginning to emerge and something sinister lurking beneath. It manages to be both a detective mystery and a crime story with nice touches of build up and humor. Professor Moriarty (played by Eric Porter, giving genuine meaning to word "diabolical ") makes his first appearance even though it is brief (although it was not in the original story). However, nothing is wrong with that as the series wisely used Moriarty sparingly and he would have a much larger role in the story right after this one "The Final Problem".

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