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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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:
Creative Criminals 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)

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 »
Continuity: After Jabez Wilson tells Holmes of his situation, Dr. Watson shows Wilson out and shuts the door after him. Holmes then muses on Wilson's case with Watson sitting opposite him. The scene cuts to Prof. Moriarty for a moment. We then return to Holmes and Watson who both hurry out of Holmes's apartment through the front door, which is now wide open.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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Creative Criminals, 6 February 2014
Author: Hitchcoc from United States

This is perhaps the best known Holmes story next to "The Hound of the Baskervilles." It involves a man, Jabez Wilson, who has been given a strange job, copying pages from the Encyclopedia Britannica in longhand. He sits at a desk in a stark room and receives payment beyond that fitting the job. Not only that, he has gotten the job because he passed muster, competing against other men with red hair. He actually went to interviews where the authenticity of the red-headed gentlemen was checked. Now, something has changed and he decides to bring his case to Holmes and Watson. One has to accept that the potential criminal enterprise has become so convoluted as to draw attention. Still, it is a delightful story which has stood the test of time. Like "The Blue Carbuncle," we are never to take anything as a life or death situation. Conan Doyle had a sense of humor. Jeremy Brett coolly investigates this with his deep tones filling the room at 221B. Well acted and portrayed with relish.

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