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)
View company contact information for The Red Headed League on IMDbPro.
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:
Reinforces why I love this series so much 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

Production CompaniesDistributors

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 »
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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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Reinforces why I love this series so much, 7 June 2011
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

I am a big fan of the Granada Sherlock Holmes series as I have said many, many times. This may not be exactly faithful to the original story, while Moriaty was a very welcome presence compared to the original story he feels rather thrown in and there are some very memorable and humorous bits of dialogue that didn't quite make it on screen.

However, on its own terms The Red Headed League is very, very good and reinforces what I love so much about the series. As always, a lot of care is taken into how well constructed the adaptation is visually. The photography is very skillful, the costumes beautifully tailored and the scenery and sets wonderfully meticulous and atmospheric. I was too taken with how Sarasate was portrayed and the lengths that were made to make the actor look like the violin virtuoso.

The music is once again wonderful, with themes that are both beautiful and haunting. The story is well paced and interesting, the dialogue is sometimes humorous but very often thought-provoking and the direction is solid. The acting is excellent as is consistently the case with this series. Jeremy Brett with his towering presence and gritty baritone of a voice gives a very commanding title role performance, and David Burke is a thoughtful and composed Watson. Eric Porter also does very well with his appearance as Moriaty, his performance is somewhat brief but that was a decision for the better, too much Moriaty and I personally don't think this would have been as effective.

In conclusion, maybe not as strong as The Norwood Builder, The Crooked Man and The Speckled Band, but a strong episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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