A young woman asks for Holmes' help when her ill-tempered stepfather moves her into the same room where her sister died under mysterious circumstances.



(developed for television by), (dramatised by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Denise Armon ...
John Gill ...
Tim Condren ...
Thorne (as Timothy Condren)
Stephen Mallatratt ...


As she fears for her life, Helen Stoner seeks Sherlock Holmes' assistance. She lives with her step-father Dr. Grimesby Roylott, a difficult man who is prone to bouts of temper. She tells Homes that some years previously, her older sister Julia had died in unexpected circumstances. She had asked Helen if she ever heard the sound of a whistle at night. Helen admitted that she had not. Just a few weeks before she was to marry, Julia came tumbling out of her room, screaming; she died within minutes. Now Helen, who is also soon to be married, finds that her step-father has moved her into her late sister's room. During her first night there, she hears the whistle that her sister had asked about. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

29 May 1984 (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?


Some scenes are set up so as to recreate Paget's illustrations: the scene on the train, Dr. Roylott's position of death, and Holmes striking at the false bell pull. See more »


Dr. Grimesby Roylott bends the poker through a full 180 degrees, so that it forms a U shape with the two ends parallel to each other. When Holmes later picks up the poker, it is not bent nearly as much, the ends being splayed out at a 45-degree angle. See more »


[first lines]
Thorne: [chasing a boy] Come here, lad.
Dr. Grimesby Roylott: What are you doing on my property?
Thorne: Come to claim back what's rightfully mine, sir. That thieving young rascal made off with some horseshoes and a bag of nails from my smithy.
Dr. Grimesby Roylott: Where is your proof?
Thorne: The proof is I'll find 'em there. Now, I don't want to be forced to call the police.
Dr. Grimesby Roylott: These people are guests of mine, but you are trespassing, Mister Thorne.
Thorne: I'm not frightened of you, Doctor.
Dr. Grimesby Roylott: Get off my land!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Shows an alternative angle of Holmes and the "speckled band." See more »

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User Reviews

Another standout of such a fine series
27 May 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have made no secret of loving the very vast majority of the Granada Sherlock Holmes adaptations, and for me The Speckled Band is one of the better entries of the series. The story itself is one of the best of Sherlock Holmes, at least in my personal view, as it is so thrilling, and Dr Roylott is one of the most memorable "villains" of any Holmes story especially of how he's described, you know straightaway this is not a character you would want to mess with. Adaptation wise, The Speckled Band is excellent, the story is still thrilling and the beginning and ending both have a haunting and compelling atmosphere to them. The Speckled Band also succeeds on its own terms, the production values are as usual very evocative, the music is superb and the script is exceptional in its quality. The acting is fine, David Burke is only decent here as Watson, it's a good enough performance but to start with I felt he could have done a little bit more with the character. However, Jeremy Brett is brilliant giving one of his coolest and more urbane performances of the series particularly in his scene with Roylott and Jeremy Kemp is delightfully eccentric and overbearing. In conclusion, of a fine series The Speckled Band is a standout. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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