Holmes thinks a woman's claim to have seen a man at her upstairs bedroom window is related to the theft of several apes.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (dramatised by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Adrian Lukis ...
Jack Bennett
Sarah Woodward ...
Edith Presbury
Anna Mazzotti ...
Alice Morphy
James Tomlinson ...
Steve Swinscoe ...
Anthony Havering ...
Secretary of the Zoological Society
Great Ape


Sherlock Holmes is asked by Jack Bennett to investigate after his fiancée Edith Presbury sees the shadow of a man in her window in the middle of the night. The problem is that her bedroom is on the second floor and there is no way for any man to have been able to get to that window. Edith is the daughter of a notable natural scientist, Professor Presbury, a widower who is engaged to be married to a much younger woman, Alice Morphy. The Professor is quite displeased at hearing that Bennett, who also happens to be his assistant, has hired the Great Detective and Holmes and Watson are unceremoniously escorted off the property.When Holmes reads of a rash of thefts from zoos - all monkeys and apes - he slowly begins to unravel the mystery of the shadow Miss Presbury saw in her window. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

28 March 1991 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Just after the introduction, when the naturalist's office is shown for the first time, sounds of typing can be heard in the background. They actually form the monotonic rendition of the intro music. (Performance, however, is far from perfect.) See more »


(at around 36 mins) We see Holmes idly pick up the newspaper and look through it. His attention is immediately caught by the headline of 'Monkey Theft.' If you skim through the very short article, you'll see a mention of the 'Lonon Zoo', when it should be London Zoo. See more »


[first lines]
Professor Presbury: You may inform the Secretary of the Royal Society that I have entitled my Michaelmas lecture 'Darwin's Fundamental Error'.
Jack Bennett: That'll raise a few hackles, sir.
Professor Presbury: Will it not.
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User Reviews

Juiced Up
17 March 2007 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This is an extraordinarily good Holmes. And it is so, independent of Brett's jumpy characterization which sometimes works.

Usually these are dreadful, but the practice of passing them around to different adapters and directors means you will sometimes hit a gem. Oddly, this is packaged on a DVD with one of the all-time worst episodes.

What makes this good is the way the director performs two tricks. One is that he settles on objects. He examines them, even though they may seem ordinary. Its roughly what Holmes is described as doing. The second trick he pulls is misdirection. The story itself is rather simple and it itself is a matter of unintentional misdirection.

These two are combined in the an opening scene which begins with a slow pan around the room of a man of science. This is obviously Holmes' room, we think, all the way up to and even after the first few moments of seeing some unfamiliar characters. Then we see a stuffed monkey and get some lines that tell us this is the study of a zoologist, a biologist who studies primates.

This misdirection is done again in the beginning. We see a kidnapped gorilla and then we see a point of view shot with gorilla panting and a woman sees the outline of a gorilla on her window ledge. We obviously think these are the same. No no. Tut tut.

As a detective story, its weak; it was in the original. But it is one of the Holmes stories where Doyle dealt with matters of science.

The whole business of the invention of Holmes was the sudden appearance of rational science in the affairs of men. The belief was that if Darwin could bring science to evolution, a similar science could be brought to the governance of thought and behavior. Holmes was the extension of Darwin in London thought, a superscientist. No intuition, no guessing, just pure rational deduction.

This story is on the extreme end of that fantasy of science. I won't give it away, but lets say just that its rather brilliant in superimposing the deepest science on the needs of libido.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

11 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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