Sherlock Holmes: Season 1, Episode 0

The Speckled Band (18 May 1964)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 21 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Helen Stoner needs the great man's help. She lives in a country mansion with her flamboyant and sinister guardian Grimesby Raylott, who has travelled abroad and brought home some souvenir ... See full summary »



(characters) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) , (short story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Speckled Band (18 May 1964)

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Episode cast overview:
Douglas Wilmer ...
Felix Felton ...
Liane Aukin ...
Marian Diamond ...
Julia Stoner (as Marion Diamond)
Donald Douglas ...
Mary Holder ...
Nan Marriott-Watson ...


Helen Stoner needs the great man's help. She lives in a country mansion with her flamboyant and sinister guardian Grimesby Raylott, who has travelled abroad and brought home some souvenir livestock. Recently her sister Julia, about to be married and made by Raylott to sleep in a bed that was screwed to the floor, died in mysterious circumstances. Her final words referred to a "speckled band." Helen is fearful for her own safety and Holmes and Watson investigate. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

18 May 1964 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The shadow of the boom mic can clearly be seen on the wall as Dr. Roylott threatens his stepdaughter Helen on his return from London. See more »


Version of The Speckled Band (1923) See more »

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User Reviews

Shouldn't be band
18 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The pilot production in the BBC's 1960s series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations starring Douglas Wilmer was one of the more popular Holmes mysteries, "The Speckled Band" and it largely hits its mark very well. Despite scenes in several locations it still comes across as a very claustrophobic and grim story, and the adaption was very well served by the decision to expand on the plot line of the mystery that will come to present itself to Holmes. Starting by drawing out the drama of the Stoner sisters in the power of their tyrannical stepfather makes for good television and hugely adds to the human interest of the story.

As a result, Sherlock Holmes doesn't appear until twelve minutes into the forty-eight of this television drama, and that is perfectly fine. When he does, Douglas Wilmer is a delight to watch in the part. He is an irritable and impatient Holmes who manages at the same time to be wry and likable; the part seems to fit him like a glove. In this production -- and more commonly than now in the era when it was made -- dialogue could be relied on to provide interest to carry a scene and built suspense on top of the visual settings, and it does so here. Location footage, too, though, is well-placed, with the gypsy scene being suitably threatening.

Nigel Stock is fine as Dr. Watson, although his character is written a little dumber than he needs to be here. Felix Felton makes an excellent Grimesby Roylott, suitably horrible and frightful, but also capable of appearing bluff and agreeable if he ever so chooses.

Unfortunately, the production is slightly let down by a rushed ending which seems to miss out on the opportunity to built suspense as Holmes and Watson wait for events to transpire in Helen Stoner's room overnight, as well as some inappropriately light incidental music. Overall though a successful adaptation that rightfully was developed into a series.

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