A man dies of a mysterious tropical disease on which his cousin, his heir, is the sole authority.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (screenplay) (as T.R.Bowen)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Adelaide Savage
Victor Savage (as Richard Bonneville)
John Gedgrave (aka Frank Carter)
T.R. Bowen ...
Charles Damant (as Trevor Bowen)
John Labanowski ...
Rowland Davies ...
Colonel Carnac
Mrs Carnac
Shaughan Seymour ...
Penrose Fisher
Keiran Flynn ...
Mary Tenpow ...
Chinese Lady (as Mary Ten Pow)


Sherlock Holmes is approached by Mrs. Adelaide Savage who is concerned about her husband, Victor. He is a successful and rich financier by profession but is a poet at heart. He has taken to using opium regularly and has been acting strangely, she believes, as a result. Holmes accepts to look into the case and soon spends a weekend at their country estate. There he finds that Culverton Smith, Savage's cousin, is also in residence. A bookish man, whose only accomplishment is to be known as the principal authority on a very rare tropical poison, Smith's behavior is odd from the outset. Savage is clearly a sick man and when he dies, Holmes surprises Watson - who is certain Smith responsible - by seeming somewhat nonchalant about it all. When Holmes himself becomes deathly ill, apparently with the same affliction that struck Savage, he summons him to Baker Street to close the case. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opium den | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

14 March 1994 (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?


[first lines]
Benson: Mister Savage, sir. I didn't know, sir. Sir, I didn't know.
Victor Savage: It's all right, Benson. Last minute decision.
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Version of The Dying Detective (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

Maybe the best from Memoirs
4 April 2009 | by (Hungary) – See all my reviews

The Dying Detective was the first episode I have seen from the Memoirs series and it is one of my favorites from all. There are many reasons for that. First is that I simply love Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, he is just perfect and irreplaceable for me. Second, the story itself is very dark, tense and exciting till the last moments. But the most important reason for loving this episode is the sad fact that Jeremy was very ill during shooting, yet he made it through and the result is a masterpiece which I cannot watch without feeling sorry for him, admiring his courage and talent and enjoying the story at the same time.

The supporting cast is excellent as always. Edward Hardwicke is larger than life, he is so convincing as the kind, worrying doctor. Rosalie Williams is a fantastic, motherly Mrs. Hudson. Jonathan Hyde is a perfect choice for the evil, cold-blooded Culverton Smith, you just cannot do anything else but hate him for what he did with his cousin. And he is almost as intelligent as Holmes. The ending scene is so intense and effective, and the whole episode is a true masterpiece for me. Though it always reminds me of the ill health of Jeremy, but of his greatness as well.

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