The Return of Sherlock Holmes: Season 2, Episode 1

The Devil's Foot (6 Apr. 1988)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 273 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

While convalescing in Cornwall, a depressive Holmes investigates the apparent death from apoplexy of a local woman and the unexplained sudden dementia of her two brothers.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) , (developed for television by), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Devil's Foot (06 Apr 1988)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Denis Quilley ...
Damien Thomas ...
Michael Aitkens ...
Reverend Roundhay
Freda Dowie ...
Mrs Porter
Norman Bowler ...
Peter Shaw ...
Christine Collins ...
John Saunders ...
Dr Richards
Frank Moorey ...
Police Inspector


Suffering from depression and nearing a breakdown, Holmes is accompanied by Watson to Cornwall for rest and recuperation as they tour the area's scenic coastal cliffs and Neolithic sites. The tranquility is interrupted by news that an unexplained tragedy has suddenly struck three siblings while playing cards in their home. The sister has apparently died from apoplexy, and her two brothers are suffering from acute dementia with expressions of fear and horror frozen on their faces. Showing great will power, Holmes discards his cocaine hypodermic and scrutinizes those involved in the case: an estranged third brother, the local vicar, and an enigmatic big game hunter and African explorer. Written by Gabe Taverney (

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





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6 April 1988 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The scene of Holmes burying his syringe came in reaction to the producers and Brett learning that this Sherlock Holmes was very popular with children, who saw him as a superhero. As such, Brett was troubled that Holmes was setting a bad example to that audience with his cocaine usage. In response, he sought and obtained permission from Arthur Conan Doyle's daughter,Dame Jean Doyle and the Doyle estate for permission to have Holmes overcome and abandon his addiction. See more »


[first lines]
Dr Watson: Almost there.
Sherlock Holmes: What does a Harley Street specialist know about my health?
Dr Watson: Listen, Holmes, Dr Moore Agar insists you have a complete rest if you wish to avoid an absolute breakdown. The sea air will do you the world of good.
See more »


Version of The Devil's Foot (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

15 June 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

These Granada Holmes deals are hit and miss because of the way the creative teams were assigned. This is one of the bad ones, beyond remarking.

There are two mildly interesting things about the episode.

One is the continuing oscillation between supernatural forces and the mechanical logic of life that was popular in Victorian England. These forces pull extremes, even today. This version of the story plays that down. From the very first you know we are dealing with a powdered drug. From the very first you know who did it and why.

The other interesting thing is a continuing issue in film. How do you deal with distortions of reality, like dreams and hallucinations? There seems to be a sort of hack vocabulary for this that TeeVee imposes: some wavy images, threatening situations, blood from skin, short, confusing exposures, jittery camera.

Its done here in the clumsiest of ways. Five years later a more maddened Brett would be in "The Last Vampyre" that was equally bad as a Holmes, but much better in the hallucination department.

Oh and accompanying music that seems to come from only one source. This, my friends is why there will never be a decent Holmes produced for TeeVee. Whenever these choices have to be made, the TeeVee vocabulary is just too hackneyed and ordinary.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

3 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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