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) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Denis Quilley ...
Michael Aitkens ...
Reverend Roundhay
Freda Dowie ...
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 (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 April 1988 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After being rescued by Watson, Holmes calls watson by his first name, "John". This is the first time in the entire literary, cinematic and televised history of Sherlock Holmes that one of the two main characters addresses the other by his first name; in all other instances, the surname ("Holmes", "Watson") is used. 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 Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Foot (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best Granada Sherlock Holmes adaptations
12 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love the Granada Sherlock Holmes adaptations, and this adaptation of The Devil's Foot epitomises why. In fact, it is a contender for my favourite episode of the series, that is how good it is. It is relatively faithful to the source material, and while the story is still a fine read, this adaptation in some ways improves on it.

As always, the production values are superb. The sets and costumes are meticulous, the photography is skillful and the atmosphere is resolutely creepy and mysterious. Coupled with one of the most haunting music scores of the series(gives The Red Circle a run for its money), fine sophisticated writing, good pacing, great direction and a classic story told in such an adept way you have a superb episode.

And I cannot not mention the acting. Jeremy Brett is a perfect Holmes with a gritty baritone and commanding presence and Edward Hardwicke is more than an ideal contrast as a thoughtful and composed Watson.

Overall, a wonderful episode and adaptation. 10/10 Bethany Cox

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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