|Index||5 reviews in total|
This solid, powerful episode explains how Holmes survived his deadly encounter with Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls while tying it in with a murder case. This was Conan Doyle's way of bringing back Holmes after popular demand. It is very slickly done and exciting with good directing, photography, and production values. Jeremy Brett returns in fine style as Holmes, and Edward Hardwicke makes his debut as Dr. Watson; that of an older, more thoughtful Watson in contrast to the younger, more playful David Burke. Particularly enjoyable was scene where Holmes' "ghost" appears to the startled Dr. Watson. In this scene, the immediate chemistry of Brett and Hardwicke in portraying the strong friendship of Holmes and Watson - is a delight for all Holmes fans to behold. The Return of Sherlock Holmes was a series that really succeeded in capturing shinning portrayals of Holmes and Watson that fans have come to appreciate and enjoy - right up to the present day. This is an important one in the canon not to be missed, and one that can be enjoyed again and again.
I am a huge fan of the Granada Sherlock Holmes, and The Empty House is a strong return for a series that started with such promise and generally apart from a couple of disappointments later on was of consistent high quality. The Empty House follows on from one of the best and most special episodes of the entire series The Final Problem, the ending of which did leave room for a follow-up. While not quite as good, it is just as excellent an episode. There may be parts in the middle that feel as though the story is a little stretched, however the story overall is exciting and very clever. Three scenes stood out, the scene where Watson sees Holmes for the very first time since he was assumed dead, one of the most reflective and most moving beginnings of any of the adaptations of the series and especially the capture of the murderer, tense to start with and then a faithful and brilliantly delivered speech from Holmes(love the snarl). The production values are truly splendid, as is the typically hauntingly beautiful music, and the screenplay is of the usual thoughtful standard. Jeremy Brett is superb as always, and I do slightly prefer Edward Hardwicke's somewhat wiser and understated Watson to David Burke's. Patrick Allen is good as Moran, but Rosalie Williams and Colin Jeavons' supporting turns as Mrs Hudson and Lestrade fare best. All in all, a fine return for one of the most iconic detectives in fiction. 9/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, Conan-Doyle tried his damnedest to put an end to his creation,
Sherlock Holmes. The writer felt that his cash cow had served his
purpose. Doyle was ready for more ambitious literary projects, but the
public must be served and they were outraged that Holmes should have
died in the last story. An interim novella didn't solve the problem.
The masses wanted their hero BACK.
And back he comes in "The Empty House." It turns out that Holmes escaped Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, although Moriarty himself took a nose dive. Here, after his reappearance, Holmes describes to Watson how he faked his own death and clambered away to safety, with the intention of having the underworld think he was gone for good. That secrecy business all seems rather moot when we find out that at least one member of Moriarty's criminal underworld took a few pot shots at Holmes as he got away.
Let me put it this way. Why was it so necessary that, for two solid years, Watson and Mrs. Hudson should think Holmes had fallen down the falls when, in fact, the underworld already knew he was alive and kicking? No matter. Conan-Doyle had to get him back into circulation and this somewhat clumsy story got the job done. Here, Holmes and Watson capture the murderous Number Two man in Moriarty's gang. They trap him into shooting a deadly air rifle at a silhouette of Holmes from an empty house across Baker Street. The silhouette is only a bust, moved slightly every fifteen minutes by the complicit Mrs. Hudson. Otherwise it doesn't move. The silhouette looks exactly like what it is -- a wax bust of Sherlock Holmes. This Colonel Moran doesn't deserve to be Number Two, or maybe he does.
The story gets Holmes back before the public and introduces Edward Hardwicke as a new Watson. The performances are fine, as usual. It's hard to recognize Eric Portman under his Moriarty make up, but then the make up in this series was always outstanding.
However, the stories suffered a slow decline in quality after this. At times they seemed like self parodies. Holmes lost many of his quirks over time, just as Conan-Doyle lost his enthusiasm. The author must have gritted his teeth as he forced himself to produce one story after another. And no more cocaine for poor Holmes. As one observer put it, "If you ask me, he was never the same man."
This episode did have a small mystery of its own but the main story of
this tale is the return of Sherlock Holmes that was presumed dead by
the hands of Doctor Moriarty. It has been three years and Doctor Watson
has been carrying on without his friend and the writings that he so
loved. Watson is now working for the police and is helping out in a
death of a respectable man on the outside of London. When all of the
sudden he gets a visit by an old man bearing books to sale.
The old man turns out to be Sherlock Holmes which has been living 'The life of Riley' for the last few years. And without ruining anymore, Sherlock will go into detail about the reasons he kept away from the public eye and the reasons he has for returning after these many years.
Not only do we get the narration provided by Jeremy Brett's character but the entire matter will also be tied into the mystery of the death that Watson is involved. And it will be the incredible Sherlock Holmes that will again provide guidance to the police to bring this case to a close.
We can look forward to many more tales and many more arrests all due to the fact of the return of Sherlock Holmes.
When the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes finished because Sherlock had
come to his demise at the hands of the infamous Moriarty a massive gap
was left! How good was it to see Sherlock alive and returning in this
series with the first episode 'Empty House' in which he has to beat
Moriarty's right hand man who has a mission to finish off Holmes for
good this time! Thankfully, for all of us who enjoy Jeremy Brett's
portrayal, Holmes uses all his skill (with Watson's aid of course) to
beat this henchman.
Sherlock Holmes will live forever in all of us that will never let him die!
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