The Return of Sherlock Holmes: Season 1, Episode 5

The Man with the Twisted Lip (6 Aug. 1986)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 282 users  
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Responding to a grieving wife, Holmes investigates the apparent murder of her husband in an apartment above an opium den.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) , (developed for television by), 2 more credits »
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Episode complete credited cast:
Clive Francis ...
Eleanor David ...
Denis Lill ...
Patricia Garwood ...
Mrs Whitney
Terence Longdon ...
Isa Whitney
Rosalie Williams ...
Dudley James ...


Watson locates a husband in a London opium den and encounters a disguised Holmes there. The Great Detective is searching for another errant husband who has apparently been killed by a filthy, poetry-spouting professional beggar who lives in one of the building's upper apartments. Written by Gabe Taverney (

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





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6 August 1986 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Neville St. Clair's final quotation, as he is burning the beggar's clothes is a misquotation from Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, when Horatio says "Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." See more »


In the flashback, we see Boon the beggar throwing the coat out of the window, which he explains is laden with the hundreds of coins he has collected throughout the day. However, the coat flutters down, and clearly has nothing heavy in the pockets. See more »


Dr. John Watson: May I ask why I'm going to Lee in Kent, in the middle of the night on a Friday in March?
Sherlock Holmes: Because you are my trusted comrade and my loyal chronicler. I may need both.
See more »


Version of Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Disappeared (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

For me, not one of the best but still a solid episode
25 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I do love the Granada Sherlock Holmes series to death, they are so well made and acted as well as interesting and most of them only get better on repeated viewings. Of the Returns series(if we were for a minute to exclude the feature length adaptations Sign of Four and Hound of the Baskervilles, both of which are superior in my opinion to this one), the best of that series is The Devil's Foot, followed by The Empty House. The Man With the Twisted Lip is not one of my favourites of the series like The Crooked Man, The Blue Carbuncle, The Dying Detective, The Final Problem, The Cardboard Box and The Devil's Foot, but it is still a solid enough episode. There have been more compelling stories of the series and perhaps more swifter-paced ones too, but The Man With The Twisted Lip is memorable for a wonderful denouncement and a scene in an opium den that is an all too haunting reminder of what drugs then and now could do to you. It is as always a splendidly made episode, it not just looks great though but also the atmosphere actually makes you feel you were there. The music is hauntingly beautiful and the writing has been stronger before but especially with the reflective and powerfully written final fifteen minutes or so it does show evidence of thoughtfulness. The acting is fine. Eleanor David of the support cast is the one who captivates, though Dennis Lill is an excellent Inspector Bradstreet and Clive Franis is good as St Clair. Edward Hardwicke is a subtle and composed Watson, contrasting wonderfully with the ever commanding Holmes of Jeremy Brett. All in all, solid enough but not one of the better episodes of the series. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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