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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Responding to a grieving wife, Holmes investigates the apparent murder of her husband in an apartment above an opium den.



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Title: The Man with the Twisted Lip (06 Aug 1986)

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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: Mr Holmes has disappeared without trace, as you can see.
Mrs. Whitney: In that case, I really shouldn't bother you with my problems.
Dr. John Watson: Oh, Mr Holmes disappears without trace at regular intervals. There's really no cause for alarm, only curiosity.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

A Scholarly Beggar
30 January 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I can't explain the idea behind The Man With The Twisted Lip since that in itself would give the whole thing away. I only wish the story had been better developed as the idea was an original one.

Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke as the intrepid Holmes and Watson are called in on a missing persons case in which foul play is suspected. More than suspected because the woman who requested aid from Holmes and Watson actually saw her husband from the second story of an opium den in a seamy part of London. But by the time she got up there, he was gone and articles of clothes were later found in the Thames.

A rather scholarly beggar is arrested for the crime of murder, but it all doesn't add up. In other words it all isn't quite so elementary, even Dr. Watson is suspicious.

Eleanor David is the woman who hires Holmes and Clive Francis has an interesting role as the beggar with a knowledge of the classics.

I think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had the kernel of a good idea, but he didn't develop it all that well. Still Baker Street purists will like it.

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