An obscure family document containing an enigmatic ritual holds the key to a hidden treasure if Holmes can decipher the mystery.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
James Hazeldine ...
Johanna Kirby ...
Teresa Banham ...
Inspector Fereday
Patrick Blackwell ...


Convalescent Holmes takes a holiday with Watson at the estate of his old college acquaintance Reginald Musgrave. Musgrave's butler is discovered prying into an enigmatic, centuries-old family document outlining an apparently meaningless ritual. When the butler and a maid he was romantically involved with disappear, Holmes and Watson set about deciphering the ritual's meaning which they hope will lead them to a long-buried treasure. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

30 July 1986 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original short story was Holmes relating this case to Watson, as he solved it before he and Watson even met. The dialogue between Holmes and Watson about Holmes's earliest cases is a nod to the short story. See more »


Brunton explains the history of the manor to Watson, and says, "it is thought to be the oldest inhabited building in the country." He should have said "county", in accordance with the original short story. There are many inhabited buildings in England, such as Windsor Castle, which are far older. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Watson: Splendid air!
[Holmes coughs horribly]
Dr. Watson: Rough shooting.
[Holmes groans]
Dr. Watson: Perhaps a little fishing.
[Holmes groans again]
Dr. Watson: And the best cook in the County of Sussex, wouldn't you say?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the ending credits, Rachel's body is found. See more »


Version of The Musgrave Ritual (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

The Musgrave Ritual
27 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a big fan of the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, I may be biased in saying I love this episode, but I do. For me, the best of the "Return" series is between The Devil's Foot and The Six Napoleons, but The Musgrave Ritual is just as good. It is splendidly made as usual, always feeling as though you are actually in the setting with a typically evocative atmosphere. The music really gives the adaptation its punch by how haunting and beautiful it is, the script is intelligent and sometimes playful in tone and the story is full of mystery and suspense, plus it is very creepy especially in the final couple of minutes. James Hazeldine and Michael Culver are excellent in their supporting turns, but as usual the two leads are the ones who dominate with Edward Hardwicke quietly intelligent and Jeremy Brett as commanding as ever. In conclusion, a very good episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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