The headmaster of a prestigious prep school calls on Holmes for help when the ten year old only son of powerful but publicity-shy duke disappears.



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




Episode complete credited cast:
Nicholas Gecks ...
Nissar Modi ...
Michael Bertenshaw ...
Jack Carr ...
Brenda Elder ...
Mrs Hayes
William Abney ...
Mark Turin ...


The headmaster of a prestigious prep calls on Holmes for help in investigating the disappearance of the only son of his patron, a rich and powerful duke who seems more worried about staying out of the public eye than finding his ten year old heir. After he reluctantly agrees to allow Holmes to take on the case, The Great Detective investigates not only the missing boy, but a German teacher and the lone bicycle that have mysteriously vanished also. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

13 August 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 story ended simply with the Duke telling the entire story to Holmes with the promise that Wilder would go and seek his fortune in Australia. This adaptations has a more dramatic ending with a chase led by Holmes, Watson and the Duke, in which Wilder keeps Lord Saltire hostage in an underground cave and falls to his death. See more »


Dr. Huxtable greets his pupils with the Latin "Salvete, Discipuli" ("Greetings, pupils") and clearly pronounces the "v". As an expert in Latin, he should know that it should be pronounced like a "w" in English, so the word should sound more like "salwete". See more »


[first lines]
Mrs. Hudson: There's a gentleman downstairs...
Dr. Watson: Sh. Ask him to wait a moment, Mrs Hudson.
Mrs. Hudson: He's most insistent.
See more »


Version of The Priory School (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

A missing boy and his teacher are at the heart of a mystery...
12 May 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

The mystery here is what lies behind the remote behavior of The Duke of Holdernesse (ALAN HOWARD) whose son has disappeared along with his German teacher. The Duke is so publicity shy that he doesn't seem to want the police on the case but is willing to let Sherlock Holmes make his own private investigation.

His reluctance to do more than that keeps Holmes in the dark for awhile but little by little he makes the right deductions (of course) and he and Dr. Watson (EDWARD HARDWICKE) are able to locate the missing boy and eventually are told all the events that led to the lad's disappearance.

It's an interesting episode. I'm not a particular fan of JEREMY BRETT's interpretation of Holmes, but he's more straightforward in his acting here and does a decent job in the role. More often than not, he seems as remote as the Duke is supposed to be--as though his mind is either working hard on a solution or is miles away in his own private little world.

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