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 (

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

13 August 1986 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Watson points out that "cock fighting is illegal, and has been for fifty years." This refers to the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1835, and allows the events depicted to be dated to approximately 1885. 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

Holdernesse Famiily Values
6 February 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle might have gotten his idea for The Priory School from an American source, the kidnapping of Charlie Ross which happened about 20 years before he wrote this story. Child kidnappings were pretty rare and not well publicized for the most part until the Lindbergh baby case in 1932.

In any event the headmaster of The Priory School, Christopher Benjamin, calls in Sherlock Holmes because he's both concerned about the child and the attending bad publicity his school is going to receive. The child Nicholas Gecks is the ten year old son and heir to the Dukedom of Holdernesse. His dad and the current duke, Alan Howard, is a notoriously publicity shy individual, but his rather detached manner throughout the crisis is what's bothering Benjamin which is why he sends for Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke.

There's of course more to the kidnapping than a simple snatch and ransom job. A German teacher has also gone missing from the school at the same time. How's it all connected and why is Alan Howard so cool towards the involvement of the greatest detective in the world in his son's case?

It all is revealed of course both the reason for the kidnapping and the Duke of Holdernesse's publicity shy ways. This is not a bad story from the Holmes case files. I do wonder where Conan Doyle might have gotten his inspiration.

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