The Return of Sherlock Holmes: Season 1, Episode 7

The Six Napoleons (20 Aug. 1986)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 289 users  
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Inspector Lastrade reveals to Holmes that someone has been inexplicably breaking into homes for the senseless purpose of breaking small busts of Napoleon.



(by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) , (developed for television by), 2 more credits »
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Episode complete credited cast:
Colin Jeavons ...
Gerald Campion ...
Vincenzo Nicoli ...
Steve Plytas ...
Venucci Snr.
Emil Wolk ...
Nadio Fortune ...
Beppo's Cousin
Michael Logan ...
Jeffrey Gardiner ...
Mr. Sandeford


Inspector Lastrade drops by Baker Street to socialize and presents Holmes with his current problem. He is baffled by a series of apparently senseless burglaries in which the only thing stolen is a small bust of Napoleon, which is later broken into pieces by the thief. Unlike Lastrade, Holmes sees a sinister purpose behind these irrational break-ins and has that confirmed when a Italian immigrant with Mafia connections is found with his throat slashed at the scene of the latest robbery. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

20 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?


When Venucci is crying over his son's body, there are coins on the dead man's eyes. The tradition of placing pennies on the eyes of the corpse - to pay Charon the ferryman to carry the person's soul across the River Styx - dates back to Ancient Rome and Greece. See more »


When Beppo escapes into the warehouse, the owner Gelder has to smash the door open with a sledge hammer. When Holmes is describing this, we see Beppo in flashback running into the warehouse and closing the doors. The doors already bear the marks of the sledgehammer, presumably from a previous take. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: I would be grateful, Lestrade, if you could make it convenient to come around to Baker Street at six o'clock this evening. Until then I would like to keep this photograph found in the dead man's pocket.
Inspector Lestrade: Ah, Mr. Holmes, that might be a vital clue.
Sherlock Holmes: I trust it is; otherwise it's of no interest to me.
See more »


Version of The Pearl of Death (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

LeStrade in a Human Role
11 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the better known stories. A number of plaster figures of Napoleon have been smashed by someone. It would appear to be burglary, but nothing much has been taken. It's not a fetish. No one has been harmed until one day that ends with a murder. The best part of this offering is the byplay between Holmes and Inspector LeStrade who plays Hamilton Burger to Holmes' Perry Mason. He's always wrong, but he has the best of intentions. Holmes is perpetually disappointed by the police and their ineptness, but not as bad in the original stories as they are in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Holmes episodes. In this, while LeStrade comes up with some pretty preposterous theories, Holmes doesn't overtly abuse him. They actually work together well and LeStrade actually pays him a great compliment, telling him how significant his contributions are to Scotland Yard. The problem at this time, of course, is that the fine points of detection had not been really used. Scotland Yard was as much a political entity as a police force. That aside, Holmes suspect that the Napoleon bust must have some existence beyond the mere acts of vandalism. Apparently, LeStrade all but disappears from the canon after this story. He is a much more human character in the Granada series (as is Watson) and as a true fan, I really appreciate that.

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