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) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Gerald Campion ...
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 »


Dr. Watson: Have a humbug, Lestrade.
Sherlock Holmes: Watson, this is no time for humbugs!
See more »


Version of The Six Napoleons (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

That magical tear
7 March 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

To me and clearly a great many others, Jeremy Brett was the man born to play Holmes. No-one else can or will ever come close.

The point that struck me about this particular episode above all others, is perhaps the most 'singular' moment of the entire Granada series....Holmes's tear.

If you somehow missed it, re-watch it. If you've seen it, did it not affect you? It goes way beyond the, 'softer human emotions' mentioned by the author. It seemed to come straight from Brett's heart.

That he allowed this definitive portrayal of Holmes to be so very human (and caused me to shed a tear in the process) was quite simply, extraordinary.

As a footnote, I wasn't sure about the overtly 'Mafioso' theme of this episode. Though there are clear Mafia references in the original, I felt the screenplay became just a bit too G-dfatherly. Didn't spoil it though, still 10/10!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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