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 286 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 »


[last lines]
Venucci Snr: È finita, Lucrezia.
See more »


Version of Sherlock Holmes: The Six Napoleons (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

So much fun!
27 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Six Napoleons is easily one of the best of "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" series, and one I have seen five times over the past three weeks, finding something new to love and admire every time. For instance if you love Holmes, Watson and Lestrade together you are in heaven as their scenes in The Six Napoleons are the best and funniest of the entire series especially the humbug exchange, the build up to the final denouncement and the scene where Lestrade shares his theory about the busts smashing. The story may not be the most interesting in hindsight, but what is done with the story here is what makes the episode so remarkable. The Six Napoleons is well paced, suspenseful, funny, exciting and always compelling, while there are some absolutely brilliant episodes other than this one not many have all five of those qualities and so well in the way The Six Napoleons has. Once again, it is superbly made, evocative in atmosphere and meticulous in detail. The music is hauntingly beautiful, and the writing is droll and intelligent. Jeremy Brett, Edward Hardwicke and Colin Jeavons couldn't have been more perfect as Holmes, Watson and Lestrade, Brett is commanding, Hardwicke is composed and quietly intelligent and Jeavons is a comic joy(his Chiswick explanation is yet another little thing I loved about the episode) and gives perhaps his best performance of the episodes he starred in. The supporting cast also give good performances, in Jeffrey Gardiner's case as Sandeford, great. Overall, such a fun episode. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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