The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Season 2, Episode 1

The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway (29 Jan. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 12 users  
Reviews: 1 user

When a young woman is poisoned on a London subway train, the police searching for her killer appear to be on the wrong track. Bright young reporter Polly Burton decides to unmask the ... See full summary »

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(dramatisation), (short story)
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Title: The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway (29 Jan 1973)

The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway (29 Jan 1973) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Polly Burton
John Savident ...
Sir Arthur Inglewood
...
Richard Frobisher
...
William Hazeldene (as Anthony Corlan)
Cyd Hayman ...
Laura Stanley
Frank Wylie ...
Prosecutor
James Cairncross ...
Coroner
Lois Baxter ...
Beatrice Hazeldene
Simon Lack ...
Andrew Campbell
Dennis Blanch ...
Constable Thornton
...
Dr. Jones
George Tovey ...
Porter
Christopher Timothy ...
Solicitor
Michael Rose ...
Station Master
Julian D'Albie ...
Judge
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Storyline

When a young woman is poisoned on a London subway train, the police searching for her killer appear to be on the wrong track. Bright young reporter Polly Burton decides to unmask the murderer herself--putting her own safety on the line in the process. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Release Date:

29 January 1973 (UK)  »

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Trivia

In the original story, the sleuth was the Old Man in the Corner, but in this filmed version he is replaced by a brand new character, an attorney. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty good, but a couple of quibbles
12 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The episode is based on a story from The Old Man in the Corner series by Baroness Orczy, who also wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel. If you like period mysteries, it's worth a watch, so I give it a moderate recommendation. However, I do have two quibbles. The first is that in taking the story to television, the writers/director saw fit to eliminate the Old Man character, and replace him with Polly's old uncle, barrister Sir Somethingorother. This allows them to present a trial drama, but subtracts the charm of the Old Man character. It's not so different from doing a Sherlock Holmes story without Holmes. I appreciate that when literature is turned into drama, it may need to be modified, but I don't understand how it is that random television writers and directors think they can tell a story better than authors whose work has stood the test of time.

Second, I'll flirt with a spoiler here. The ending of the story is of the shake-your-head variety. It involves the scene in which the killer is 'caught,' and just makes no sense. I really don't like spoiler reviews, so I won't give details, but the set-up and the outcome are both beyond implausible. And after sitting through the entire episode, which was reasonably well done, considering, such endings are a real disappointment.

For anyone interested in the Old Man in the Corner stories, I highly recommend the BBC radio versions, which can be heard on BBC4 Extra online on a rotating basis. I actually found them better than the stories themselves, which I put down after reading just two or three. Check this link to see if they are available at the current time: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4extra/programmes/genres/drama/current


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