Sherlock Holmes: Season 1, Episode 3

The Copper Beeches (6 Mar. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Horror | Crime | Drama
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Miss Violet Hunter has been engaged by the jovial if odd Mr. Rucastle at his country house in Hampshire as a governess to his little boy. The pay is excellent but the terms are bizarre - ... See full summary »



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Title: The Copper Beeches (06 Mar 1965)

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Episode cast overview:
Douglas Wilmer ...
Patrick Wymark ...
Suzanne Neve ...
Alethea Charlton ...
Mrs. Rucastle
Michael Robbins ...
Mr. Toller
Margaret Diamond ...
Paul Harris ...
Sheila Keith ...
Miss. Stoper
Norma Vogan ...
Anna Perry ...
Miss Thompson
Garry Mason ...
Ross Clear ...
Page boy


Miss Violet Hunter has been engaged by the jovial if odd Mr. Rucastle at his country house in Hampshire as a governess to his little boy. The pay is excellent but the terms are bizarre - Miss Hunter has to cut her hair short and stand in the window wearing a blue dress. She realizes that this is for the benefit of a person watching the house continually but needs Holmes' help in working out why. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Horror | Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

6 March 1965 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Version of The Copper Beeches (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
15 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Violet Hunter is offered a job as governess by the seemingly jovial Jephro Rucastle at a rate of pay of over twice what she received in her previous position. Rucastle explains to her that because of his wife's eccentricities there are some odd conditions to her employment - she must wear certain clothes, sit where she is told and she must cut her hair. This she refuses to do and declines the job. Concerned that perhaps she was being too hasty in refusing such a high paying job, she goes to Holmes and asks his advice. Since Rucastle wrote her offering her even more money she is mildly suspicious but also desperately needs a job. She tells Holmes she plans to now take the job but hopes she can call upon him if anything goes amiss. And things do go amiss in the strange Rucastle household. The most appalling thing is the behavior of the young Rucastle boy who is an extraordinarily cruel boy, quite the psychopath in training. There is also a great mastiff dog who is kept at near starvation so he will be more fierce when he prowls the grounds at night. After discovering a closed off wing to the house, Violet sends a telegram to Holmes asking for his and Watson's assistance. The whole distasteful plot is satisfactorily resolved (well, not for the abused dog made vicious and dangerous). What made this story so interesting was the character of Violet Hunter - she had great skills of observation and was level headed and fearless. Holmes clearly admires her as "a woman who can take care of herself." At the end, Holmes tells Watson that Miss Hunter accepted a position as a head mistress and should have a stellar career if only she doesn't marry (obviously a woman then couldn't do both). Watson has a look of sadness and disappointment on his face for Violet could have been the perfect woman for his friend. But, of course, Holmes must always remain unattached. A note on the cast - Patrick Wymark played Rucastle; his daughter Jane plays Joyce Barnaby on the long running Midsommer Murders series.

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