27 user 3 critic

The Master Blackmailer 

Holmes and Watson attempt to break the grip of a ruthless blackmailer of their clients.


Peter Hammond


Jeremy Paul (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (based on "Charles Augustas Milverton")


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Doctor Watson
Robert Hardy ... Charles Augustus Milverton
Norma West ... Lady Diana Swinstead
Gwen Ffrangcon Davies ... The Dowager (as Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies)
Colin Jeavons ... Inspector Lestrade
Nickolas Grace ... Bertrand
Serena Gordon Serena Gordon ... Lady Eva Blackwell
Sarah McVicar Sarah McVicar ... The Hon. Charlotte Miles
David Mallinson ... Colonel Dorking
Brian Mitchell Brian Mitchell ... Harry, Earl of Dovercourt
Hans Meyer ... Hebworth (Alias Veitch)
Sophie Thompson ... Agatha
Stephen Simms Stephen Simms ... Stokes
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson




The master sleuth must deal with the menace of Charles Augustus Milverton, an art dealer who has a profitable sideline as a blackmailer with much of London's high society in his grip. Unfortunately, he is no amateur at his line of work and Holmes must use all his cunning and skill in some risky operations to foil this criminal. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Gwen Ffrangcon Davies, who played the Dowager, was 100 years old when this was filmed in 1991. She died the same month it premiered, having turned 101. See more »


The opening credits state that the story is "based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Charles Augustas Milverton'". This is a misprint for "Augustus". See more »


Lady Diana Swinstead: On my knees, I beg you... I implore you to show mercy.
Charles Augustus Milverton: I'm not in the business of mercy, madam.
See more »


Version of Sherlock: His Last Vow (2014) See more »


Three Little Maids From School Are We
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
From The Mikado
See more »

User Reviews

Well-crafted tale, with some additions to Doyle's story

I tend to look askance at departures from Doyle's sacred writings, but the additions in this film were well-chosen and done well. Those of us who have most of the Holmes canon mostly memorized tend to forget that for many viewers this may be their first exposure to Holmes, Watson and the foggy streets of Victorian London. A bit more atmosphere and additional plot may be a good introduction for newcomers to the Foggy Fables.

The large body of work left by Brett and his associates is, I believe, the best and most faithful Holmes films so far.

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Release Date:

6 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television, WGBH See more »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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