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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")

On Disc

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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 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 »






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
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Did You Know?


The story is set in 1894, even though earlier episodes were set after 1900. See more »


When the maid comes into Milverton's study, she says, "I'm here to light the fire." A housemaid or scullery maid would never speak to the master of the house without being spoken to first. And when he tells her not to light the fire and just to leave, she replies, "Oh. Okay." Most likely she would not say anything, or might say, "Yes, sir." But she would never say "okay" (which is probably anachronistic in British speech in any case). See more »


Sherlock Holmes: One must play one's cards as best one can when such a stake is on the table.
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 »

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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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