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George De La Pena,
This British TV series, shot almost entirely on videotape, dramatized short mystery fiction by authors who were contemporaries of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Many of these authors were virtually unknown to modern audiences, although all of the detectives portrayed had appeared in popular ongoing series of short stories or novels. "Rivals" featured the only dramatizations to date of such period characters as Jacques Futrelle's "The Thinking Machine" and W. H. Hodgson's "Carnacki The Ghost Finder". Production values were high, although the limitations of early '70's video technology are painfully obvious. The casts included the cream of British television's character actors, featuring a few faces that will be recognizable to American audiences.Written by
Doug Ferrar <email@example.com>
This series was largely adapted from a collection of then obscure, but genuine Victorian short stories collated and edited by Hugh Greene, who is also credited as the series creator. He was a retired Director General of the BBC and the brother of Graham Greene. See more »
Having never seen them I stumbled across the first series on DVD ... they are typical British television in the best sense... literate, beautifully acted (with an amazing cast list) and with a marvellous sense of period.
They are based on early crime novels and most of the writers are unknown to me especially those based on novels that are clearly not of English origin.
Whilst the production standards of 1970 may not match today and some of the individual plots are sometimes a bit ordinary the two series make great viewing for any fan of crime novels and will especially appeal to any fan of the Sherlock Holmes.
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