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The Second Stain 

Holmes is asked by the country's Prime Minister to aid in the recovery of a stolen diplomatic letter, which, if published, might lead England into war.


John Bruce


Arthur Conan Doyle (by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), John Hawkesworth (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Dr. Watson
Harry Andrews ... Lord Bellinger
Patricia Hodge ... Lady Hilda Trelawney Hope
Stuart Wilson ... Rt. Honourable Trelawney Hope
Colin Jeavons ... Inspector Lestrade
Sean Scanlan Sean Scanlan ... Constable MacPherson
Yves Beneyton Yves Beneyton ... Eduardo Lucas
Yvonne Orengo Yvonne Orengo ... Madame Henri Fournaye
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson
Alan Bennion Alan Bennion ... Bates


Holmes receives a surprise visit from no less than the Prime Minister and the country's chief foreign diplomat, Lord Trelawney Hope. They ask his assistance in the recovery of a sensitive diplomatic letter stolen mysteriously from the Lord's home. Its contents are so incendiary that they might lead Great Britain into war if they were published. Holmes credits only three active criminals capable of masterminding so audacious a theft, and when one is found stabbed to death on the night in question, The Great Detective correctly surmises that it is not a coincidence. Matters are further complicated by a visit to Baker Street by Lady Trelawney Hope, a visit she wants kept from her husband. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 July 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Dr. Watson: [narration] One Tuesday morning in autumn at precisely half past eight, Sherlock Holmes received a mysterious message that two men of great public distinction would be visiting Baker Street in their private capacity and under circumstances of complete secrecy.
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Version of Sherlock Holmes: The Second Stain (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Best Episodes in the Series
25 October 2011 | by ericksonsam60See all my reviews

Entertaining episode from the Granada series with clever mystery and great performances. Holmes is requested by the Prime Minister and a British diplomat to recover an important document that if disclosed, could lead to war. Further complications arise when a man is murdered with a blood stain on the floor that doesn't correspond to the one above on the carpet. The story moves at a good pace and at the end the mystery is neatly solved. The excellent supporting cast includes Stuart Wilson, Yves Beneyton, and Colin Jeavons, returning as Inspector Lestrade. Jeremy Brett shines once again as Sherlock Holmes, and Patricia Hodge is captivating in her performance. Particularly noteworthy is the compassion Holmes extends to Lady Trelawney Hope, as well as his effective and sometimes amusing interactions with Watson and Lestrade. Well worth watching.

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