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The Photographer's Chair 

Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and his mentor Dr. Joseph Bell investigate the strangulation deaths of two persons found floating in the river, as Doyle finds himself captivated by spiritualism.


Paul Marcus


Paul Billing




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Edwards ... Arthur Conan Doyle
Claire Harman Claire Harman ... Elspeth
Henry Goodman ... De Meyer
Paul McNeilly Paul McNeilly ... Sailor
Amber Noble Amber Noble ... Polly
Simon Chandler ... Inspector Warner
Morgan Jones ... Sgt. Richards
Mossie Smith Mossie Smith ... Mrs. Williams
Ian Richardson ... Dr. Joseph Bell
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Dr. Ibbotson (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
Dermot Crowley ... Elkins
Clare Holman ... Helena Petchey
Tim Woodward ... Rhodes
Karen Meagher Karen Meagher ... Distressed woman
Caroline Pegg Caroline Pegg ... Mrs. Casey


Drs. Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell investigate when the police find two bodies floating in the river. Both seemed to have victims of the same killer as they have similar bruising and were similarly strangled. One of the victims is identified by her brother Charles and he is a suspect as they had a recent falling out. When a third body is found, it's identified as Dr. Ibbotson, the local coroner who was a drunk and discredited as a member of the medical profession. Meanwhile Doyle continues to grieve for his murdered fiancée and believes he saw her outside a hypnotist show. When Charles asks Doyle to attend a séance in an attempt to speak to his dead sister, he again sees his fiancée. Doyle is drawn to the world of spiritualism, but it is Bell who discovers a connection with a local photographer. Written by garykmcd

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Did You Know?


Originally to have been transmitted on Tuesday 11 September 2001, but was postponed for a week. See more »

Alternate Versions

"Les mutilés de la Tamise" - French dubbed version (DVD title) See more »

User Reviews

I don't care how nice it is outside, stay in and watch this.
10 March 2002 | by missrljaneSee all my reviews

I do admire this programme very much and I hope that all who watch it will too. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a murder mystery, the Victorian era or Sherlock Holmes and anyone else looking for something new and brilliant. This episode focuses mostly, (apart from the murders obviously) on Doyle being converted to spiritualism, a transition he finds difficult being a scientific man (even though in reality I'm sure this didn't happen until much later in his life). Murder Rooms makes great use of dreams, hallucinations and flashbacks, this episode uses all of these and even some ghosts. This really adds to the intensity of the story and manages to keep it completely believable. Doyle can't stop thinking about the murder of his girlfriend/fiancée and is becoming obsessed, losing his faith in the fellow man. This worries Bell but this has to be put aside to find the murderer of two people, (later 12!). The title of this episode doesn't mean much until a terrifying finale involving Doyle. I can't tell you much without giving the plot away but there are plenty of twists so it was only on my third viewing that I completely understood everything. The acting is electrifying (even from the bit parts) and added with the writing and proxemics this series is an all time great. There is even razor comedy, the best bit coming from Doyle's housekeeper overhearing Bell explaining he is off to a whore house. Charles Edwards seems to have a constantly worried look but this could be explained as, why is it Doyle seems to get nearly killed EVERY episode? If this were true it really is astonishing that he had such a brilliant mind and lived as long as 71 years. Even so Doyle is portrayed extremely positively and Edwards is a fantastic actor.

Please watch this and please enjoy it.

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Release Date:

18 September 2001 (UK) See more »

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