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The Crooked Man 

Col. Barclay is found dead and his wife is arrested for the murder, but Holmes is convinced a missing door key will reveal the true killer.


Alan Grint


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




Episode complete credited cast:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
David Burke ... Dr Watson
Norman Jones ... Henry Wood
Lisa Daniely ... Nancy Barclay
Denys Hawthorne Denys Hawthorne ... James Barclay
Fiona Shaw ... Miss Morrison
Paul Chapman ... Major Murphy
Shelagh Stephenson Shelagh Stephenson ... Jane
Michael Lumsden ... Young Henry Wood
Catherine Rabett Catherine Rabett ... Young Nancy
James Wilby ... Young Barclay
Maggie Holland Maggie Holland ... Mrs Fenning
Colin Campbell ... Private Bates
David Graham Jones David Graham Jones ... Pianist


Egged on by his friend Dr. Watson, Holmes agrees to investigate the murder of Col. James Barclay who rose from the ranks to command his Regiment. After returning home from her monthly evening out helping the poor, the dead man's wife Nancy had a flaming row with her husband. After hearing a scream, the servants try to enter the room only to find locked from the inside. When they do manage to enter, they find the Colonel dead from what appears to be a blow to the head and Nancy in a feint. Holmes learns that at her charity work, she had reacted in shock when she approached a new arrival, an old man with a bent back and crooked legs. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 May 1984 (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?


Watson's line "Elementary, my dear Holmes" is a sendup of the famous "Elementary, my dear Watson", a phrase that never appeared in any of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. 'The Crooked Man' short story does however have Sherlock saying "Elementary" and "my dear Watson" in two separate pieces of dialog. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: Whoever heard of a dog running up a curtain?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are Paget's illustrations from the story during credits. See more »


Version of The Crooked Man (1923) See more »


The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze
Written by George Leybourne and Gaston Lyle
Performed by the Pub crowd
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant, one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations
27 May 2011 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I am a huge fan of the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, and in my mind The Crooked Man is one of the best. As is the case with all of the adaptations in this fine series, The Crooked Man production-values wise is very well made. As I have said before, you can never go wrong with authentic costumes and scenery and excellent photography, and The Crooked Man succeeds brilliantly here. The music is very beautiful and haunting, the story is well paced and interesting, as well as being a contender for the most emotionally affecting of the entire series, and the writing is sophisticated and thoughtful, Holmes' line on military morality is epic. At the top of my head, there is no other adaptation in the series where you not only hate the victim from minute one but also identify and feel great sympathy for the wronged "perpetrator". I would also like to credit The Crooked Man's atmosphere, Sherlock Holmes is a vast majority of the time very good with being atmospheric and especially with the ending(one of the series' most powerful) The Crooked Man is no exception. The acting is top notch, Jeremy Brett as always is nigh-on perfect as Holmes and David Burke is a composed Watson. While the support cast are solid, the best of the lot is Norman Jones, whose haunting yet often poignant performance, bringing heart-breaking pathos to a very long monologue that could easily have rambled, gives meaning to the phrase "once seen, never forgotten". Fiona Shaw has never been more entertainingly aloof either. Overall, The Crooked Man is brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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