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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 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?


When Henry Wood is describing how he was captured, he says that he was trying to deliver a message to General Neill's column. He is referring to General James George Smith Neill, 1810-1857. See more »


[last lines]
Dr. John Watson: Holmes, there's just one thing I don't understand. If the Colonel's name was James and Wood was called either Henry or Harry, them who the deuce was David?
Sherlock Holmes: Ah, my dear Watson, that name 'David' should have told me the whole story had I been the ideal reasoner which you are so fond of depicting, but, alas, my powers of deduction failed me. You see, 'David' in this case was evidently used as a term of reproach.
Dr. John Watson: Reproach?
Sherlock Holmes: Don't you remember how King David sent Uriah the Hittite into ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Version of The Crooked Man (1923) See more »


Oh My Darling, Clementine
Written by Percy Montrose
Performed by the Pub crowd
See more »

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User Reviews

The Mongoose Comes Home to Roost!
5 February 2014 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is a really clever story. Holmes finds himself trying to figure out why a murder has been committed. The victim, a military man in the time of British imperialism, the suspected murderer, his wife, whom everyone said he adored (and she him). Well, there is much more to this. There are several stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon where someone is living a lie or has some baggage that has never been revealed to a spouse. Part of the problem has to do with the society at the time. One could go off to India or some place and make a fortune off the indigent people and come back a hero. Things were often not that simple, and in a military setting, where honor was to play such a huge role, those with feet of clay sometimes lived out their lives if fear of retribution. This story hinges on this.The Crooked Man of the story would normally be seen as less than human (man authors equated ugliness with evil), but it's not so simple as that. There are elements of compassion in this portrayal. The case is a complex one and works very well. Brett and Burke are good as usual. Oh, and there's a large rodent involved. What more could we ask for?

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