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The Final Problem 

Holmes and Watson travel to Europe to escape Moriarty's vengeance.


Alan Grint


John Hawkesworth (developed for television by), John Hawkesworth (dramatised by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
David Burke ... Dr. Watson
Eric Porter ... Professor Moriarty
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs. Hudson
Olivier Pierre Olivier Pierre ... Director of the Louvre
Claude Le Saché Claude Le Saché ... Minister of the Interior (as Claude Le Sache)
Michael Goldie Michael Goldie ... The Artist
Robert Henderson ... American Millionaire
Paul Sirr Paul Sirr ... Young Art Expert
Jim Dunk Jim Dunk ... Porter at Victoria
Paul Humpoletz Paul Humpoletz ... Herr Steiler
Simon Adams Simon Adams ... Swiss Youth


After a four month absence, Sherlock Holmes returns to Baker Street following several attempts on his life. Holmes had been away on an important assignment for the French government - recovering the Mona Lisa that had bee stolen from the Louvre. He was successful in his task and appropriately rewarded by the French but he raised the ire of the crime's perpetrator - Professor Moriarty. On the morning of his return, the Professor visited Holmes in his flat and warned him to cease or he would have no choice but to take extreme measures. With several attempts on his life having already taken place, Holmes and Watson head for Switzerland. Moriarty is a relentless pursuer however and he and Holmes have a fateful encounter at the Reichenbach Falls. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

29 September 1985 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The originally story didn't make clear what Holmes's case with the French government was, let alone if Moriarty had anything to do with it. For this adaptation, it involved the theft of the Mona Lisa and was a crucial part in bringing down Moriarty's organization. See more »


When Holmes and Moriarty topple over the Reichenbach Falls, both the stuntmen playing Holmes and Moriarty are wearing safety lines which are soon blocked out by the camera. When they start to fall, these lines are most prominent. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Watson: [voiceover] When I returned to Baker Street from a short holiday in the spring of 1891, I had seen little of Holmes for some time. I saw in the papers that he had been engaged by the French Government upon a matter of supreme importance, but I could hardly foresee that it would have so violent a consequence. It lies with me now to tell for the first time what took place between Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty in that fateful year.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only episode to have a title card at the beginning credits and end credits. See more »


Featured in The Shackles of Sherlock (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Captivating and honest adaptation.
14 June 2019 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

The Final Problem is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best episodes of Brett's Sherlock Holmes, and arguably one of the finest productions to feature Holmes.

The script is terrific, and hugely faithful to the book. Burke's narration throughout is a real highlight in what would sadly be his last appearance as Watson. The location work is breathtaking, it looks imposing, dramatic and wonderful throughout, overall it feels big budget.

The best aspects of this episode though, without any doubt are the performances of Jeremy Brett and Eric Porter, the pair individually are astonishing, but together they are beyond compare, with some incredible scenes.

Flawless. 10/10

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