Knowing that he is about to be arrested for murder, John Hector McFarlane asks for Sherlock Holmes' assistance in establishing his innocence. McFarlane is a solicitor who was visited the previous day by Jonas Oldacre who wanted to draw up a will. McFarlane was astonished to learn that Oldacre was naming him as the beneficiary of his fortune. McFarlane had never met the man who claimed to have known his parents long ago and having no issue of his own, wanted to leave everything to him. McFarlane drew up the papers and called at Oldacre's home that evening to have everything signed but sometime in the night the man was killed and the body burned beyond all recognition. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard thinks he has an open and shut case but after Holmes interviews McFarlane's mother, he thinks there is something else afoot.
Did You Know?
Most of the episode is set at Oldacre's home. One property was used extensively for filming: the interior, exterior, garden, driveway and road outside. It was Beech Mount, Bowdon Road, Altrincham, Greater Manchester. See more
When Holmes is explaining the murder of the old sailor he produces what he calls a Great White shark tooth as evidence. The tooth actually belongs to a Sperm whale. See more
Dr. John Watson
Thank you, George.
From the point of view of the criminal expert, London has become a singularly uninteresting city.
Dr. John Watson
Well, I hardly think you'll find many decent citizens to agree with you.
Well, well, well, one must not be selfish. The community's the gainer and no-one the loser, save the poor unfortunate specialist whose occupation has gone.
Version of The Norwood Builder