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The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax 

A headstrong but titled suffragette slips into the power of a murderous con artist.


John Madden


Arthur Conan Doyle (by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), T.R. Bowen (dramatised by) (as T. R. Bowen)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Dr. Watson
Cheryl Campbell ... Lady Frances Carfax
Julian Curry Julian Curry ... Albert Shlessinger
Mary Cunningham Mary Cunningham ... Miss Calder
Jack Klaff ... The Hon. Philip Green
Nicholas Fry Nicholas Fry ... Hotel Manager
Michael Jayston ... The Earl of Rufton
Anthony Benson Anthony Benson ... Vicar
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson
Anthony Schaeffer Anthony Schaeffer ... Bank Official
Margo Stanley Margo Stanley ... Woman in Undertakers


While on holiday, Dr. Watson makes the acquaintance of Lady Francis Carfax, a single and independent-minded woman, who is staying in the same hotel. She has been frightened in the extreme however with the appearance of a bearded man whom she obviously knows. Watson has been recounting this tale to Holmes by letter who immediately realizes the lady is in grave danger. By the time he joins Watson at the hotel however, Lady Carfax has vanished. Prior to her disappearance the bearded had reappeared at the hotel and she had argued with her brother about her financial situation. As Holmes learns about her finances, he realizes there is a very good reason why someone might wish to take advantage of her. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 February 1991 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the few episodes with genuine narration. See more »


The corpse breaths and swallows. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Watson: [narration: Holmes is reading a letter from Watson] My dear Holmes, today I walked fourteen miles across rough terrain, and hardly a twinge from either my leg or my shoulder. The landscape is as handsome as it is reported. I still entertain the hope that I can prevail upon you to join me. I appreciate, of course, that the beauties of nature mean little to you, but I believe you would have found some of the guests at my hotel most intriguing.
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Crazy Credits

Credits run during a hold on Lady Frances and Green, instead of showing Paget illustrations from the story. See more »

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User Reviews

Another solid adaptation
24 June 2011 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When it comes to The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, the best adaptation and episode of this series is still for me The Master Black Mailer. The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax though is still very good and solid with only one or two scenes being a little stodgily paced being its only flaw. The ending is different, but also quite refreshing I feel. The deviations didn't bother me, the storytelling was solid and compelling enough on its own terms. As always, the production values are as wonderfully meticulous as always with lovely location shooting in the Lake District, the music is still hauntingly beautiful, the script is thoughtful and John Madden's direction is skillful. Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke are superb, while Cheryl Campbell and Julian Curry also impress. In conclusion, a solid adaptation and very good episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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