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The Dying Detective 

A man dies of a mysterious tropical disease on which his cousin, his heir, is the sole authority.


Sarah Hellings


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




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Doctor Watson
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson
Jonathan Hyde ... Culverton Smith
Susannah Harker ... Adelaide Savage
Hugh Bonneville ... Victor Savage (as Richard Bonneville)
Roy Hudd ... John Gedgrave (aka Frank Carter)
T.R. Bowen T.R. Bowen ... Charles Damant (as Trevor Bowen)
John Labanowski John Labanowski ... Inspector Morton
Rowland Davies Rowland Davies ... Colonel Carnac
Caroline John ... Mrs Carnac
Shaughan Seymour Shaughan Seymour ... Penrose Fisher
Keiran Flynn Keiran Flynn ... Benson
Malcolm Hebden ... Staples
Mary Tenpow Mary Tenpow ... Chinese Lady (as Mary Ten Pow)


Sherlock Holmes is approached by Mrs. Adelaide Savage who is concerned about her husband, Victor. He is a successful and rich financier by profession but is a poet at heart. He has taken to using opium regularly and has been acting strangely, she believes, as a result. Holmes accepts to look into the case and soon spends a weekend at their country estate. There he finds that Culverton Smith, Savage's cousin, is also in residence. A bookish man, whose only accomplishment is to be known as the principal authority on a very rare tropical poison, Smith's behavior is odd from the outset. Savage is clearly a sick man and when he dies, Holmes surprises Watson - who is certain Smith responsible - by seeming somewhat nonchalant about it all. When Holmes himself becomes deathly ill, apparently with the same affliction that struck Savage, he summons him to Baker Street to close the case. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 March 1994 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Benson: Mister Savage, sir. I didn't know, sir. Sir, I didn't know.
Victor Savage: It's all right, Benson. Last minute decision.
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Version of The Dying Detective (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

Remembering Jeremy Brett
17 February 2014 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

The title of this episode has to grab at your heart. Brett carried on even though he was carrying a death sentence. This is a really neat episode as Holmes gets Watson to bring to him the foremost authority on a rare disease he has contracted. Watson has the unenviable task of talking a man who hates Holmes into helping his detective friend. Holmes sleeps in an anteroom and refuses to let Mrs. Hudson or Watson give him any assistance. We know that Holmes isn't going to die, so what is he up to? The real joy has to do with the final confrontation that occurs. Brett really looks sick. It continues to show the affection that Holmes" biographer has toward his eccentric compadre. This is a later episode and it does justice to the Granada series.

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