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The Red Circle 

A nervous landlady brings a mysterious boarder to Holmes' attention, leading to a secret society and the efforts of a young couple to escape their past.


Sarah Hellings


Arthur Conan Doyle (by) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Jeremy Paul (screenplay)




Episode complete credited cast:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Doctor Watson
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson
Betty Marsden Betty Marsden ... Mrs Warren
Kenneth Connor ... Mr Warren
John Hallam ... Gorgiano
James Coombes ... Gennaro Lucca
Sophia Diaz Sophia Diaz ... Emilia Lucca
Tom Chadbon ... Inspector Hawkins
Kerry Shale ... Leverton
Joseph Long ... Firmani
Louise Heaney Louise Heaney ... Vera


Sherlock Holmes is approached by Mrs. Hudson to assist a friend of hers. The lady also lets furnished rooms and is now worried about what one of her boarders may be up to. The man had come to her 10 days before and paid her an exorbitant amount to ensure complete privacy during his stay. His meals are left outside his door and no one enters the room. Now the landlady can't sleep at night wondering what the person is up to. Based on the available information, it's apparent to Holmes that the lodger is an Italian gentleman who had recently arrived from New York City. Knowing of recent crimes there, Holmes soon knows the man's identity and that he is running away from the head of a sinister group known as the Red Circle. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 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
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kerry Shale, who portrays Leverton, would go on to voice Sherlock Holmes in the video games The Testament of Sherlock Holmes (2012) and Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (2014). See more »


Gorgiano's name is pronounced throughout the episode with a soft G, as though it were "Giorgiano." "Gorgiano" should begin with a hard G. See more »


[first lines]
Gennaro Lucca: Emilia!
See more »


References A Study in Terror (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Holmes and the Mafioso
19 February 2014 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

Another nicely conceived entry. I sometimes wonder why the screenwriters feel that the plots of these stories aren't adequate. Still, this is pretty true to the original. A room has been rented by a mysterious person at three times the normal rent with the caveat that there is to be no intrusion of any kind. The resident or residents are acting in a very unsettling way. There have also been some significant events. A man has been accosted on the street and stabbed to death. The husband of the landlady of the boarding house is himself kidnapped and later thrown out of a carriage onto an out-of-the-way road. The landlady, a friend of Mrs. Hudson in this one, comes to Holmes so he can investigate. He assures her he will give it appropriate attention. She returns in a dither when her husband is attacked. Now the case becomes more interesting. Holmes seems to have a connection with a person working in a mafia-like underworld. He sends Watson to see this man which puts the man in grave danger. It is all sorted out but is a bit confusing. It has a sort of darkness hanging over it. Good acting, all in all. We get to see Holmes' involvement in the netherworld.

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