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.



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




Episode complete credited cast:
... Sherlock Holmes
... Doctor Watson
... Mrs Hudson
Betty Marsden ... Mrs Warren
... Mr Warren
... Gorgiano
... Gennaro Lucca
Sophia Diaz ... Emilia Lucca
... Inspector Hawkins
... Leverton
... Firmani
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)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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!
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References A Study in Terror (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Very well done and atmospheric
3 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

I have made no secret of loving the Jeremy Brett adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, and The Red Circle is no exception. The beginning is perhaps a little stodgy, but it does pick up the pace quite quickly, so that is a minor discrepancy. As always the production values are terrific and the music is brilliant, particularly in the chilling sequence when the young lady is climbing the stairs towards the end. The script is sophisticated and arch, and the story is very intriguing and rarely loses momentum. The direction is great, and the acting is as always wonderful. Jeremy Brett looks tired but gives Holmes his all and does brilliantly and Edward Hardwicke is a dignified Watson. The supporting performances are fine too, the role of Gorgiano is quite brief but John Hallam brings some appropriate menace to the character, even hearing about the character makes us unnerved. I also found very haunting and chilling the scene with the villain talking through the door, with the music getting louder and everything it got rather tense admittedly. Overall, it is very well done and atmospheric. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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