The Illustrious Client is one of the most shocking Holmes stories and I remember when I first read it the feeling of horror as Watson describes what has occurred. I doubted that television could provide the same sensation. However, Granada have produced a wonderful version of this story, with Anthony Valentine giving an excellent, understated performance as the villain, Baron Gruner. Edward Hardwicke is brilliant as Watson, having to deal with the threat to Holmes's life (without giving too much away) and his friend's insistence that he become an expert in Chinese pottery in 24 hours (don't ask!). This is a beautifully shot, atmospheric piece and the use of Don Giovanni as a background score was particularly inspired, especially at the end. Perfect for dreary winter evenings.
This adaptation of the Creeping Man has been criticised in some quarters, but I think it is an improvement on the original story, with Holmes being given more detective work to do than in the story. It is also particularly enjoyable as Watson is in a bad mood with Holmes for most of it (having been summoned in so peremptory a fashion at the beginning, it's hardly surprising) which Holmes puts down to Watson's war wound. Watson thinks there is nothing for Holmes to investigate, but Holmes has other ideas. As usual, all the performances are excellent, but the star players are Brett and Hardwicke.