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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle -AKA Murder rooms, 24 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
If you are looking at the original cover than I must tell you that, the female picture on the front is not Mr. Doyle. This is not a "Glen or Glenda" (1953) movie. Unless you are extraordinarily perceptive or well read, you need to read the rest of the title "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes" (2000). The story almost plays and the unsaturated biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with a few embellishments.

I will not go through the details, as they are fun to watch as the story unfolds. Needles to say we get to see how the different characters meet as a mystery unfolds. Moreover, of course there are plenty of suspects before it is always the last person you suspect. The story takes place in 1878, when medical student Mr. Doyle (Charles Dance) meets brilliant but quirky teacher Dr. Bell. Dr. Bell (Charles Dance) has a side project and recruits Mr. Doyle as his clerk. This is the main thread of the story as the mystery unfolds other threads and suspicious characters turn up. This mystery takes a backseat or parallels the fact that at this time and date "Women" are allowed but not approved as medical students. One particular woman struggling student from South Africa Elspeth Scott (Dolly Wells) strikes Mr. Doyle's fancy and becomes a woman in distress.

This film is packed with fine lesser-known actors. In fact, Dolly Wells lead me to this film as I was looking at information on Midsomer Murders: Death in Disguise (1999 TV episode) when it mentioned this movie.

At first, I thought it was a bit bloody and gory. However, there is nothing to outbalance the telling of the story. The only drawback is the heavy-handed background musing that tries to lead you mood wise as if you cannot think for yourself. The film would have been better off without it.

Be sure to read the cast profiles on the DVD as it contributes to the experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT, 19 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Viewed as a prequel to the series Murders Rooms,or as a stand alone film,this is excellent drama.Mr Doyle and Doctor Bell meet at medical school and Doyle is soon involved with Bell in a testing murder mystery,with tragic consequences for Doyle.Very compelling viewing ,not to be missed.
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