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Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real hotchpotch, but lots to enjoy, 19 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Sherlock Holmes - The BBC Collection Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
This boxset throws together all the Sherlock Holmes releases currently available from the BBC in the UK, and adds on an additional DVD release only available with this set, all the others being available separately.

Half the set is taken up with the surviving episodes of Peter Cushing's superb 1960s series. One of the BBC's many "lost classics", most episodes of this series no longer exist in the archive, despite being a clearly costly production and one of the BBC's first in colour. No matter, what's left is a delightful reminder of classic BBC drama, with that distinctive studio video/location film look. Some of the stories seem a little rushed and it's very much of its time, but to fans of this sort of thing it's wonderful. Five stories here - a two-part "Hound of the Baskervilles", "The Sign of the Four", "Boscombe Valley Mystery", "Blue Carbuncle", "Study in Scarlet".

The remainder jarrs a little awkwardly, all being more modern productions from 2002-2005.

The 2002 Richard Roxburgh version of "Hound of the Baskervilles" is included, repeating the same story from the Cushing years. This version has been widely condemmed, but I enjoyed it very much as a cracking piece of Christmas TV. It's suitably gothic, with superb location work done in the north of England and Isle of Man (no Dartmoor). Roxburgh's Holmes is the antithesis of definitive, but if enjoyed for what it is it's good TV.

This film's followup was 2004's "The Case of the Silk Stocking", an original screenplay rather than a Conan Doyle adaptation. This has a very different feel, being much more like a modern forensic police drama, with the addition of Sherlock Holmes and a period setting. The inclusion of the present Det. Insp. Barnaby from Midsomer playing Lestrade only adds to this feeling. In many ways a better film than the 2002 "Hound", all the same I enjoyed "Hound" more.

The final film is the rather obscure "Stange Case of Arthurn Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes", a dramatisation of the period in Doyle's life when he chose to kill off Holmes before eventually having him return. It's a clever idea for a film and well made, but I'm not sure it's quite enough to really hold the interest. This is the only DVD not available on its own, and probably not enough to justify buying the set if you already have everything else.

This all in all is a very enjoyable set. It's a real mixture, and does have a feel of being thrown together, with the widely disparate films and two version of the same story. It's a shame other things weren't included such as Tom Baker's 1982 version of "Hound of the Baskervilles", or Douglas Wilmer's superb series of Holmes adaptations (these immediately preceeded Cushing's and can be bought on an American region 1 DVD). But for all these flaws it's an enjoyable set, and good fun.
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