This is a very enjoyable version of the Sherlock Holmes story, it sticks pretty much to the original story, the variations are nicely done and add to the drama. Sherlock Holmes, portrayed with great skill and humanity by Ian Richardson, finds himself involved in a murderous plot centering around a stolen hoard of jewels and revenge. The plot is nicely paced and the reveals are well done. The deductive set pieces by Holmes are very nicely done, they include one of the most famous in the series, when Holmes makes some observations about an owner of a pocket watch and unwittingly upsets Watson.
Ian Richardson is excellent as Holmes, he captures the excitement that energises Holmes when there is a problem to be solved as well as his uneasiness with non-professional human relationships. His interactions with the police force, who are portrayed as settling for the easiest solution are explored with a nice light touch. Cheri Lunghi, playing Mary Morstan, has a tricky role to pull off, she is a damsel in distress and is largely required to be ornamental, she manages to infuse the role with warmth and depth. As with any Holmes adaptation the most difficult role to carry of is that of John Watson, he is all too frequently reduced to an idiot foil to Holmes, existing to reflect Holmes brilliance. David Healy provides a splendid Watson, his friendship with Holmes is evident as is his interest in their client and future wife, Mary Morstan. His performance makes it easy to see how the friendship between himself and Holmes could exist and flourish. All told, this is a very pleasant treat for any Holmes fan and equally good fun for anyone.