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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes 

Adaptations of mystery stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's contemporary rivals in the genre.




2   1  
1973   1971  
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Series cast summary:
Peter Barkworth ...  Martin Hewitt 2 episodes, 1971
Peter Vaughan ...  Horace Dorrington 2 episodes, 1971
Douglas Wilmer ...  Prof. Van Dusen 2 episodes, 1973
Ronald Hines Ronald Hines ...  Jonathan Pryde 2 episodes, 1971
Cyd Hayman ...  Laura Stanley / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Derek Smith Derek Smith ...  Henry Jacobs / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Kenneth Colley ...  Farrish 2 episodes, 1971
Petronella Barker Petronella Barker ...  Miss Parrot 2 episodes, 1971
John Nettleton ...  Admiral Christador / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ...  Judge / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
James Cairncross James Cairncross ...  Briggs / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Paul Whitsun-Jones Paul Whitsun-Jones ...  Fat man / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Robert Hartley Robert Hartley ...  Doctor / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Edward Dentith ...  Sir Edward Markham / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Clifford Parrish Clifford Parrish ...  Dr. Ewing / ... 2 episodes, 1971
Michael Cashman ...  Asst. Purser Robbins / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
John Dawson John Dawson ...  Insp. Fullalove / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
John Gatrell ...  Jeweller / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Barry Ashton Barry Ashton ...  Buller's bank clerk / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Joe Dunlop Joe Dunlop ...  P.C. Oates / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Maurice Quick Maurice Quick ...  The Magistrate / ... 2 episodes, 1971-1973
Susanna East Susanna East ...  Girl 2 episodes, 1971-1973


This British TV series, shot almost entirely on videotape, dramatized short mystery fiction by authors who were contemporaries of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Many of these authors were virtually unknown to modern audiences, although all of the detectives portrayed had appeared in popular ongoing series of short stories or novels. "Rivals" featured the only dramatizations to date of such period characters as Jacques Futrelle's "The Thinking Machine" and W. H. Hodgson's "Carnacki The Ghost Finder". Production values were high, although the limitations of early '70's video technology are painfully obvious. The casts included the cream of British television's character actors, featuring a few faces that will be recognizable to American audiences. Written by Doug Ferrar <dferrar@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

20 September 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Los rivales de Sherlock Holmes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(26 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Thames Television released a set of 13 stories that aired on British television weekly from September to December 1971. It proved so popular that a second set of 13 stories was produced and aired a year later from January to April 1973. See more »

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User Reviews

These are really good - and now on DVD!
8 July 2009 | by enochsneedSee all my reviews

It is so easy to look back and say we had higher standards of television years ago but this series goes a long way to proving the point. When they were originally broadcast these programmes went out at 9.00 on Monday evening following a current affairs documentary "World In Action" - very often a controversial and downright bloody-minded look at national and international politics. In the same slots today we have a half-hour soap opera followed by a series about a PA in a supermarket chain, coping with her employer relocating its head office.

These programmes are literate and don't betray their literary origins. The scripts are full of period flavour, take their time to develop plot and character, and give the actors plenty to work with. And what actors: John Neville, Robert Stephens, Peter Barkworth and Peter Vaughan to name a few of the leads; character actors of the quality of Terence Rigby and George A. Cooper turn up in supporting roles.

The production values are very high, too, with richly decorated Victorian settings. The BBC has always set the benchmark for period drama in the UK but Thames gave them a run for their money here and were rewarded with a Best Design BAFTA in 1972.

If you enjoy period detective work but you are suffering from Holmes fatigue you could do far worse than invest in these for your DVD player - theowinthrop, please note!

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