Arthur Conan Doyle based the character of Sherlock Holmes, as he freely admitted, on his Edinburgh teacher Dr. Joseph Bell. This series imagines Bell and his student Doyle solving crimes in the Scotland of the 1880s.
It's a familiar basic concept - it seems axiomatic that all movies and TV shows featuring writers presuppose that they have no imagination and that their fictions always derive from real life. The set-up of a writer of detective stories having to solve actual crimes has been used a thousand times at the very least - Ellery Queen, radio's Paul Temple, Jessica Fletcher in "Murder, She Wrote", Frederic Forrest as Dashiell Hammett in "Hammett" (of course, DH actually was a Pinkerton agent). Here, the youthful Arthur Conan Doyle teams up with his Edinburgh medical mentor Dr. Joseph Bell to solve murders which baffle the police. What the series lacked in originality of concept it more than made up for with stylish plotting (some of it very Sherlockian!) and terrific performances; writer David Pirie and star Ian Richardson (as Bell) were particularly valuable contributors to its brief run.
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