The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)

Season 1 Episode 1

A Scandal in Bohemia

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Apr 24, 1984 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A Scandal in Bohemia

A masked man calls, on confidential business, and Holmes quickly recognizes the visitor as the King of Bohemia. The King is planning for himself a dynastic marriage and is worried about a compromising photograph in the possession of his American former mistress. He wants Holmes to get it back for him.

In outwitting the lady, Irene Adler, Holmes goes to great lengths - and at the end of the affair Watson comes to the conclusion that his friend is himself smitten.


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  • Nice intro to the series - but less-than-great episode....

    This Jeremy Brett-starred "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" series is excellent and the first episode of the first season, "A Scandal in Bohemia," is well done and entertaining. However, there are a couple of flaws that keep it from being one of my favorite episodes or one that I would call a great episode.

    "A Scandal in Bohemia" sets things up wonderfully for the series. Director Paul Annett introduces the world of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes with a very atmospheric picture and rhythm that immediately draws the audience into the characters and the story. Annett and company do a good job bringing Doyle's Holmes world to the screen visually and atmospherically but fail structurally in telling this specific classic tale. Some story points seem quite flawed and this aspect of the episode drags it down in quality - especially when compared to other episodes of the series. I certainly do not wish to give anything away in my little write-up - but, in short, certain moments in this adaptation of "A Scandal in Bohemia" feel very far-fetched in a way that they did not in Doyle's original story.

    However, in addition to setting up the TV Holmes world nicely, "A Scandal in Bohemia" also introduces Jeremy Brett's Holmes and David Burke's Watson extremely well. Both Brett and Burke are two of the closest screen interpretations of Doyle's original characters - both are cited as the best and most loyal characterizations of the literary characters; I don't go that far (Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law do a great job as well) but both Brett and Burke are extraordinary good as Holmes and Watson, respectively.

    What is excellent about Burke's Watson is that he was one of the first to really portray Watson as Doyle wrote him: a strong, loyal and especially COMPETANT friend and assisstent. Too many times the character has been portrayed as Holmes' moronic sidekick; too dumb to put his pants on in the morning let alone help Holmes with a case. Burke portrays a strong, capable Watson with honor and subtlety in "A Scandal in Bohemia" and beyond.

    Jeremy Brett is also excellent in "A Scandal in Bohemia" as well as the series as a whole. Brett brings everything imaginable to Holmes that has ever lacked in any previous portrayal: brilliance, humor, intensity, excentricity, class, imagination, disguises, drug use - everything. Brett is simply one of the best screen actors ever to portray the iconic detective - anytime there is a less-than-great or even weak episode in "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," it is worth watching simply for Brett's incredible performances.moreless
Gayle Hunnicutt

Gayle Hunnicutt

Irene Adler

Guest Star

Wolf Kahler

Wolf Kahler

King of Bohemia

Guest Star

Michael Carter

Michael Carter

Godfrey Norton

Guest Star

Rosalie Williams

Rosalie Williams

Mrs Hudson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions