The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)

Season 2 Episode 5

The Red Headed League

1
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Sep 22, 1985 on ITV
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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The Red Headed League
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A notice in a newspaper seeks red-headed men, inviting them to join a league which will pay them well - and Jabez Wilson, a pawnbroker who responds, finds he is hired and paid generously for spending four hours a day copying an encyclopedia in long hand. When the league is suddenly dissolved, Holmes is asked to find out what has been going on, and he quickly suspects crime. Indeed, behind this curious arrangement lurks Holmes's arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great stuff....

    10
    "The Red-Headed League" is a superb episode of the Jeremy Brett-starred "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." Besides the inclusion of the beginnings of a Prof. Moriarty arc, "The Red-Headed League" is very faithful to Arthur Conan Doyle's original short story - which is good, because it's a terrific little story. What "The Red-Headed League" has over perhaps other Holmes stories is a brand of humor, suspense and a certain perculiarity that makes it such a compelling story and director John Bruce makes good on the story with an exceptional visual style. Naturally, Jeremy Brett and David Burke are flawless in their portrayals of Holmes and Waston, respectively; making "The Red-Headed League" more than just a great story.moreless
  • It just doesn't get any better. Classic story, perfection in television suspense.

    10
    This episode was so suspenseful that I forgot that I know the story almost word for word. I can only imagine what a newcomer to Sherlock Holmes must have thought. The plot is superb, the client (Mr. Jabez Wilson) is suitably confounded, and Holmes injects exactly the right portions of whimsy, coyness, and severity. At the end of Mr. Wilson's narrative, Holmes laughs hysterically, angering the man. The classic interchange after the client has left Baker St. is preserved.

    Watson: 'What are you going to do?'

    Holmes: 'Smoke. It is quite a three-pipe problem. Please do not disturb me for fifty minutes.'

    The impending conclusion is laid out perfectly, and Inspector Jones demonstrates bewilderment and faith in our hero. The clues are presented to us just as they were in the written work, yet we are in the dark with Watson right until the climax. Eric Porter is brilliant as the demonic Moriarty, introduced in this episode to give the viewer insight into Holmes' longtime adversary, and lay the groundwork for the next episode, 'The Final Problem', where they finally confront each other.moreless
John Woodnutt

John Woodnutt

Mr. Merryweather

Guest Star

Roger Hammond

Roger Hammond

Jabez Wilson

Guest Star

Tim McInnerny

Tim McInnerny

John Clay

Guest Star

Eric Porter

Eric Porter

Professor Moriarty

Recurring Role

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