Starring Peter Cushing, Nigel Stock
Guest Stars: Joe Melia, George A. Cooper, William Lucas, Edina Ronay, Larry Cross
Directed by Henri Safran
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)
Holmes and Watson are recruited by Scotland Yard to help them solve a baffling case, where a man is found dead with no marks on him, but a bloody message is written on the wall.
An adaptation of the very first Sherlock Holmes tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and it offers an engaging mystery, a sparkling teleplay, and fine performances. However, it is not a faithful adaptation of the novel, omitting the introduction of Holmes and Watson, and condensing the story to completely ignore the flashback that tells the tale of Jefferson Hope and his ill-fated love affair. Given the episode's hour long running time and being presented as a later installment in the series, that approach makes sense, and it avoids controversy by not recapturing Doyle's less than rosy portrayal of the early days of the Mormon religion. What remains though is a fine television drama, with many fine scenes for Cushing, notably one in which he fills the room with voluminous smoke from his pipe as he welcomes a visitor to his lodgings.