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Greetings, and welcome to CLASSICS ON THE TUBE. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage TV series episodes from the early days of television through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery series. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find an index of episodes reviewed for each television series.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SHERLOCK HOLMES: The Sign Of Four

Starring Peter Cushing, Nigel Stock
Guest Stars:  Ann Bell, Paul Daneman, John Stratton, Ailsa Grahame, Howard Goorney
Directed by William Sterling
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

Holmes unravels the mystery behind a secret treasure that led to a man's untimely death, while Watson falls for the man's beautiful daughter.

Based on the second Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the teleplay does an impressive job of condensing the large story down to an hour-long episode, but as was the case in the series' adaptation of A Study In Scarlet, much of the backstory of the characters central to the mystery is lost, which leaves us little time to get to know them.  The episode also curiously drops Watson's proposal of marriage from the adventure, leaving his fascination with Bell's character largely unfulfilled.  What remains is still worthwhile viewing, but the camerawork is not as inspired as in previous episodes, and the mystery not as enticing.

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