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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes

The classic BBC TV series, starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock

Regarded by many to be the best incarnation of the Baker Street sleuth, Douglas Wilmer gives a career-defining performance in this celebrated 1965 BBC series. Coming to DVD for the first time, it will be released by the BFI on 30 March 2015 in a 4-DVD set. This long-awaited release also has an array of fascinating special features, including two reconstructions of lost episodes, five audio commentaries and an interview with Douglas Wilmer.

Intelligent, quick on his heels, and bearing a striking resemblance to the original Sidney Paget illustrations, Douglas Wilmer’s portrayal is possibly the closest to Conan Doyle’s original vision that there has ever been. In 2012, his status as legend within the Sherlock pantheon was cemented when he was asked to make a cameo appearance in Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch.

The first story, The Speckled Band, was originally produced as part of the BBC drama strand Detective, but an entire series based on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle soon followed. Holmes’ loyal companion, Dr John Watson, is brilliantly played by the great Nigel Stock, while the supporting cast includes Clochemerle star Peter Madden as Inspector Lestrade, TV veteran Derek Francis as Mycroft Holmes, and guest starts such as Peter Wyngarde (Department S, The Innocents) and Patrick Troughton (Doctor Who).

Special features:

UK premier release of a classic BBC TV series
Original 1964 Detective pilot episode The Speckled Band
All surviving episodes from the 1965 series
Alternative Spanish audio presentation of The Speckled Band
Alternative title sequence for The Illustrious Client
The Abbey Grange episode reconstruction, featuring a newly-filmed sequence of Douglas Wilmer reading the first half of the story, followed by all surviving original footage
The Bruce-Partington Plans episode reconstruction, using all surviving original footage and original shooting scripts
Douglas Wilmer … on Television (2012, Simon Harries, 22 mins): the iconic actor discusses his career in British film and television
Five audio commentaries, including contributions from Douglas Wilmer, co-stars David Andrews and Trevor Martin, and celebrated directors Peter Cregeen and Peter Sasdy, all moderated by actor-comedian Toby Hadoke
Illustrated booklet with new essays and full episode guides

Product details

RRP: £39.99 / Cat. no. BFIV2040 / Cert 12 / 650 mins approx

UK / 1964-65 / black and white / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / Original broadcast ratio 1.33:1 / 4 x DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio (192kbps)

BFI DVDs are available from all good DVD retailers or by mail order from the BFI Shop Tel: 020 7815 1350 or online at