• This adaptation of the most famous fictional detective - Sherlock Holmes - succeeds in being the first authentic series that is accurately based upon the Holmes character, Watson's character and the stories themselves. However, it is well documented that this series wasn't without its problems behind the scenes. The leading actor from the 1964/65 series - Douglas Wilmer - recalled in a recent interview before his passing - that he took it upon himself to re-write all the dialogue. The reason for this, was because no one at the BBC had bothered to read the original stories whilst writing the scripts, according to the late actor. Angry with the writers of the series and perhaps with some justification, Douglas Wilmer believed here was a golden opportunity in making an authentic Sherlock Holmes television series. The BBC didn't react very well to what the actor did and so, he was labelled a "troublemaker." The atmosphere during the making of the series was rather fraught with tension. In spite of the above, I am delighted with the final results. The existing black and white episodes offer moments of TV joy. All of them work tremendously well. Even though the production values are on the modest side (typical bloody BBC), great lengths have been taken in recreating Victorian London. Upon discovering that rehearsal time was being reduced from once every 14 days to every 10 days, it proved to be the final straw. Douglas Wilmer announced his decision to leave the series. I found that to be a great shame as he easily ranks as being one of the definitive interpretations of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone is still my favourite). As was pointed out, the various characteristics of Holmes were presented for the first time and not always positive ones. I own the black and white series on DVD and it's a welcome release. When the series returned in 1968 and in colour, 16 further episodes were commissioned for production. Nigel Stock returned as Doctor Watson and was joined by Peter Cushing who assumed the role of the Baker Street sleuth. The latter made for a very effective Holmes - albeit a totally different one to that of his predecessor. The less pleasant aspects of Holmes were effectively toned down. Peter Cushing never was very keen on watching himself as Holmes, as he felt the lack of rehearsal time hampered his chance of creating a properly studied performance. He does do very well though. It is nothing short of a travesty that only 6 of the colour episodes exist. The chances of any others being recovered, are fairly remote. However, the 2 part version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" has been preserved and thank goodness! It is an excellent rendition and far superior to the Jeremy Brett version. Anyone who is a fan of Sherlock Holmes should aquire these BBC gems.