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Jeremy Brett & Basil Rathbone
The Beginnings.
Few can deny that Jeremy Brett's performance as Sherlock Holmes in the Granada Television series was uniquely accurate and exceptional in all respects. Brett's companion was first played by David Burke; also a fine and accomplished Watson.

Hardwicke & Burke
Sadly Burke left the series but was replaced by and equally capable actor: Edward Hardwicke. The Granada series with Jeremy Brett weaned many fans away from their attachment to Basil Rathbone. Brett's features, like Cushing's, were suitably hairlike: an obvious improvement on Douglas Wilmer's more oval face.

edward hardwick
Edward Hardwicke

david burke
David Burke

Granada TV Series Locations
When location filming for the series took him to Carn Galver on the West Penwith moors, he was so struck by that eerie, romantic landscape, its desolation relieved by the huge crags of the Great Galver, the minestacks of Ding Dong West and Greenbarrow, the broken toothed stone circle of the Nine Maidens, and the sea to north and south, that he decided on the spot that one day he would have a house in the district. Unhappily, he did not live to realize the ambition. The excellent use of locations in the series was a mark of the distance television had come from cardboard studio scenery with the microphone boom Casting its occasional shadow.

Sets & Direction
Direction was by professionals who had progressed well beyond the old sneer of elm-makers that television didn't know how to pick out a character from a crowd without using close-up. Sets and costumes were created with a serious eye to the period and the illustrations in The Strand. His playing suggested real intelligence, as Rathbone's and Cushing's had. But to it he added the melancholy sensitivity that made Doyle's character so memorable. Jeremy Brett was genuinely sensitive to his surroundings. This Holmes wore top hats and soft hats and elegant frock coats, not just the familiar deerstalker and ulster. And Watson retreated back from a comic mainstay to being the simple and straightforward companion in adventure. It was possible for the role to be recast in mid-series, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke respectively taking the part.

Basil Fans.
Had Basil Rathbone lost Nigel Bruce the fans would have been appalled and half the audience could have been lost. The Granada series was truly the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, admirably true to the originals, which held attention. However Basil Rathbone will always remain as one of the most recognisable.

Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce
Possibly the two most popular Sherlock Holmes characters - even today.
These two fine actors produced 26 Sherlock Holmes films from different studios from 1939 to 1946. Most of the films have been remastered and are now available as a boxed-set on dvd set on Amazon and other outlets.

basil rathbone
Basil Rathbone

nigel bruce
Nigel Bruce

One more actor was to become noted as a great Sherlock Holmes. Christopher Plummer took the part in a television version of Silver Blaze in 1977. This succeeded so well that he was Cast in the role again, two years later, in the film Murder by Decree. But this went as far beyond Doyle as Universal had done in pitting Rathbone against the Spider Woman and the Creeper. It was one of the most successful thefts of Sherlock Holmes.

More Holmes on Amazon: