Ronald Howard is Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes” – Episodes 34-39 – reviewed by George

#34. The Case of the Royal Murder
Holmes (Ronald Howard) has solved an extraordinary case involving the theft of state secrets from a foreign embassy in London. Holmes effectively saved the throne for the Balkan monarch King Conrad (Jacques Dacqmine), who graciously invited Holmes and Watson (H. Marion Crawford) to join a royal hunting party at his mountain lodge in his Balkan kingdom (unnamed). In addition to Holmes and Watson, King Conrad’s guest list includes Princess Antonia (Lise Bourdin), Prince Stephan (Maurice Teynac), the son of King Johann of the neighboring kingdom, and Count Magor (Jacques Francois).
After performing, a gypsy dancer is asked to read the king’s palm, but he suggests reading Prince Stephan’s instead. The girl takes one look and flees the room.
A small cast, a confined area, and some political motivations make for an entertaining and surprising episode.
Directed by Steve Previn, Original ScreenPlay by Charles and Joseph Early.

# 35. The Case of the Haunted Gainsborough
Malcolm MacGregan (another chance for Archie Duncan to drop his Inspector Lestrade persona and use a heavy Scot accent, and in this case a wig and beard that make MacGregan younger than Lestrade) comes to Holmes for help. To save his castle in Glasgow he must make a mortgage payment by midnight tomorrow. The only way he can manage this feat is to sell a Gainsborough portrait of a female ancestor, Heather MacGregan, and he has been trying to sell the portrait for months. Each time the ghost of Heather appears and scares off the prospective buyer. So MacGregan wants Holmes present tomorrow night when the new buyer shows up (along with the holder of the mortgage) for the transfer of the portrait and the deed. The holder of the mortgage is a weaselly man, Archibald Ross (Zach Matalon), who was there when Malcolm needed money some years ago.
So, cut to the next evening with Holmes and Watson being piped in by MacGregan’s servant and bagpiper MacLeish (John Buckmaster). It may be early, but after MacLeish leaves, the ghost of Heather (Cleo Rose) appears and taunts our heroes. They give chase but she keeps disappearing, even from a stone battlement.
Then, closer to midnight, people begin to show up: MacGregan with the buyer Sam Scott (Roger E. Garris of the writing staff); Ross, eager for the deed (and angry that MacLeish refuses to pipe him in); and, of course, Heather.
Directed by Steve Previn, Original ScreenPlay by Charles and Joseph Early.

# 36. The Case of the Neurotic Detective
Not one of the better episodes. National treasures and state secrets are being stolen, and Watson discovers, completely by accident, that Holmes is the master criminal.
In the cast: Martine Alexis returns as Nana de Melimar, Sacha Pitoeff plays Gustav, and O’Brady plays Bayard. Familiar faces all.
Directed by Steve Previn, Original ScreenPlay by Roger E. Garris.

# 37. The Case of the Unlucky Gambler
A young boy, Andy Fenwick (Richard O’Sullivan), hires Holmes to find his father – missing for three weeks. Holmes recognizes gambling terms in the boy’s conversation and goes to Lestrade (Archie Duncan) and Wilkins (Kenneth Richards) for information. He then learns how deep the father is in to criminal activities in order to pay for his wife’s medical treatments.
Holmes works for a happy ending, but how to pull that off when the lad’s father is actually guilty?
Directed by Steve Previn, Original ScreenPlay by Joe Morhaim.

# 38. The Case of the Diamond Tooth
A body has been found floating in the Thames – a murder for Lestrade to solve, a suicide, or an accident? For Holmes the case started several days before the body was found, when Watson presented him with a yellow diamond he had found on the quay, cut in the shape of a left eyetooth. Holmes theorized that it might have come from a Brazilian, since most Brazilian diamonds are yellow, and many Brazilians in the diamond trade like to sport a diamond in this way – as a tooth. The upshot is that Watson will place an ad in the Times.
Since Watson gave their address in the ad, breakfast is interrupted the day after the ad appears by Mr. ‘arry ‘arkins, who claims to be an accountant, but shows a gap in his dental structure where a right eyetooth should be. Lestrade arrives to talk about the body found that morning (his purpose is to ask Watson to do the post mortem, since no one at the Yard is free), and Harkins snakes off with the diamond, but of course Holmes has provided a fake. Lestrade and Watson give chase, but lose him. However, Holmes has almost finished solving the case.
No cast or offscreen credits are available, since the credits included with this episode are those for “The Case of the Deadly Prophecy”

# 39. The Case of the Tyrant’s Daughter
In the final episode of the series an elderly lady comes to Baker Street “clear up from Chelsea”. She is Mrs. Mary Dugan (June Petersen). She works in a home where she says the problem is murder. An old man, Mr. Harringway (the tyrannical father), was found dead, filled with something with a great long name, and now the police have arrested young Mr. Vernon for the crime. Mr. Vernon is a traveling man due to marry Miss Janet, the victim’s daughter. Mrs. Dugan is suffering from feelings of guilt because her testimony alone sent Mr. Vernon to jail. Watson says, “Well, did you tell the truth?”, and Mrs. Dugan says she did. Holmes asks her please to start her story from the beginning.
Last Friday at 5 p.m. a knock was answered by Dugan and it was Mr. Vernon (Zach Matalon) saying that Mr. Harringway (Basil Dignam) had asked to see him – “Is he in his usual ugly mood?” Mrs. Dugan started to show him in, but he went back to his overcoat for a small bottle. During the encounter Dugan overheard Mr. Harringway try to buy Mr. Vernon off, to keep him from marrying Miss Janet. Mr. Vernon was insulted and furious, and Mr. Harringway had an attack. His medicine was in the outer room and Dugan tended to Mr. Harringway while asking Mr. Vernon to get the medicine. He came back with it, and gave it to the old man, who promptly died. Lestrade was assigned to the case and arrested the obvious party.
Now Holmes and Watson go to Lestrade and arrange an interview with the three of them questioning Vernon. Vernon is still furious and quickly insults Lestrade’s intelligence, and then without even knowing (or caring) who he is, Vernon says he will answer no questions from “that man” (Holmes). They leave with Holmes greatly amused and convinced of Vernon’s innocence. They next go to the mortuary where Holmes finds a small amount of dirt under the fingernails of only one of Harringway’s hands.
A well-crafted case with some excellent dialogue – a special close for the series.
Directed by Steve Previn, Original Screenplay by Roger E. Garris.

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