19. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983, TV)

IMDB score = 6.6/10

Holmes and Watson? = Ian Richardson and Donald Churchill

Synopsis = Sherlock Holmes comes to the aid of his friend Henry Baskerville, who is under a family curse and menaced by a demonic dog that prowls the bogs near his estate and murders people.

Defense by Paul Thomas Miller:

There are several things to commend this film. For starters, Ian Richardson is a convincing Holmes. Physically he resembles the Paget illustrations, his delivery is much as the Canon sounds in my head and his occasional impish grin is quite perfect.

Next, they kept much of the best Canon dialogue in the film. Too often the “They were the footprints of a gigantic hound” is ruined.” Not so in Denholm Elliott’s capable hands. They have messed with several elements of the story, but I feel all the best and important bits are there.

A further bonus is the novelty of the poor accents. It is usual in a Holmes film for an American to do such a poor English accent, it gives us all a thoroughly good chuckle. This film stirred up the norm, by casting an Englishman (Martin Shaw) as Canadian Henry Baskerville who did such an awful accent they had to redub him using an American actor. It's just a shame we can't listen to how awful it is.

But, by far, the big reason that this is a great Holmes film is: it has Brian Blessed in it. How could anyone want more? He plays Laura Lyons’ nasty husband (not a character who appeared in the book). He is given several fun scenes including one lifted from Speckled Band, in which he bends a poker and Holmes bends it back again.

Brian Blessed = Good Anything. That’s a scientific fact. Therefore, this is good Holmes.