The Mazarin Stone (TV episode 1994)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
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The Mazarin Stone

The Mazarin Stone (episode No. 40) is the 5th episode of season 6 of the Granada series: Sherlock Holmes (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes), starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson, aired on ITV on 4 april 1994. 51 min.

The episode is a mix between two Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories : The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone (1921) and The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (1925).

Should we, when watching "The Mazarin Stone", admire the efforts of a team forced to overcome the insurmountable or yield to the irritation caused by frustrated expectations? Gary Hopkins has, in fact, by combining two short stories, The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone and The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, built a rich but complex scenario, which the rapid alternation of the sequences devoted to each of the two intrigues makes it difficult to follow. Hopkins knew how to make diamonds a political issue justifying Mycroft Holmes's commitment and transform Count Sylvius, the cheap villain in the original story, into an opponent worthy of the Holmes brothers. But the coupling of the two stories has sometimes led him to less happy changes: the fake Garrideb no longer searches for the secret workshop of a counterfeiter but that of a lapidary and the reasons for his determination are unclear. What particular virtues does the cleaving blade have, for example, that he wants to get back? But above all, Jeremy Brett's unavailability, too sick to play, forced the scriptwriter to replace Sherlock with his brother Mycroft Holmes in a hurry and made it impossible to film, if we had wanted to, the scene of The Three Garridebs where Sherlock Holmes's affection for Watson exploded. But replacing this magnificent moment by a sequence in which Watson, threatened to be cut like a sheep by the impostor, is saved by the comic intervention of two old girls, inflicts on the spectator a disappointment that Charles Gray's excellent performance throughout the episode is not enough to compensate. Crowning with his miraculous appearance a more fantastic than realistic outcome, Sherlock congratulated Mycroft, then turned away and sank into the mist. Beautiful and moving final images, but without logical explanation. This adaptation cannot be unanimously accepted, although it is not without its attractions. But how can a Sherlock Holmes episode be fully successful without Sherlock Holmes?




Plot summary (spoiler)

Obsessed with the ghosts of the past, Sherlock Holmes went to seek peace of mind in the loneliness of the Highlands. But soon after his departure, the Mazarin stone, which England had promised to return to France, disappeared from the Whitehall Museum. Sherlock Holmes unavailable, his brother Mycroft will be in charge of the investigation. Convinced that Count Sylvius is guilty, Mycroft thinks he necessarily has an accomplice capable of dividing the diamond. For his part, Watson received a visit from the Garrideb sisters. An American visitor, claiming to be John Garrideb, told their brother Nathan that his compatriot Alexander Garrideb, an extremely eccentric wealthy man, left him $5 million on condition that he found two other Garridebs with whom to share them. Meanwhile, Mycroft learned from diamond dealer Isaac Sanders that the Count was looking for a craftsman capable of urgently cleaving the Mazarin stone. Soon, John Garrideb triumphantly presented Nathan with a commercial advertisement allegedly written by a certain Howard Garrideb, and urged him to go to Birmingham to meet this third Garrideb, thanks to whom they would be able to get their money. But Mycroft, having discovered that the so-called John Garrideb was actually Winter, murderer of his colleague the brilliant diamond cutter Presbury, decided to trap him. Nathan left for Birmingham, Mycroft and Watson hid in his room once rented in Presbury. Soon Winter comes along and lifts a secret trapdoor hiding a diamond shop. Having grabbed the coveted tool, Winter saw Watson and hurt him. Having taken him hostage, he ran away when the Garrideb sisters knocked him out by closing the hatch on him. Learning from Mycroft that his partner Sylvius was going to leave without him for Amsterdam and have the stone split by Van Seddar, Winter, in revenge, revealed the location of the departing ship to him. Sylvius was arrested and the Mazarin stone returned to France.

  • Credits : Monique Claisse (texts), Sarah Fava (photos), Granada.