Wisteria Lodge (TV episode 1988)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
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Wisteria Lodge

Wisteria Lodge (episode No. 24) is the 3rd episode of season 4 of the Granada series: Sherlock Holmes (The Return of Sherlock Holmes), starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson, aired on ITV on 20 april 1988. 52 min.

The episode is an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's short story : The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge (1908).

Wisteria Lodge, which reflects Arthur Conan Doyle's revolt about the Congo scandal and British indifference to crimes committed in distant lands, is not, according to producer Michael Cox, one of his best-built stories. The adaptation poses some problems, the main one being that it is not understood that Garcia had invited Scott Eccles to serve as his alibi. The reasoning that led Holmes to this conclusion has disappeared and we no longer see Garcia moving the clocks forward to convince his host that they were together at the time of the crime he is planning. However, the episode has the merit of replacing the long and numerous static scenes in which Holmes exposes his deductions to Watson, with a succession of diversified sequences. In the original, Holmes was not only equalled but overtaken by Baynes, who even revealed Henderson's true identity. Here Holmes has been able to find out and Brett's discreet smiles suggest that the detective knows more than he says and leaves the spotlight on Baynes voluntarily. Unlike the inspector, Holmes imagines in advance the scene of the train, where the avengers will remove the San Pedro tiger and its sidekick. And it's not a servant but Holmes and Watson who save Miss Burnet during a beautiful action scene. Basil Hoskins embodies a formidable Murillo, whose chest, clad in bright decorations, or face with a monstrously distorted reflection, Peter Hammond shows in striking images. Freddie Jones is a Baynes of monumental and belligerent vanity who, overloaded with strong intentions every word he articulates, sadistically enjoys frightening Scott Eccles and that the evocation of Garcia's wildly crushed skull does not prevent him from eating candy. Freddie Jones caught the attention, but made his character so unpleasant that Holmes, although generally inferior to himself in this adventure, grew out of the comparison.




Plot summary (spoiler)

Furious and distraught, a client, Scott Eccles, burst into Baker Street. Invited to Wisteria Lodge by Garcia, he was received without consideration and totally forgotten after the arrival of a mysterious letter. The next morning, when he woke up, the house was empty! Holmes and Watson visit Wisteria Lodge when Inspector Baynes arrives, who found the enigmatic letter received the day before by Garcia, brutally murdered in the night. The inspector, who wanted to investigate alone, asked Watson to rent two bicycles, left for London without explanation and as soon as he returned, headed for High Gable where Henderson lived, a compelling and violent character he suspected. Watson, joining his friend, saw Miss Burnet, the housekeeper, clearly in distress, behind a window. Under the pretext of historical research, Holmes asked to see Henderson, who quickly dismissed him. Holmes was anxious for the governess and very upset when Baynes, rejecting her advice, arrested Garcia's mulatto servant. Desperate to get a warrant for Henderson, the detective rushed to High Gable on a bicycle with Watson to rescue Miss Burnet. Thrown in pursuit of the car that takes her to the station, they will arrive just in time to save her. In reality, the arrest of the mulatto was a Baynes trick that also suspected Henderson. As Holmes had learned in London, Henderson was actually Murillo, a dictator in exile from San Pedro. Miss Burnet, widow of Minister Durando, murdered by Murillo as Garcia's father, was spying on the tyrant. But it was taken with the letter indicating to Garcia where the bloodthirsty despot he was to execute would sleep. Tortured, the housekeeper delivered the name Garcia, whom Murillo massacred. But Garcia's faithful servants, getting on the train that takes the tyrant and his damned soul, will take charge of avenging all their victims.

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