There are four 90-minute telefilms here: “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” “The Sign ofFour,” The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire,” and “The Royal Scandal.” They are of varyingand iffy degrees of fidelity to the Conan Doyle stories. Starring as Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson are, respectively, Matt Freuer and Kenneth Welsh, who essay British accents to varyingdegrees of success. Ex-Max Headroom Freuer puts plenty of energy into his role, but takes it soover-the-top that he co…es perilously close to high camp. As well, he is forced to wear that damncape and deerstalker hat even in the most inappropriate contexts, as if they were Holmes’superhero outfit.
The soundtrack is 2.0, as is very often the case with TV transfers. The music has a quiteimpressive sound to it. Sound effects are frequently given short shrift on television productions,muscled out by the omnipresent music, but here there is a fair bit by way of environmentaleffects. The dialogue, however, does distort on more than one occasion.
The format is fullscreen, naturally enough. The colours are okay, but the contrasts could usework. Some scenes are so murky they become nothing by total darkness. There is also a bit ofedge enhancement visible and, most surprisingly, the occasional speckle — even the slightestprint damage is odd with so recent a release.
None. The menu’s main page and intro are animated and scored.
The old college try is given here. But after Jeremy Brett’s definitive portrayal, anything lessthan astonishing won’t cut it, and this sure isn’t astonishing.