"The Priory School"
One of the most interesting stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes canon makes for a particularly taut and exciting episode in the Granada Television series about the famous detective. Holmes (the outstanding Jeremy Brett) and Dr. Watson (Edward Hardwicke) are summoned by the desperate founder of an exclusive prep school for boys to locate the missing son of a duke. The investigation uncovers a nefarious plot, and the major clue (a controversial one at the time Doyle wrote the story) involves nothing more than the direction of bicycle tracks. The suspense never lets up in this excellent program, and Brett and Hardwicke are at their best.
From the Back Cover
WISTERIA LODGE: Mr. Scott Eccles, a guest of Mr. Aloysius Garcia of Wisteria Lodge, awakens to find his host, the footman and the cook all had vanished in the night! Holmes and Watson enter into one of the most baffling and intriguing cases of their careers when a foreign tyrant, an English governess and an unorthodox police inspector lead them on a wild goose chase that starts with murder. THE PRIORY SCHOOL: The son of the wealthy Duke of Holdernesse is kidnapped from his preparatory... read more
Capital portrayal of the famous consulting detective!, August 16, 2003 Reviewer: Mark Savary from Seattle, WA While neither installment on this DVD really showcases Holmes' abilities, they are both very well drawn portraits of the man. Both Holmes and Watson are in good form here, and Brett and Hardwicke are solidly in character. "The Priory School" shows us an interesting case of kidnapping, although in my opinion they reveal who the villain is a bit too soon. Excellent use of locations and the fascinating use of a school choir in the soundtrack make this a satisfying episode. If one has an interest in learning the art of cinematography, you couldn't choose a better place to start than by studying the excellent work on display in "Wisteria Lodge". Director Peter Hammond, cinematographer David Odd, and production designer Tim Wilding truly excelled in the spectacular use of shadows, colored lighting, and the subtle placement of mirrors throughout the episode. Mirrors pop up in odd places throughout the Granada series, but never more so than in "Wisteria Lodge". The misty, frosty countryside is also nicely photographed here. The idea that a simple country police inspector can rival Holmes' insight puts a new twist on the case that is unusual in the canon. For those not yet familiar with the Granada series, you may first want to check out some of the earlier installments in "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". However, while not famous cases like "The Red-Headed League," both installments on this disc deserve a spot in your collection.