My first introduction to Sherlock Holmes on the TV (or haunted fish tank as my partner calls it) was, like most people, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce’s representation of the great detective and his sidekick Dr Watson in the films of the 1930s and 1940s. I liked them but was aware that they were, more often that not, only loosely based on the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle .

Shortly following these, I saw the delightful Peter Cushing and Andre Morell light up the screen as Holmes and Watson in Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). This was a more faithful if toned down version of the original story. Peter was aided by being able to play Holmes in the correct Victorian era. Sadly for Basil, only some of the films that he and Bruce did were set then, the rest were in contemporary settings.

However, the icing on the Sherlock Holmes cake came for me when, quite some years later, I discovered Jeremy Brett and David Burke/Edward Hardwicke’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in 4 series done for Granada between 1984 and 1994. They were: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

I have yet to see a finer representation of Sherlock Holmes on the screen (yes, I have seen Robert Downy Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller along with a few others) but for me, Jeremy Brett nailed Sherlock Holmes. Both of his Watson’s David Burke and Edward Hardwicke gave poor Dr Watson back his bite and intelligence after Nigel Bruce did too good a job of playing him as a benign simpleton.

They are not 100% faithful adaptations of the stories either but so far they are the closest. If you have not seen them yet, please do and you will see what I mean.