The 1971-1973 British series The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes dramatized non-Holmes stories of detectives solving mysteries in Victorian and Edwardian England written by contemporary authors. For Balladeer’s Blog’s review of the first episode click HERE
Episode: THE AFFAIR OF THE AVALANCHE BICYCLE & TYRE CO. LTD (October 4th, 1971)
Detective: Horace Dorrington, created by Arthur Morrison. The first Dorrington story was published in 1897.
Review: Horace Dorrington was a refreshing change among the London by Gaslight detectives. The wily, double-dealing scoundrel represented every reason that hoity-toity Britishers of the day looked down on the character of private detectives. Writer Arthur Morrison’s Dorrington was in the grand literary tradition of despicable yet charming rogues.
Peter Vaughan is nearly flawless in his portrayal of the suave yet black-hearted detective. In the opening scene – a teaser before the main mystery – we viewers get to see Horace Dorrington’s true nature.
He charges a cheating wife three hundred British Pounds for supposedly “buying back” her indiscreet letters to a lover who is blackmailing her. He cheats his unseen partner in the detective firm out of his share of the fee by having the wayward wife make the check payable to him (Dorrington) only and after she leaves we learn that Dorrington didn’t “buy back” the letters from her blackmailer – he stole them – so he just pocketed three hundred Pounds in pure profit. Continue reading