Tag Archives: Arthur Morrison

CASE OF THE MIRROR OF PORTUGAL (1971) – RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

Rivals of Sherlock Holmes bestFor Balladeer’s Blog’s review of the first episode of this 1971-1973 series about London by Gaslight detectives from both the Victorian and Edwardian Ages you can simply click HERE   

mirror of portugalEpisode: THE CASE OF THE MIRROR OF PORTUGAL (October 25th, 1971)

Detective: Horace Dorrington, created by Arthur Morrison. The first Dorrington story was published in 1897.

Review: This is the second of two Dorrington episodes from Season One of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Peter Vaughan reprises his role as the unscrupulous yet charming private investigator. Kenneth Colley and Petronella Barker are also back as Farrish and Miss Parrot, Dorrington’s lovebird aides who often do the legwork for their demanding boss.

DorringtonThe story begins with Horace in the middle of one of his typical scams. He’s been hired by an insurance company to recover a stolen painting after his Scotland Yard rival Inspector Brent (Lloyd Lamble) failed to do so.

Dorrington tracked down the art thief and recovered the painting but is now auctioning it off on the underground market to the highest bidder since they’ll pay more than the insurance company. Meanwhile he keeps the painting concealed under a mundane drawing of a dog. 

While pursuing that shady undertaking the ruthless detective gets hired by restaurateur Leon Bouvier (Oscar Quitak) to recover a precious item that was just taken from him in an alleyway during an armed robbery. Continue reading

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MARTIN HEWITT (1971) RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

Rivals of Sherlock Holmes bestFor Balladeer’s Blog’s review of the first episode of this 1971-1973 series about non-Holmes detectives of the Victorian and Edwardian Ages click HERE   

*** This review will cover the three Martin Hewitt mysteries that were dramatized in the first season of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.

Martin HewittEpisode: THE AFFAIR OF THE TORTOISE (November 22nd, 1971)

Detective: Martin Hewitt, created by Arthur Morrison. The first Martin Hewitt story was published in 1894.

Review: Martin Hewitt was created by the same author who created Horace Dorrington, covered in a previous review of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Unlike Dorrington, Hewitt is honest and looks out for his clients’ interests more than his own. Unfortunately, as portrayed by Peter Barkworth, he’s also more than a little bland.

Well, “bland” might be uncharitable. “Professional” may be more fitting. Barkworth’s Hewitt is serene and reassuring, putting his clients at ease no matter what crisis they’re going through. 

Martin Hewitt with InspectorIn The Affair of the Tortoise Martin Hewitt is hired by Miss Chapman (Cyd Hayman), a former governess that he has just located so she could receive an inheritance from a distant relative. Miss Chapman wants Hewitt to clear one of her neighbors, Goujon (Timothy Bateson), of murder charges. 

Goujon is suspected of killing Rameau (Stefan Kalifa), a rowdy, hard-partying Haitian official residing in London. The drunken Rameau often played practical jokes on Goujon and recently went too far, causing the death of the Frenchman’s pet tortoise. Continue reading

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DORRINGTON (1971): RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES – FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

Rivals of Sherlock Holmes bestThe 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

Dorrington seatedEpisode: 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.   

DorringtonPeter 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

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