Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes

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The focus of this two-part British drama was not on the fictional Sherlock Holmes but on his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. Set in 1878, the story found young physician Conan Doyle (Robin Laing) working as an apprentice to Edinburgh forensic specialist Dr. Joseph Bell (Ian Richardson). In keeping with the conventional wisdom that Bell was the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, the doctor and his youthful assistant attempt to capture a serial murderer through the means of scientific deductions. The script was full of amusing "inside" jokes referencing future Holmes short stories and novels, while the cast was surprisingly topheavy with comic actors. Originally seen over the BBC2 service on January 4 and 5, 1999, Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes aired on American TV as a single two-hour "movie" on May 18, 2000. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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