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The Master Blackmailer 

Holmes and Watson attempt to break the grip of a ruthless blackmailer of their clients.


Peter Hammond


Jeremy Paul (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (based on "Charles Augustas Milverton")

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Brett ... Sherlock Holmes
Edward Hardwicke ... Doctor Watson
Robert Hardy ... Charles Augustus Milverton
Norma West ... Lady Diana Swinstead
Gwen Ffrangcon Davies ... The Dowager (as Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies)
Colin Jeavons ... Inspector Lestrade
Nickolas Grace Nickolas Grace ... Bertrand
Serena Gordon Serena Gordon ... Lady Eva Blackwell
Sarah McVicar Sarah McVicar ... The Hon. Charlotte Miles
David Mallinson ... Colonel Dorking
Brian Mitchell Brian Mitchell ... Harry, Earl of Dovercourt
Hans Meyer ... Hebworth (Alias Veitch)
Sophie Thompson ... Agatha
Stephen Simms Stephen Simms ... Stokes
Rosalie Williams ... Mrs Hudson


The master sleuth must deal with the menace of Charles Augustus Milverton, an art dealer who has a profitable sideline as a blackmailer with much of London's high society in his grip. Unfortunately, he is no amateur at his line of work and Holmes must use all his cunning and skill in some risky operations to foil this criminal. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television, WGBH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The dog, Maximilian, is an English Mastiff. See more »


When the maid comes into Milverton's study, she says, "I'm here to light the fire." A housemaid or scullery maid would never speak to the master of the house without being spoken to first. And when he tells her not to light the fire and just to leave, she replies, "Oh. Okay." WHAT?? Most likely, she would not say anything, or might say, "Yes, sir." But "okay"? Never. See more »


Doctor Watson: Don't you think that the Honorable Miss Miles might be more worth a visit since Dorking wrote to you?
Sherlock Holmes: That is past, Watson. What we must do now is foist ourselves onto his next victim.
See more »


Version of Charles Augustus Milverton (1922) See more »


Can Can [Infernal Galop]
Written by Jacques Offenbach
See more »

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User Reviews

can this be - Holmes in love?
6 July 2003 | by didi-5See all my reviews

The stand-out sequences from 'The Master Blackmailer', for me, are the ones between the brilliant Jeremy Brett (in disguise, naturally), and Sophie Thompson. Could it be the great detective has actually fallen for a lady?

This aside, there's a intricate blackmail plot involving Robert Hardy (excellent), and plenty of opportunities for Holmes and Watson to get themselves in awkward situations before solving the mystery.

Probably the best of the feature-length episodes, and a fine example of the work Brett and Hardwicke did to immortalise Conan Doyle's characters for the small screen.

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