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» » The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes The Three Gables (1994)

Short summary

Sherlock Holmes'advice is sought by the elderly Mrs. Mary Maberley who has a particularly odd puzzle for him to solve. About one year ago she bought her current house, The Three Gables, and had lived there with her grandson until his recent death following complications from a ruptured spleen. She was shocked when approached by an estate agent who essentially offered her a blank cheque to buy The Three Gables from her in its entirety, including all of the contents. The old lady was keen to sell as, having lost her grandson, she now hoped to finance a 'round-the-world tour. The terms however included that she take nothing whatsoever from the house, not even the portrait of her grandson hanging on the wall. This she could not do and declined the offer to purchase. Did she make the right decision, she asks Holmes? It is evident that there is something in the house that someone is prepared to pay any price to get their hands on. Holmes soon finds that the connection has to be the grandson...

The actress Mary Ellis was 96 at the time of filming.

This was Mary Ellis' final acting before her death on January 30, 2003 at the age of 105.

Last TV drama acting role for Peter Wyngarde.

Mary Maberley (played by Mary Ellis ) reports to Dr. Watson that her son and daughter-in-law died in a climbing accident. In 1950, Ellis' own husband also died in a climbing accident.

At the costume revels, a boat with a woman lying in it drives by. It is a reenactment of Sir John Everett Millais's famous oil painting "Ophelia" (1851-1852).

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Ariseym
    While the integrity of the this story is here, one wonders why the writers took so many liberties with a pretty straightforward plot. The story involves the efforts of a very rich woman, who is moving up even more, to get her hands on a manuscript (sound familiar), that could compromise her standing. This time she is not the innocent victim of a bit of bad judgment and has the firepower to get what she wants. The Baker Street guys get involved when an elderly lady comes to them, telling of an amazing real estate opportunity. First, she is offered an excessive amount of money to sell her house. Then she is asked to sell the contents, but the kicker is that she can take nothing with her. Money seems to be no object but her suspicions are greatly aroused. Things get stickier when a series of threats are put forth by thugs who want Holmes and Watson to mind their own business. They have the goods on one of the henchmen (a black man whose race is treated much worse in the original story) and are able to parley it into some basic information. In the story, the old lady's son dies; in the dramatization it is her nephew. Somehow, he is at the center of all this and he is somehow embroiled in the plot. Actually a pretty decent episode although it is really far-fetched if you think too much about it.
  • comment
    • Author: Quttaro
    A story full of passion, desire, love, loathing and hatred, The Three Gables is a very enjoyable episode, even if the story itself is one that's possibly been done before. Conan Doyle enjoyed writing the older, wealthy villainess, and Claudine Auger did a good job in portraying her in this one. Gary Cady certainly looked the part of the young lover and victim Douglas Maberley, although I've never classed him as a brilliant actor. Mary Ellis was utterly glorious as his grandmother, and stole the show with a fabulous acting display. Favourite scene has to be the fight between Watson and Steve Dixie, I know some of the punches are a little wide of the mark, but when Watson flies through the glass, it looks effective. Dixie, played really well by Steve Toussaint, made his first TV appearance here. The wonderful Caroline Blakiston did not get enough screen time. Some nice touches of humour too, bravo Mrs Hudson. 8/10
  • comment
    • Author: Itiannta
    By the time he wrote this, Conan-Doyle was just about out of steam, having lost a son in the war and dabbling in spiritualism. It's not a good story in print, and it's a poor entry into the Grenada TV series.

    Production values remain high. There's a scene of an outdoor costume ball with an unusual number of extras.

    But the story itself is confusing and dull and comes across as a pot boiler, a rather joyless enterprise for everyone concerned. The director tries to jazz it up with the use of mirrors and high angle shots. But nothing can disguise Jeremy Brett's illness, congestive heart failure, for which he was taking meds that plumped out his features and made him look suddenly older than we were used to. The make up is such that he resembles Bela Lugosi's Dracula.

    The treatment of Steve Dixie, a black boxer, is unflattering, unlike his story about interracial marriage of many years earlier, "The Yellow Face." A little depressing overall.
  • comment
    • Author: Kerdana
    Just as "The Illustrious Client" was about a man who preyed on women, this episode is about a woman who preyed on men. It's feels like a melodrama rather than a mystery. Watching it is a bit depressing and it contains no real twists or turns. However, it does have some redeemable qualities. While this was not one of Conan Doyle's better tales, it is faithful to the original story so purists won't be upset. The performances are good, Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke are excellent as usual and Claudine Auger is strong as Isadore Klein. The art and set decoration are still superb (just look at that lavish ball scene). Still, this production is overwrought and thus one of weaker adaptations in the series.
  • comment
    • Author: Vishura
    I do say this with regret, as I do love the Granada Sherlock Holmes series and always have. The Three Gables is marginally better as an episode than The Eligible Bachelor(my least favourite episode of the series), The Last Vampyre and The Mazarin Stone, but of the "Memoirs" series it is nowhere near as good as The Dying Detective and The Cardboard Box. For other classic episodes of the series the standouts alongside those two were The Crooked Man, The Blue Carbuncle, The Final Problem, The Devil's Foot, The Dancing Men, The Six Napoleons, The Norwood Builder, The Master Blackmailer, Sign of Four and Hound of the Baskervilles. The others range from good to great.

    The Three Gables isn't irredeemable though. The evocative atmosphere and splendid production values are still there, as well as some very interesting camera work and the hauntingly beautiful music. Jeremy Brett does look ill and has given more inspired performances in other episodes but he is nonetheless commanding, and Edward Hardwicke is a quietly composed contrast. On the other hand, the supporting don't really have that much to do and don't shine as much. And there is no wonder seeing as pace-wise The Three Gables for me was one of the duller episodes, made more problematic by a story that is very confused and rambling(then again the story itself was I agree one of Conan Doyle's weakest, giving the impression he was running out of ideas) and a script that is mostly lacking in any life or intrigue.

    All in all, not the worst episode and not a waste of time, but one of the weakest of the series and a disappointment in general. 5/10 Bethany Cox
  • comment
    • Author: Brajind
    The story is best. Jeremy Brett is puffed but not problem. Watson and Mrs Hudson is best character.
  • comment
    • Author: Nidor
    (SPOILER ALERT - I DON'T TELL THE STORY BUT SOME ELEMENTS CAN BE A SPOILER)

    This is possibly the only awful episode in this series. But gosh is it horrible.

    The main actors out act beyond what they usually do well past the point of caricature, the dialogues are laughable, the couple is positively revolting but also risible. It's a constant wonder between how could they sink so low in the ridiculous and how could they possibly not have done it on purpose. From the young romantic composing his novel under the rain to Watson flying through a window to Holmes leaving everybody on their own waiting for something to happen. Possibly Conan Doyle's fault there for the lack of inspiration but it's the only story that I have no recollection of, although I read the whole series several times over.

    Avoid unless you want to see something rotten.
  • Episode complete credited cast:
    Jeremy Brett Jeremy Brett - Sherlock Holmes
    Edward Hardwicke Edward Hardwicke - Dr Watson
    Rosalie Williams Rosalie Williams - Mrs Hudson
    Claudine Auger Claudine Auger - Isadora Klein
    Gary Cady Gary Cady - Douglas Maberley
    Ben Pullen Ben Pullen - Duke of Lomond (as Benjamin Pullen)
    Caroline Blakiston Caroline Blakiston - Dowager Duchess
    Mary Ellis Mary Ellis - Mary Maberley
    Peter Wyngarde Peter Wyngarde - Langdale Pike
    Michael Graham Michael Graham - Haines-Johnson
    Steve Toussaint Steve Toussaint - Steve Dixie
    Barbara Young Barbara Young - Susan
    John Gill John Gill - Mr Sutro
    Emma Hardwicke Emma Hardwicke - Dora
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