Top positive review
This is an excellent release in a five-series set release and the high definition is amazing!
October 3, 2014
This Blu-ray release, "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes", is an improvement over the DVD set for sure. And a few of these episodes that are included are presented in the widescreen format that they were filmed in. Most of the previous releases of this TV series starring Jeremy Brett, were released in standard TV screen aspect ratio and they are presented that way on the other sets in this series, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", "The Return of Sherlock Holmes", "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes," and the "Feature Films" set. I must say that since the episodes included in this set were filmed last, that is probably the reason for the outstanding transfer and high definition quality. In the other sets I mentioned, particularly "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", the first of the series, there are some definite grain issues here and there in a few of those episodes. The very first episode, "A Scandal in Bohemia", has grain in the beginning, even when Watson (David Burke) arrives back to Baker Street to see Holmes. There are grainy scenes in the beginning of "The Speckled Band" and also in "The Solitary Cyclist". On the other hand, the rest of those episodes look excellent and "The Blue Carbuncle", my personal favorite, looks stunning and with no grain issues. This series rates a five out of five with me. Jeremy Brett absolutely nails the character of Sherlock Holmes and is now considered the definitive Sherlock Holmes. There are grain issues here and there in the five set series. But there are plenty of stunning high definition and detailed moments that elevates the good to outweigh the bad. And, once again, this last set, "Memoirs" looks maybe the best of them all as they are the last episodes filmed and the technical quality by that time was quite good, even in comparison to today. Interestingly, I own the Spanish Blu-ray set as well, as I got it some time ago, and in that set "The Hound of the Baskervilles" looks stunning, with only a bit of grain seen briefly in a dark carriage-ride scene. In this MPI American Blu-ray release, from the "Feature Films", "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is disappointingly grainy in some scenes and it simply shouldn't be, with proper mastering. So, I guess I am saying that I am grateful to MPI for releasing these five Holmes sets of the Granada TV series with Brett. And many episodes look amazing. But it is not a perfect set throughout which is why I am giving it a respectable four stars, but not five. Still, the good far outweighs the bad. If owners of the previous DVD set are considering this purchase, I would say take the plunge. The details the viewer can now catch are amazing and I didn't even mention the sound. In "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" in the previous DVD release, the sound in "The Empty House" was, I thought, a bit muffled with a bit of the dialog. The sound is wonderful in this set and I could hear everything, even whispers, easily. Jeremy Brett was so amazing as Holmes, capturing the hand waves, the irritation, and yes, the kind heart, as well. Just to randomly list another outstanding transfer in this set is the terrific "The Illustrious Client" episode, from "Casebook". Take the plunge and buy the five Blu-ray sets. This is, at least for now, as good as it gets. And it is pretty darn good.