Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Everybody knows the name.
Everybody knows Sherlock Holmes - or thinks they do.
But few know the true story of Conan Doyle's remarkable life and fewer
still the extent to which Doyle suppressed and sanitised the pain of Holmes'
Set between 1892 and the early 1900s, a new feature length drama for BBC TWO, The
Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle,
written by David Pirie (Murder Rooms, The Woman in White),
is an exploration of the dark family past which drove Arthur Conan Doyle
to create the world-famous detective… and then to murder him.
Contrary to general perceptions of Doyle as a strait-laced Victorian
elder citizen, this Arthur (played by Douglas Henshall)
is 33 years old. He is a vital but darkly troubled man, at war with his
After his father tragically dies in an asylum, Doyle's life enters turbulent
and emotional waters as he mysteriously and controversially kills off
Sherlock Holmes, tries to tend to his dying wife Louise (Saskia
Reeves), and is tortured by his unconsummated passion for his
new love Jean Leckie (Emily Blunt).
It is during this electrifying and disturbed period in the drama that
Doyle agrees to work with a biographer called Selden (Tim McInnerny)
to work on an account of the author's life.
But Selden slowly turns the tables on Doyle in a psychological battle
which reveals the truth behind Doyle's struggle with Sherlock Holmes.
Other major talents featured in the drama include Brian Cox
as Doyle's mentor, Joseph Bell, and Sinead Cusack as
Doyle's mother, Mary.
The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle is a BBC Scotland production.