Home of the books and the chilling TV detective series
'The cliffhanger adventures of Bell and Doyle keep us enthralled .' New York Times
MURDER ROOMS as a concept began in January 2000 when Murder Rooms, the Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes topped the TV ratings chart on British TV.
This two part series, our origin story, gained rave reviews for its portrayal of a new kind of period detective.
It told the story of the real Sherlock Holmes, the pioneering forensic detective Joseph Bell, to whom Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:
'It is to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes'.
MURDER ROOMS originally aired in the UK on BBC2 TV on 4th and 5th January 2000.
The Daily Telegraph wrote: 'Nobody who watched could have felt short-changed...I can't wait for tonight's concluding episode...'
The Daily Mail wrote: 'wit, style and a real feeling for the period...Ian Richardson is perfectly cast...the game really is afoot.'
The Financial Times wrote: 'easily stands comparison with the best ....Ian Richardson was wonderfully watchable.'
The Mail on Sunday wrote: 'ingenious and believable...what I won't understand is if the BBC doesn't make a series out of this drama.'
The Guardian wrote: 'The premise is ingenious.. clever, atmospheric and entertaining.'
The Sunday Telegraph wrote: ' a premise with a real touch of genius ...the script skillfully weaved episodes from Doyle's own past into a richly textured, constantly wrong-footing plot. ... with a denouement as clever as anything that had gone before...'
MURDER ROOMS topped the BBC2/Channel4/Channel 5 chart on the week ending 9th January 2000, with both episodes in first and second position out of 30 shows and nearly five million people watching. Its audience share increased on the second night.
Among shows it beat: 'The Simpsons,' 'Friends', 'Robot Wars' and 'Countdown'. It also won double the audience of the heavily promoted high budget all-star Channel 4 drama 'Longitude'.
September 2001: THE BOOK
The books including 'THE PATIENT'S EYES'' is now available in hardback and paperback from Random House in the UK and in hardback from St. Martins Press in the US.
If you want to read more about the books, go to the books page here
And MURDER ROOMS enjoyed similar success on TV in America.
The US TV premiere on WGBH Boston on Thursday May 18th 2000 , concluded Thursday May 25th
The New York Times :
'David Pirie's witty and intelligent script t buttresses facts with considerable research tabout Victorian Edinburgh and an obvious affinity for the Holmes stories...the superbtIan Richardson expertly conveys a plausible tprototype with his Dr. Bell.. ..the filmmakers thave made the streets and laboratories of their 19th century Edinburgh seem gothic and so sinister...there are many crimes to contend with...also poignant relationships and even big issues......a satisfying Sherlock Holmes story.' ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
'Writer David Pirie has crafted a clever blend of historical evidence and fiction in the grand manner of a traditional Holmes mystery.......director Paul Seed has created a dark and dangerous world underneath the pomp and circumstance of Victorian Scotland ...a world of inequities into which Seed and Pirie eloquently weave the story without lecturing....Richardson is perfection as Bell...generating both intensity and passion.'
New York Magazine:
A dandy puzzle...Bell is equally persuasive telling Arthur that 'I have long considered a monograph on criminal fathers' or advising the rest of his students that 'the charlatan s always the pioneer'...But everything depends on Elspeth...And when Dolly Wells (Sleepy Hollow) takes off her cross-dressing cap to let down her dark red tresses...we are smitten...'
US Financial Times:
Irresistible...Whereas Barry Levinson's 'Young Sherlock Holmes' was on the whole a tacky add-on, this is just as Doyle would have wished: morose, sordid and deeply sceptical about human nature...particularly with regard to Americans.
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