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Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes (2000-01)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'The Patient's Eyes', originally transmitted on BBC1 on 4/9/2001. Written by David Pirie, directed by Tim Fywell

1882. Arthur Conan Doyle begins his career as a Portsmouth GP alongside old university colleague Turnavine. To Doyle's disgust, Turnavine cares only about his private patients and his invention, a 'magnetic ship protector', treating general patients only to sell his patent medicines.

Heather Grace comes to Doyle, concerned about a hooded figure, real or imaginary, following her as she cycles home. Doyle agrees to observe her as she rides, but sees nobody. Turnavine, who loves Heather, is furious with Doyle.

Doyle opens his own practice. He spies Heather's pursuer, who inexplicably vanishes in the woods. Heather says that the hooded cyclist reminds her of someone now dead. She suffers nightmares about the pursuer and the night her parents died. Doyle admits he still mourns his fiancée, who died four years earlier.

Doyle's mentor, Joseph Bell, visits. When Turnavine accuses Doyle of robbing him, Bell proves that Turnavine opened the strongbox himself. Bell tells Doyle that Heather's parents were murdered by Ian Coatley, later hanged. They visit her old house, now a school run by Guy Greenwell. He has proposed to Heather, but she is now drawn to Doyle. Heather was previously engaged to a Captain Horler.

The pair interview Heather's uncle, who wants her to marry his friend Greenwell. Doyle suspects that both men covet Heather's impending inheritance. Doyle and Bell find Turnavine's locum, Baynes, who had offered his help, murdered in the woods. They suspect Heather's uncle. Heather's locket goes missing. Greenwell asks Bell and Doyle to meet him, but is killed as they arrive. Doyle tries to stop the hooded assailant, but is knocked out.

Heather goes missing. Bell realises that underneath the wood is a network of tunnels, some leading to Heather's old house. Bell and Doyle find Heather being kept in the tunnels by Horler, disfigured and unhinged by his experiences in the 1880-81 Boer war. Still infatuated with Heather, he hid in the tunnels and killed Greenwell and Baynes.

Four days later, Bell, still dissatisfied, realises that Horler killed Greenwell on Heather's instructions. Greenwell stole the locket, which contained evidence of her affair with Coatley. She killed her parents after they found them together; Coatley took the blame out of love for her. Bell promises to keep her secret if Heather ensures that the pitiable Horler is dealt with leniently. She leaves the town unrepentant and wealthy, leaving the disgusted Doyle her music box.