I have to thank my good friend Manny for turning me on to the PBS/BBC mini-series “Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes.” He knows I am a HUGE fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes has been one of my heroes from the very first time I read of his exploits. As a child, I was mesmerized by his deductive reasoning, unerring confidence and unparalleled intelligence.

Murder Rooms is not, however, another retelling of the escapades of Holmes and Watson, but “the dark beginnings of Sherlock Holmes.” It is the story of the author, and the inspiration for the series of detective short stories. The main character in Murder Rooms is a young Arthur Conan Doyle (Charles Edwards), and tells of his adventures with mentor and teacher, Doctor Joseph Bell (Ian Richardson) – the inspiration for the amalgam that became Holmes and Watson.

Each of the four tales in the mini-series is presented as a standalone, feature that comes with great writing, excellent attention to time-period detail, and expertly delivered acting. The feel of the stories is right in line with the Sherlock Holmes pantheon but are delivered in their own unique way. If you are a fan of Holmes, you will love this series. If you are a fan of well-told murder mysteries, you will love this series. If you are a fan of good television, you will love this series.

If you don’t love this series… enjoy your monster trucks and fake reality tv shows.

RATING 9 out of 10