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The Photographer's Chair 

Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and his mentor Dr. Joseph Bell investigate the strangulation deaths of two persons found floating in the river, as Doyle finds himself captivated by spiritualism.


Paul Marcus


Paul Billing




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Edwards ... Arthur Conan Doyle
Claire Harman Claire Harman ... Elspeth
Henry Goodman ... De Meyer
Paul McNeilly Paul McNeilly ... Sailor
Amber Noble Amber Noble ... Polly
Simon Chandler ... Inspector Warner
Morgan Jones ... Sgt. Richards
Mossie Smith Mossie Smith ... Mrs. Williams
Ian Richardson ... Dr. Joseph Bell
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Dr. Ibbotson (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
Dermot Crowley ... Elkins
Clare Holman ... Helena Petchey
Tim Woodward ... Rhodes
Karen Meagher Karen Meagher ... Distressed woman
Caroline Pegg Caroline Pegg ... Mrs. Casey


Drs. Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell investigate when the police find two bodies floating in the river. Both seemed to have victims of the same killer as they have similar bruising and were similarly strangled. One of the victims is identified by her brother Charles and he is a suspect as they had a recent falling out. When a third body is found, it's identified as Dr. Ibbotson, the local coroner who was a drunk and discredited as a member of the medical profession. Meanwhile Doyle continues to grieve for his murdered fiancée and believes he saw her outside a hypnotist show. When Charles asks Doyle to attend a séance in an attempt to speak to his dead sister, he again sees his fiancée. Doyle is drawn to the world of spiritualism, but it is Bell who discovers a connection with a local photographer. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

18 September 2001 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Originally to have been transmitted on Tuesday 11 September 2001, but was postponed for a week. See more »

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User Reviews

Well made but the story seemed ridiculously fanciful.
31 August 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Photographer's Chair" is one of several films about the fictional exploits of Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and his mentor, Dr. Bell. While it is very true that Dr. Bell was, in part, the inspiration of Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes, the films greatly exaggerate their relationship and give them some fantastic adventures together that never actually occurred.

This film is EXTREMELY fanciful--with a plot that had many ridiculous plot elements. Some might like them but I would have MUCH preferred the show was more like the actual Sherlock Holmes stories. These stories would have had nothing like the stuff you'll see in "The Photographer's Chair". What sort of stuff? Well, a maniac who wants to prove the existence of the soul but murdering people and photographing them to show the soul leaving the body! Also, there are séances, guys with syphilis and lots of other things that just made the whole thing seem too weird to be taken seriously. While I do admire the production quality, give me the original Holmes stories--they are ALL much easier to believe than this film.

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