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Classic Henry James anthology series Features Britain’s top actors including Derek Jacobi and Eileen Atkins

Set 1 Debuts on DVD September 1, 2009

Starring John Neville, Peter Vaughan, Donald Sinden, Donald Pleasence, and Jeremy Irons in his first screen appearance

Silver Spring, MD — Featuring top-notch adaptations of detective stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s contemporaries, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Set 1 debuts on DVD from Acorn Media on September 1, 2009. Seen on public television in the 1970s, the classic anthology series casts include John Neville (The First Churchills, X-Files), Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day), Donald Sinden (Two’s Company), Donald Pleasence (Halloween, Blofeld in You Only Live Twice), and Jeremy Irons (Brideshead Revisited) in his first screen appearance. Offering unique insight into Victorian popular culture, intellectual preoccupations, and social ills, these 13 finely crafted mysteries are also fascinating whodunits (DVD 4-Vol., $59.99,

Victorian London was a boon for crooks—and a bane for Scotland Yard, whose job it was to thwart crime. In the pages of fiction, the citizens of the capital often turned to private sleuths for redress. But Sherlock Holmes was not the only detective in town. Contemporary writers created an impressive cast of investigators, both amateur and professional, as colorful as the criminals they set out to catch.

Some of the detectives in this classic British series work with the police. Others achieve success in spite of them. And a few even fall under official suspicion themselves. Yet all pit their wits against the best that London’s underworld has to offer.

Britain’s top character actors take on some truly captivating sleuths: Dr. Thorndyke, early proponent of forensic investigation; blind gumshoe Max Carrados; gentleman thief Simon Carne; and Mr. Carnacki, detective of the occult.

A Thames Television Production, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes premiered on the ITV Network in the U.K. in 1971. A second series, also 13 episodes, aired in 1973. The series won a BAFTA for best design (1971).

Headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., Acorn Media distributes distinctive home video releases to the North American market with a special focus on the best of British television. Acorn’s DVD sets are available from select retailers, catalog companies, and direct from Acorn Media at (888) 870-8047 or

Street: September 1, 2009
DVD 4-Vol. Boxed Set: 13 episodes - Approx. 654 min. - SDH subtitles
DVD Features: Profiles of the rival detectives and their creators.
SRP: $59.99

Press Contact (screeners, box art/stills and interviews):
Chad Campbell, Acorn Media, 301.608.2115 ext. 138,

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