"Silver Blaze" has long been a favorite story among readers, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle counted it as one of his favorite Holmes stories. The story contains a bit of dialogue that is often quoted to demonstrate the details Holmes catches that other mere mortals usually miss.
“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
The Granada adaptation of "Silver Blaze" is an exceptionally well done presentation of the story. I can only imagine that this particular episode cost a bundle to make: lots of extras, location shooting on the moors, and many horses, could not have been cheap. But the result is admirable. Jeremy Brett is often at his best. He is in fine fettle throughout the episode, and constantly finds glee in keeping a step ahead of all the other characters. (The flourish when he finally reveals Silver Blaze is particularly enjoyable.)
The costumes bring Sidney Paget's original artwork to life, as the Granada series often did so very well. Probably the best example of a perfect costume is Holmes's hooded coat and deerstalker cap, done in what looks to be a light grey gabardine. The costume designer clearly had studied Paget's illustrations very carefully.
The supporting cast does a fine job as well. In "Silver Blaze" we are introduced to one of the very few representatives of the official police department who manages to impress Sherlock Holmes most of the time: Inspector Gregory. As Holmes describes him, “Inspector Gregory, to whom the case has been committed, is an extremely competent officer. Were he but gifted with imagination he might rise to great heights in his profession." The actor who plays Gregory, Malcolm Storry, does a very fine job portraying a competent, if a bit unimaginative, detective who clearly wants to impress Holmes. And there's a very impressive scene between Holmes and Silas Brown that is only described by Holmes in the source material, in which Brett and Russell Hunter excel. Peter Barkworth's presents a Colonel Ross who is suitably pompous and dismissive of the great detective, only to become rather fawning when he realizes how Holmes has saved his bacon.
Overall, I found the adaptation to be one of the more enjoyable episodes in the Granada series thus far. It was great to watch such a popular story brought to life in such an entertaining fashion. The episode contains many of the elements that made the series such a hit with so many Sherlock Holmes fans. Highly recommended!
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN, and a longtime fan of Mr. Sherlock Holmes.