Sherlock Holmes tracks down the descendant of his arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty, and chases him around modern-day San Francisco in a telepic that pilfers its premise from 1979 feature “Time After Time,” in which H.G. Wells follows Jack the Ripper to modern-day Baghdad-by-the-Bay. Telepic is a pilot for series still under consideration by CBS.
Awakened from a self-induced cryonic sleep, Holmes (Anthony Higgins, made up to look like a cross between Howard Hughes and Peter O’Toole in “The Ruling Class”) immediately finds himself in the same town as Moriarty’s evil grandson, who, as it turns out, has only hours earlier begun what promises to be the crime of the century, if not the millennium. In San Francisco, at least. What a happy coincidence!
Holmes soon teaches himself to run a computer overnight (though — heh, heh! — he never does learn how to program a VCR) and the game’s afoot. Meanwhile, there’s romance a brewin’ between the unliberated sleuth and plucky Dr. Winslow (Debrah Farentino) of — get this — 1994 Baker Street, who had unintentionally triggered Holmes’ awakening.
Before long, she’s moved him into her home and has started driving him around town in her Benz. “Attitudes towards (sic) women have … changed quite a bit,” she admonishes him. “You’ll really have to develop a less patronizing attitude.”
It’s relatively easy to track down Moriarty’s grandson, who by great good fortune is clubfooted, sports a scar on one wrist, and is legendary among the San Francisco constabulary — though they’ve never quite managed to convict him of anything.
Low-budget look and female-driven nature of the pic make it more suitable for Lifetime than major network, though a Lifetime film probably would have had at least one recognizable star.
Amazingly — considering the derivative premise, thin content and production values, awkward dialogue, bad jokes (the detective tapes what he proclaims to be “America’s first Holmes video”) and consistent overacting — pic was clearly set up to spin off a series.
“Though he might be more humble,” Winslow remarks mercifully toward the end, “there’s no police like Holmes.”