The only two Brett episodes that I found beyond redemption were the two 'original' films that they did. I'm referring to 'The Elligible Bachelor' and 'The Last Vampyre'. I think they both went out in 1993. For some reason, the producers just seemed to go a bit nuts that year. Instead of having a full series or a one-off special, we got these two oddly bloated films. Neither of them were adaptations, but essentially original stories. They borrowed a few bits from Conan Doyle, but were, to all intents and purposes, new scripts. Why do that? All the other episodes were adaptations.
I mean, the whole idea behind the Granada series was that they were making a point of making these adaptations as faithful as was practically possible. When they did alter things in the stories, it was often for unavoidable reasons. They perhaps needed to expand one of the shorter stories (The Dying Detective) to fill out their broadcast slot. Or maybe an actor was unavailable (The Golden Pince Nez) or ill (The Mazarin Stone). Perhaps a location was too expensive to film (The Dancing Men). However, they always did the best they could.
This attention to detail was the programme's unique selling point. It's what they were all about. However, the two 1993 mysteries (The Last Vampyre and The Elligible Bachelor) were completely different. Suddenly they did a Rathbone, just took a few Conan Doyle plot points and made something new up. That sort of thing is fine, of course. But it was just so out of character for the Granada series. It didn't help that neither 'Last Vampyre' nor 'Elligible' are very good.
Whatever was going on, clearly it was a bit of a blip, as the following year they went back to doing more faithful adaptations again and it was so much better as a result.
The thing is though, people still talk about the series going slowly down hill and taking more and more liberties as time went on. I don't think that's true. I think that it's more simply just a case that these two 1993 episodes came quite late on in the run, had nothing to do with Conan Doyle. Perhaps that's sort of skewed people's perception of the series as a whole. It's a shame, because actually, that last run from about 1995, is pretty good at times and almost all of the liberties that were taken with the source material, happened for unavoidable reasons beyond the production's control e.g. Jeremy Brett being rushed to hospital prior to shooting on 'The Mazarin Stone/The Three Garidebs'.
Does anybody know what the reason was behind 1993's oddness and why those two original movies were made?