Baker Street Wiki
Baker Street Wiki

"The Remarkable Performance of Mr Frederick Merridew" is the first episode of Series 3 of the BBC Radio 4 series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, written by Bert Coules. It was first broadcast on December 26, 2008. In it, John Watson enlists Sherlock Holmes' assistance when he witnesses a death at a music hall.


Watson's old friend Stamford invites him out to a night at the music hall to see an unusual new act, performed by a former sharpshooter named Frederick Merridew. Merridew's performance consists of him playing a convict condemned to the gallows for killing a man. Before the show, they see Merridew arguing with a man named Turner.

After the show, shots ring out from a back alley. Watson rushes to the scene, and finds Merridew knocked out and Turner dead. The detective assigned to the case, Fragson, considers it obvious that Turner attacked Merridew, and Merridew shot him in self-defense. However, something about the scene strikes Watson as off, and he enlists Sherlock Holmes to help him discover the truth behind the incident.

Holmes' investigation reveals that the death of Turner was actually a clever, coldly planned murder. Turner had been blackmailing Merridew, likely over a previous murder he had committed. Merridew had asked his wife to convince Turner to attack him in the alley, but withhold a weapon from him. Merridew had then confronted the unarmed Turner, shot him, and staged the scene so that it looked like Turner had attacked him first. Merridew's only error had been slipping on the slimy pavement after placing a gun in Turner's hand, accidentally knocking himself out. However, Holmes lacks sufficient evidence to prove his theory, and Merridew has created enough reasonable doubt that he cannot be charged. Watson is upset that Merridew will not face justice for his actions. Holmes, on the other hand, is impressed by Merridew's fiendish cleverness. He says it is likely that Merridew, having successfully gotten away with two murders and even beaten the great Sherlock Holmes, will continue committing crimes for the thrill of it, and Holmes looks forward to facing him again.


  • Clive Merrison as Sherlock Holmes
  • Andrew Sachs as Dr John Watson
  • Hugh Bonneville as Frederick Merridew
  • Jill Cardo as Charlotte Merridew
  • Malcolm Tierney as Stamford
  • Jonathan Tafler as Detective Sergeant Fragson/Turner
  • Donnla Hughes as Flora
  • Stephen Critchlow as George


  • The case was inspired by a reference in "The Adventure of the Empty House": "'My collection of M’s is a fine one,' said [Holmes]. '...and here is...Merridew of abominable memory.'"
  • This case is one of the few times Holmes is shown being bested by an opponent.
  • The opening of the case features a medley of popular songs of the 1890s: "After the Ball" (1891), "My Old Dutch" (1892), and "Daisy Bell" (1892).