The Three Garridebs
Directed byEustace Wyatt
Written byThomas H. Hutchinson
StarringLouis Hector
William Podmore
Violet Besson
Arthur Maitland
James Spottswood
NBC Blue
Release date
November 27, 1937[1]

The Three Garridebs is a 1937 television presentation that aired on NBC,[1] based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1924 story "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs". Louis Hector played Sherlock Holmes, the first actor to do so on television.[2]


In 1937, NBC received permission from Conan Doyle's widow, Lady Jean Conan Doyle, to produce a live adaptation of Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs".[3] NBC television director Thomas H. Hutchinson began scripting the teleplay,[3] which was so faithful, with much dialogue nearly verbatim,[1] that it was published three years later in a textbook on broadcast production.[4] It is considered the first known television pilot.[5]

Hector, cast as Sherlock Holmes, had previously portrayed Holmes in an American radio series from 1934 to 1935.[6] He had also played Holmes' arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty on the series.[7][8]

Outside of an opening scene using previously filmed footage of the London skyline,[3] the bulk of the action took place on studio sets of 221B Baker Street and the home of Holmes' client Nathan Garrideb.[3] Only three sets were built: 221B Baker Street, Nathan Garrideb's home and Inspector Lestrade's office.[1] Previously filmed footage of Hector and Podmore riding in a hansom cab was used to link the action on the sets.[3]


The teleplay was performed live six times during the final week of November 1937.[1] The New York Times called it "...the most ambitious experiment in teleshowmanship so far attempted in the air above New York" and said "in six performances for members of The American Radio Relay League, the ingenious welding of film and television production offered an interesting glimpse into the future of a new form of dramatic art..."[1] The cast was praised as well: "Louis Hector, in traditional cape, peaked cap, and double-breasted suit, played Holmes in the approved manner and at all times gave the impression that a manhunt was in progress ... His determined manner throughout gave convincing evidence of the ultimate outcome—that the detective would surely 'get his man'."[3]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Barnes, Alan (2002). Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. p. 218. ISBN 1-903111-04-8.
  2. ^ Eyles, Alan (1986). Sherlock Holmes: A Centenary Celebration. Harper & Row. pp. 81. ISBN 0-06-015620-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Haining, Peter (1994). The Television Sherlock Holmes. Virgin Books. pp. 44–47. ISBN 0-86369-793-3.
  4. ^ Redmond, Christopher (2009). The Sherlock Holmes Handbook (Second ed.). Dundurn. p. 242. ISBN 9781770705920.
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2013). Encyclopedia of Television Pilots, 1937-2012. McFarland & Company. p. 4146. ISBN 9780786474455.
  6. ^ Eyles, Alan (1986). Sherlock Holmes: A Centenary Celebration. Harper & Row. pp. 133. ISBN 0-06-015620-1.
  7. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (1991). Famous Movie Detectives II. Scarecrow Press. p. 160. ISBN 9780810823457.
  8. ^ The Three Garridebs on Radio; Ruby, Greg D.; September 3, 2014; The Fourth Garrideb - Numismatics of Sherlock Holmes; accessed August 2019