New ITV drama tells story of Sherlock Holmes creator's real-life case

PUBLISHED: 11:26 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:11 03 March 2015

Martin Clunes as Arthur Conan Doyle and Arsher Ali as George Edalji

Martin Clunes as Arthur Conan Doyle and Arsher Ali as George Edalji

© Neil Genower

A forthcoming drama will touch on WGC's link with Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a bizarre real-life case.

George EdaljiGeorge Edalji

The three-part ITV series ‘Arthur & George’, which is set to air next month, features Martin Clunes as Conan Doyle and Arsher Ali as George Edalji.

Edalji was wrongly blamed for and convicted of a series of horse-ripping attacks and causing injury to other animals, in a case that outraged the nation in 1903 and became known as the ‘Wyrley Outrages’.

Sir Arthur Conan DoyleSir Arthur Conan Doyle

The solicitor, who Conan Doyle helped to exonerate, died in Brocket Close, off Valley Road, WGC, in 1953.

After eight months of sleuthing, Conan Doyle helped to clear Edalji’s name and he was officially recognised, by a Home Office committee of enquiry, as having nothing to do with the savage attacks, though no compensation was awarded.

9 Brocket Close9 Brocket Close

The ITV drama is a TV adaptation of Julian Barnes’ 2005 novel, which is based on the real-life case.

Following the death of his wife, Louisa, Conan Doyle has become a “bore and a sulk” by his own admission.

All around him do their best to bolster him from his grief and mourning including his beloved ‘Mam’ who implores him to “sink his teeth into something.

“If not a book then some new pursuit.”

And the celebrated author does just that with the Edalji case.

ITV director of drama, Steve November, said: “Arthur & George explores what we think we know about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life.

“It’s a fascinating insight into the man who was to become one of the most famous of his age.” He added: “We’re delighted to be working with Martin and the production team at Buffalo Pictures on such a clever and complex adaptation of Julian Barnes’s acclaimed novel.”

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