Friday, March 20, 2020

Old Time Radio: Sherlock Holmes (1952-British)

It seems Basil Rathbone cast a very long shadow as Sherlock Holmes.

Rathbone had played the legendary detective on radio and in movies during the 40's, often with Nigel Bruce as Dr. John Watson. As we discovered a while back, Ronald Howard's turn as Holmes in a syndicated TV series in the 50's wasn't quite up to grade.

Then, we discovered the BBC had produced their own Sherlock Holmes radio show, starting in the early 50's. Over the course of a 17 year period (1952-69), Carleton Hobbs starred as Holmes in 80 adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works, with Norman Shelley as Watson. A sample episode was included in a TV/radio Detectives DVD compilation from Radio Spirits several years back.

And here is the episode in question, "The Three Garridebs", from 1964:

I believe the Radio Spirits collection may have marked the first time that any of Hobbs' radio work had made it into America. Hobbs, who passed away in 1978, at age 80, had put his own distinctive stamp on Holmes. One day soon, we'll give an ear to a Basil Rathbone radio production of Holmes.

Rating: A.

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