I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. While indulging in my slightly massive David Mitchell crush one day, I managed to track down The Unbelievable Truth on this fantastic podcast site called Fourble. Fourble has an extensive archive of British comedy game panel shows, comedy sketch shows, various dramatizations, and old radio shows, which brings me to Sherlock Holmes.
During one of my Fourble searches, I stumbled upon The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the 1950s BBC radio adaptation of some of the original stories. The series starred John Gielgud as Holmes and Ralph Richardson as Watson. I'd heard about these radio dramatizations, but I'd never had a chance to listen to them before, so I eagerly downloaded the episodes. I've only heard a couple of them, but I've found them very enjoyable so far. The first episode (Charles Augustus Milverton) is a bit confusing at first. The file comes up as "Dr. Watson Meets Sherlock Holmes" and the story itself is set a few months after they've first met, with a flashback to the famous meeting from A Study in Scarlet. However, despite the artistic licence, I still liked what they did with the story. Breaking into Charles Augustus Milverton's house acted as a kind of test as to whether Watson would be able to handle Holmes's future adventures. Okay, it wouldn't have been my first choice for adapting the story, but it was still very interesting! The only problem with this radio series (through no fault of its own) is the theme music because I'm used to hearing it in a very different context. Burt Wolder uses it in his hilarious Sherlock Holmes Brand ads for the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcasts, so I can't listen to that piece of music now without wanting to crack up. *g*
On Fourble, you can also find the The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the wonderful Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce radio show. I own all of the existing episodes on CD, but I was still happy to see that it was available for download. If you like the Rathbone and Bruce films then I can highly recommend these. They're highly imaginative and a lot of fun, especially if you have a soft spot for old radio shows. I have to confess that one of my favourite things about them is listening to Nigel Bruce bitch about Petri Wine -- Petri Wine being a major sponsor of the show.
One last gem is something I discovered through the latest episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. On YouTube, Sherlock-Plus has posted a radio program from 1994 about the missing footage from The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes:
Unfortunately, an extremely irritating actress named Betty Marsden is the host/narrator. If I didn't adore The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, I think I would have turned it off. Mercifully, Marsden talks a lot less after about the first 10 or 15 minutes, so I think it's bearable after that. And as there were interviews with Robert Stephens and the various people involved in the production of the film, I found I could put up with Betty Marsden's overly theatrical style. I certainly learned a lot that I didn't know and can understand why the film lost so much money! While it was sad to hear about the magnificent scenes that were cut, there may be the tiniest bit of hope. A lot of people (including Martin Scorsese) seem convinced that a full print of the original uncut film exists somewhere, so I'm hoping it will found and fully restored one day. If the 1916 William Gillette film could be re-discovered and restored then surely a film from 1970 isn't completely beyond our grasp.
Crossposted at http://rusty-armour.dreamwidth.org/14573