Jump to content




Welcome to Sherlock Forum


Sign In  Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter

Create Account
You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which gives you limited access, you will need to create an account in order to reply to topics and create topics of your own.
Signing up is quick, easy and FREE, just click on the "Create Account" button to begin. You will need a valid email address in order to sign up, but this will only be used to send you notifications the receipt of which you can customise at any time.

We hope you enjoy your time here!
 
Guest Message by DevFuse

Photo

Sherlock Holmes on radio.


  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:14 PM

Holmes has been portrayed many times over the years on radio but it's perhaps surprising that many haven't heard of them. Some may have just decided that they aren't interested. I love the radio shows and have quite a few of them so I thought that I'd give a bit of information for anyone who is interested and who hasn't heard them or isn't aware of their existence.

Although William Gillette didn't play Holmes on radio there is an audio recording of him reading the part. It may be on YouTube.
A guy called Richard Gordon then followed as a radio Holmes. I'm unsure how many of these survive? I have one and his voice is a little 'reedy.'
Then came Rathbone and Bruce who did over 80 recordings (all easy to buy and very cheap, or available to hear on YouTube.) Not many are faithful to the original stories but they are great. There's often sponsors messages and advertisements on there but it adds to the atmosphere. They always start with a presenter (originally an actor called Harry Bartell) arriving to meet 'our old friend Dr Watson.' They you hear Bruce's voice saying 'come in Mr Bartell, draw near to the fire.' Then he begins the Holmes story and it goes into radio-play form with himself, Rathbone and other actors.
When Rathbone had enough of Holmes in 1947 they got an actor called Tom Conway to step in with Bruce. The shows were still very good. Conway sounds a lot like Rathbone. These are also easy and cheap to buy and they are on YouTube.
Then you have John Stanley and Alfred Shirley. Again, not faithful to the originals, but worth a listen. And yes, Stanley is another Rathbone soundalike. Easy and cheap to buy and also available on YouTube.
Another excellent series from the '50's was Sir John Gielgud as Holmes and Sir Ralph Richardson as Holmes. They didn't do as many episodes as the above but they are very good and again easy to get, cheap and also available on YouTube.
Then in the '50's and '60's you we have the brilliant Carlton Hobbs as Holmes and Norman Shelley as Watson. I'm not certain but I think that they recorded the entire canon. These are fantastic. Easy to get and cheap and, you've guessed it, available on YouTube.
Next comes probably the gold standard of radio Holmes. Started in the 80's with Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams (late husband of Judi Dench) as Watson. It's hard to see how this series can be topped. It's the radio equivalent of the Brett series. A must have! They completed the entire canon and then after Michael Williams died they decided to do The Further Adventures.....using non-Doyle stories and with the late Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers) as Watson. And yes these are brilliant too. You can hear most on YouTube but these are more expensive to buy. It's a bit cheaper on eBay but nowhere near as cheap as the other series.
A few other mentions. Barry Foster (who appeared on uk tv as Van Der Valk) played Holmes in a decent series. I think they are still on YouTube but I haven't been able to buy them!! Robert Hardy and Nigel Stock made an apparently very good short series. I've never heard these and you appear to only be able to get some of them on vinyl (I no longer have a record deck!) There was an older series with American actor Kevin McCarthy as Holmes. I've only managed to track down one though. The one problem that I have with this one though is that McCarthy doesn't manage to completely lose the American accent! Nothing wrong with an American accent by the way👍 but just not for Holmes. It's a bit like hearing Davy Crockett played by Stephen Fry! Robert Powell (Jesus of Nazareth) played Holmes in A Study in Scarlett and he was ok. Finally there was a good series produced by the Imagination Theatre (I have managed to acquire a few but I don't have any details to hand.) Oh, and there's also available a radio version of the Gillettte play with Orson Welles as Holmes.
Plenty to go at if anyone's interested. And the good thing is that (if you're not an obsessive collector like me!) you can hear almost all of these on YouTube without having to buy them🙂👍

Apologies for such a lengthy post.
  • Carol the Dabbler and Arcadia like this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#2 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

    Consulting Detective

  • 17,718 posts
  • LocationIndiana, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:The Reichenbach Fall
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Abominable Bride

Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:50 PM

Length is not a problem, as long as you're interesting. Your post was precisely the length it needed to be.

I am a spoiled brat, though, having had television available since I was very young. I didn't even know till later on that they were still doing radio dramas and comedies when I was a kid, because Mom was the only one in the family who ever turned the radio on, and she only ever listened to music.

So anyhow, if I wasn't already a very visually-oriented person, I have certainly become one. Nevertheless, your descriptions are very tempting. I especially like the format of going to visit Dr. Watson and listen to his stories.
  • HerlockSholmes likes this

-- Carol

 


#3 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:03 PM

I think they're very atmospheric. I often listen to Holmes on radio. Especially if I'm drawing or just chilling out.

As a collector I've only just stopped moaning about the fact that I can't get the Robert Hardy version. I bet it was great.
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#4 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

    Consulting Detective

  • 17,718 posts
  • LocationIndiana, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:The Reichenbach Fall
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Abominable Bride

Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:04 PM

Maybe that's another reason I don't often listen to dramas -- I'm a one-thing-at-a-time person.  The only exception is when I'm doing something fairly mindless such as washing dishes or shelling peas.  Maybe I could give the radio Holmes episodes a try under those conditions.

 

Are you a professional artist, Herlock?  What sorts of things do you like to draw for fun?


-- Carol

 


#5 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:54 PM

Hi Carol,
I'm sort-of a professional artist though I don't make a living at it unfortunately. I sell a few, mainly by word of mouth, friends of friends etc. I have an unsuccessful online store on Etsy called TheArtBankGB. I do drawn portraits in various styles. In actual fact I tried to use one for my avatar but it just said 'file too large.' Arcadia offered to help so i sent a picture to an email address that she gave me (not her own of course) but it didn't work. I emailed a pic to a friend who said that he'd reduced the size but it still wouldn't load. I'm utterly useless with technology. I suppose that I need some kind of editing programme which I'll have to look into at some point. Until then I'll have a blank avatar.
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#6 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 16 September 2017 - 04:57 PM

How about that! I just copied this drawing from my avatar on the Jack the Ripper Forum and it worked! The administrator put it up for me and so it was the correct size.

This is a portrait that I did of Brett as Holmes. I have one of Rathbone and one of Cushing too. Too large to post here though.👍
  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#7 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

    Consulting Detective

  • 17,718 posts
  • LocationIndiana, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:The Reichenbach Fall
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Abominable Bride

Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:55 PM

Cool!  My avatar isn't even a photo that I took, I just copied it off the internet and cropped it to size.  I guess that's one advantage to using something off the net -- you can look for one that's already about the right size.  But if I ever draw a duck of my own that turns out any good, you can bet it'll be my new avatar!

 

Found your Etsy page -- interesting portraits.  I'm always amazed by people who can do so many different styles.  Have you ever done a Cumberbatch as Holmes, or anyone else from the show?  (And by the way, weren't you in Mary Poppins?)


-- Carol

 


#8 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 16 September 2017 - 06:01 PM

I can't remember being in Mary Poppins but my memory isn't what it used to be🙂I have a couple somewhere I think. One is just in pencil if I remember correctly and the other is in the style where I do small drawings and designs within the face. I was thinking of doing a larger one with Cumberbatch, Freeman and Gatiss in character with maybe the eyes and upper head 'Moriarty.'
  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#9 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Consulting Detective

  • 15,486 posts
  • LocationUSA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:His Last Vow
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 18 September 2017 - 01:43 AM

Yes, he was a cute child, wasn't he Carol? :P

 

I love the John Lydon portrait, that is nutz!


  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
It's this, or Cluedo.

#10 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 18 September 2017 - 09:26 AM

Thanks Arcadia👍. I really only draw but the Lydon one is a painting. It was done on wood using acrylic paints which I applied with a matchstick to get the effect. I have one of Stephen Fry in the same style.
  • Arcadia likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#11 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:12 AM

I’m a nerdy Holmes heaven as far as radio shows go👍 I’ve just found some stuff that I don’t have, which is on YouTube and a friend will put on disc for me🙂

Sherlock Holmes Radio Show CBSRMT with Kevin McCarthy as Holmes. All 26 episodes (I only had 6)

Sherlock Holmes Radio Show CBC Theatre with John Neville as Holmes😁 5 episodes

South African Sherlock Holmes series with Robert Langford as Holmes 9 episodes

Radio show with Barry Foster playing Holmes 13 episodes

The Second Holmes with Peter Egan as Stamford Holmes

The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes with Denys Hawthorne as Holmes

And!! Chosen Companions which is Richard Usbourne, one time assistant editor of The Strand magazine talking ( plus Carlton Hobbs reading excerpts)

I know what you’re thinking.....some people are easily pleased😀

And you’d probably be right😁
  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#12 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Consulting Detective

  • 15,486 posts
  • LocationUSA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:His Last Vow
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:08 AM

Kevin McCarthy, the guy from Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Good heavens.

 

I just listened to a bit of Scandal in Bohemia. Who plays Watson, do you know? These could actually be fun to listen to on a cold winter night.


  • HerlockSholmes likes this
It's this, or Cluedo.

#13 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

    Consulting Detective

  • 17,718 posts
  • LocationIndiana, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:The Reichenbach Fall
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Abominable Bride

Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:52 AM

Which series was that "Scandal" from, Arcadia, the McCarthy one?  (Several of them have probably done that story, since it's a famous one.)

 

Are you wondering who played Watson on general principles, or for some specific reason?


-- Carol

 


#14 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

    Consulting Detective

  • 17,718 posts
  • LocationIndiana, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:The Reichenbach Fall
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Abominable Bride

Posted 20 November 2017 - 07:35 AM

Hey, Herlock, are you familiar with CBS Radio Mystery Theater?  While looking for Arcadia's Watson, I came across it.  Dunno if they've got anything that's not also on YouTube.

 

Arcadia, it looks like Watson may have been played by one Court Benson.  They don't say which part he played, but he's listed second, just after Kevin McCarthy.  I believe that many radio programs give the cast at the end, but I don't recall whether they say which part(s) they played.


  • HerlockSholmes likes this

-- Carol

 


#15 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:12 PM

Hi all,

Watson was played by Court Benson as Carol said. I hadn’t listened to any of the McCarthy series for ages but I remember that my biggest complaint was his accent. Sorry guys, nothing against an American accent of course👍 but not for Holmes. McCarthy can’t seem to lose his. A bit like Stephen Fry playing Abe Lincoln! (Well ok, not that bad.)
I’ll listen to the whole series over the next few days.

I really recommend a bit of radio-Holmes to everyone. Obviously some are better than others. For example, I think that Clive Merrison is the radio equivalent of Jeremy Brett or Basil Rathbone (closely followed by Carlton Hobbs in my opinion.)
  • Arcadia likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#16 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:21 PM

Hey, Herlock, are you familiar with CBS Radio Mystery Theater? While looking for Arcadia's Watson, I came across it. Dunno if they've got anything that's not also on YouTube.

Arcadia, it looks like Watson may have been played by one Court Benson. They don't say which part he played, but he's listed second, just after Kevin McCarthy. I believe that many radio programs give the cast at the end, but I don't recall whether they say which part(s) they played.


Hi Carol,

I just followed the link. There’s so much there! I didn’t listen to anything though (I’m assuming that you ‘click’ to listen?) but I saw some interesting titles (I only looked up to around 150!)
A few Poe stories. Wilde’s Canterville Ghost and, most interesting to me, a version of The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes which is based on the ripper story. It’s been filmed a few times too (first by Hitchcock starring Ivor Novello.) The best version starred Laird Cregar though. Also in The Man In The Attic Jack Pallance starred.

Thanks for the link Carol. It’s been bookmarked👍
  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#17 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Consulting Detective

  • 15,486 posts
  • LocationUSA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:His Last Vow
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:38 PM

Which series was that "Scandal" from, Arcadia, the McCarthy one?  (Several of them have probably done that story, since it's a famous one.)

Yep, that one, sorry, I was half asleep when I typed that post. My general excuse for most of my lack of clarity these days. :P

 

Are you wondering who played Watson on general principles, or for some specific reason?

 
Mostly because his voice sounds so dang familiar to me. But I've never heard of Court Benson, so I suspect it's just a "generic" (to my ears) Watson voice.


  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
It's this, or Cluedo.

#18 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 20 November 2017 - 07:25 PM

I’d never heard of Court Benson either.

I found out that he was born on November 4th 1914 in Vancouver and died on February 5th 1995 at Mount Kisko, New York.

This is a photograph of him.

https://www.google.c...8EJ__c2zWnsZdM:
  • Carol the Dabbler likes this
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#19 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

  • 359 posts
  • LocationWest Midlands
  • Favorite series 1 episode:A Study In Pink
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Empty Hearse
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Final Problem

Posted 20 November 2017 - 07:27 PM

Court was short for Courtenay E Benson
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#20 Arcadia

Arcadia

    Consulting Detective

  • 15,486 posts
  • LocationUSA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:His Last Vow
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 21 November 2017 - 03:49 AM

Nope, he's still not familiar to me; just his voice rang a bell.


It's this, or Cluedo.