Friday, February 27, 2015

The Other Sherlock On BBC!

I was lucky enough to find this collection of vintage BBC adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Great Detective". This set holds the first season of the 60's series which later returned with Peter Cushing as Holmes. I examined the later series here. This set is in glorious black and white as opposed to the later series which was in color. Playing Sherlock in this set of adaptations is Douglas Wilmer who does a strikingly good job. As Watson is Nigel Stock who reprised his role alongside Cushing some few years later.

Douglas Wilmer as Holmes
The stories are pretty good given the limitations of budget and schedule. Wilmer has said in interviews that he was pretty unhappy with the scripts and that he and Stock did some work on them before they hit the set, but it's hard to know who did what. The final result are some really interesting takes on the vintage Holmes material.

Nigel Stock as Watson with his Other Holmes
It rivals, but doesn't surpass the later Granada series with Jeremy Brett. Wilmer in some ways strikes many of the same notes that Brett would play so masterfully years later, capturing the Holmes personality, especially his irritable nature as well as a spark of gleeful playfulness from time to time. Stock as Watson is top notch, a nimble actor who totally looks the part through and through.

If you can find it, this set is worth the small money it seems to command. Missing only a few episodes, we get a real nifty batch of Holmes goodness.

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  1. I remember watching one of the Peter Cushing episodes one night back in the '60s, and there was a scene where Holmes chaps at a room door seeking entrance. The scene is shot from inside the room, and we hear the occupant's voice saying "Come in" and see the door opening and Holmes entering. Suddenly there was a cry of "Cut!" and then the door is suddenly shut again, we hear Holmes knocking, the cry of "Come in" and the scene then plays out as it should. A mix-up in the editing, obviously, but it was odd to see something go wrong on TV like that, especially as it wasn't 'live'.

  2. That's hilarious. I wonder if the mistake is on the dvds too?


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