12th July, 5 Comments
By John Watson
At the end of Part 1, I said the heyday of Holmes on the radio in the USA was coming to an end with the series of 39 shows with Ben Wright as Holmes and Eric Snowden taking my part. This series lasted until June 1950.
Then, after a gap of five years, in 1955 the shows with the Gielgud and Richardson pairing mentioned in British Radio Part 1 were broadcast in the USA in a different order and with four extra shows. These were repeated in 1956.
In 1959, 36 of the Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley shows were aired for the first time in the USA.
Then after what appears to be a very long gap, in 1977 the CBS Mystery Theatre broadcast eleven shows with Kevin McCarthy as Holmes and Cort Benson as Watson. These shows are all from the Canon and include HOUN, SIGN, STUD, REDH, BOSC, SPEC, SCAN, BLUE, BERY, IDEN and GLOR.
I can then find details of three more CBS Mystery Theatre shows, all with Gordon Gould as Holmes but with a different Watson in each case – MUSG with Lloyd Batesta in 1981, NAVA with Bernard Grant in 1982, and NAVA again later in 1982 with William Griffiths.
Nine years later in 1991, Edward Petherbridge appeared as Holmes with David Peart as Watson in STUD followed by VALL, FIVE, TWIS, SILV, GREE, SCAN, BLUE, SPEC, BRUC, NOBL, SIXN and HOUN stretching into 1993.
I also have a note of a production of HOUN with Nicol Williamson and George Rose but I have no date for this and I cannot tell whether this is a radio broadcast or not.
There are two more series, both of which are still running and produced by Jim French for the Imagination Theatre. The first of these, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are all pastiches with Lawrence Albert as Watson but with a succession of different actors playing Holmes. These include John Gilbert, John Patrick Lowrie and Denis Bateman. In one episode, Watson (played by Lawrence Albert) impersonates Holmes and works with Mycroft in that episode and the previous one. Over 90 episodes have been produced (at the end of 2009) and scripts and recordings are available.
Following on from this, Jim French started another series in 2005 called The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with John Patrick Lowrie as Holmes and Lawrence Albert again as Watson. This time they are all stories from the Canon and, as of March 2010, 23 shows have been produced.
So this brings this series itself to an end. The previous parts were:
- Sherlock Holmes on British Radio – Part 1
- Sherlock Holmes on British Radio – Part 2
- Sherlock Holmes on American Radio – Part 1
But, before I go I must acknowledge the following sources without whom this series could not have been produced:
- Allen Eyles “Sherlock Holmes – A Centenary Celebration“, John Murray 1986 ISBN 0-7195-4332-0
- Hugo Brown’s VV341 – The Valley of Fear website
- Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs website
- Frank M Passages Old Time Radio Program Logs (scroll down the list to Sherlock Holmes and other related series such as “Second Holmes”)
There are still some broadcasts that I am trying to track down but if anyone knows about any that I have missed then please drop me a line care of 221B Baker Street.