Sherlock Holmes Centenary (1987)

In celebration of 100 years of Holmes in 1987, the BBC broadcast a number of programmes relating to his legacy. The Radio Times for the week of December 5th to 11th, 1987 carries a drawing of Holmes on the cover and there are seven pages inside covering “Sherlock – A study in the science of sleuthing” by H R F Keating and other articles. You can see these articles and the cover by the courtesy of Altamont in his Markings.

The programmes broadcast that week included:

  • “Centenary, My Dear Watson” on BBC Radio 4 where we follow the men and women of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London who celebrated the centenary with a pilgrimage through Switzerland to the Reichenbach Falls. This programme can be heard here.
  • “Food and Drink” on BBC Two in which, as a change from Christmas Pudding, what about Plum Duff, the exclusive recipe of our housekeeper (or is it landlady?) Mrs Hudson
  • “The Case of Sherlock Holmes”, a 40 Minutes special on BBC Two (lasting an hour and ten minutes) in which Tim Pigott-Smith, who has played both of us, embarks on an investigation into why Holmes continues to fascinate. This programme can be seen here.
  • “The Hound of the Baskervilles”on BBC Two which was Basil Rathbone’s first film as Holmes, and the start of a new season of Rathbone as Holmes films on the BBC
  • “Out of Court” on BBC Two which carries out an investigation into vicious and ou-of-control dogs, citing the Hound as “an elementary matter for Sherlock Holmes to unravel”

Add to that a competition to win “a holiday for two near the Reichenbach Falls or a set of the new deluxe Super Cluedo Challenge”!

The only extra I have included here, courtesy of Mrs Hudson is her Plum Duff recipe:

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These are the competition questions

  1. What was Holmes chief adversary called?
  2. What was Conan Doyle’s profession?
  3. What nationality was Hercules Poirot?
  4. Which technical invention caught Dr Crippen?
  5. Who was Lord Peter Whimsey’s manservant?
  6. Which of the following is not a character in Waddington’s Cluedo board game? (a) Miss Scarlett (b) Dr Green (c) Professor Plum

I’m afraid the competition is now closed . . .

 

Comments

2 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    The centenary, and in particular the Radio Times and 40 minutes specials, were instrumental in making a lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan of me at twelve years of age. Although I had always enjoyed the Basil Rathbone films it was only at this point that I started reading the stories and watching the ITV series. Thanks so much for this.

    • John Watson says:

      I am glad you enjoyed this retrospective. With the help of my literary agent, we are compiling a history of Holmes at the BBC including radio programmes that are nearly ninety years old, television programmes, black and white and colour, dramas, comedy, and documentaries. There’s a vast range and the Radio Times has been instrumental in guiding our research. We hope to have something ready for publication next year when it will be 88 years since Sherlock Holmes was first mentioned on the BBC.

      John

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