In 1998, the BBC became the first production company ever to dramatise the entire canon (56 short stories and 4 novels) of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, taking 9 years to complete in total, with Bert Coules being the principle writer of the production.
Clive Merrison (Holmes) and Michael Williams (Watson) starred in every recording, and their relationship comes across superbly well, with clear affection between the two being evident. I will admit, it did take me a while to warm to Merrison as Holmes, but having listened to the CD's many a time, I fully appreciate what he bought to the role, playing the detective with his exaggerated mannerisms and mood swings. Williams' Watson is a strong character, often standing up to Holmes arguing his point (particularly when Holmes often dismisses his romanticised written versions of their exploits!!)
The overall production (as one might expect from the BBC) is first class, and you are immediately transported back to the times when hansom cabs were rushing the pair to the scene of a crime. Some of the later stories Doyle had written do not stand up to the earlier ones, however, this does not detract from performances of the radio cast.
A total of 64 CD's come in a sturdy presentation box, together with an 83 page CD sized booklet that provides an insight into the making of the radio programmes.
Also recommended, are The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 1 (ISBN 0-563-52407-) and 2 (ISBN 30-563-53039-1) that were written by Bert Coules, and inspired by the original Doyle stories. Sadly Michael Williams had passed away when these were produced, however Andrew Sachs fills the role sufficiently well.