In my opinion, Peter Cushing's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes has never really been given the recognition it deserves; in the minds of many observers, his maintains a firm third place in the rankings of the best portrayals of the Great Detective, behind the definitive Jeremy Brett and the classic Basil Rathbone versions. This is because, though typically excellent, his take on the Great Detective was never provided with a totally successful starring vehicle; Hammer's 1959 film version of The Hound of the Baskervilles was an undeserving flop, his late-1960s BBC TV series was fraught with production problems, and his 1984 swansong in the role, the TV movie The Masks of Death, has been all but forgotten. A enthusiastic Holmes expert and avid collector of the Strand Magazine originals, Cushing's several appearances as Holmes were filled with tiny details lifted straight from the pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and best of all, his Holmes (just like Brett's) was totally original and borrowed nothing at all from any of the previous screen interpretations.
Here, in a previously unreleased collection of recordings from the early 1970s, Cushing reads the stories The Empty House, The Norwood Builder, The Dancing Men, and The Solitary Cyclist from Conan Doyle's The Return of Sherlock Holmes. The material, of course, speaks for itself, but the real joy here is in listening to a `new' vocal performance from this most talented of actors, who fully understood every facet of both the central character and the stories themselves. Truly a rediscovered treat for every Cushing fan (and every Holmes expert), you won't want to miss this.