This review is from: Sherlock Holmes Further Collection (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This collection brings together twelve of the BBC Radio dramatisations of Sherlock Holmes stories, starring Carleton Hobbs as Holmes and Norman Shelley as Watson, that aired between 1952 and 1969. In total the pair recorded over 70 stories during that time.
For modern listeners, these are perhaps best listened to as a time capsule: whether it was due to standards of the time or simply a desire to make Holmes a wholesome hero (like Dick Barton or Jet Morgan), the darker aspects of Holmes' character are completely avoided. Indeed, in these stories, Holmes is a garrulous avuncular soul, and Watson is portrayed as a monosyllabic oaf (as thick, if not thicker, than Nigel Bruce in the Basil Rathbone films). Many of the supporting cast are clearly straight from central casting and, whilst some throw themselves into it, there are some laughable attempts at cockney or regional accents. Personally, I preferred the later radio adaptations starring Clive Merrison and Michael Williams, which stayed closer to the darker tone and narrative of the original stories.
Of course, what ultimately saves this collection is the stories themselves. If you are not a Holmes-obsessive (knowing all the stories beforehand) this makes for a pleasant listen on a car journey and , at nearly six hours running time, is pretty good value. My tip would be to skip the first track on each disc which contains a rather pompous introduction and analysis and adds nothing.