Tag Archives: Public Life of Sherlock Holmes

Hell on Wheels

I enjoy a good Western, though I don’t watch a lot of them. So, back in November of 2011, I decided to watch the first episode of a new television series on AMC. It was called Hell on Wheels.

Well, that show just wrapped up its fifth and final season a few weeks ago. It turned out to be a pretty darn good Western Noir, set against the backdrop of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

I wrote a bit of a retrospective last week in ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ over at BlackGate.com. After Justified finished things up and BBC’s Sherlock went into the tank, Hell on Wheels became my favorite TV drama. It had a great cast, excellent cinematography and an evolving story line. Check out my post, then go check out the pilot. You might just like it.

Ronald Howard over at Black Gate

Holmes_HowardMeetingLast August, I looked at one of my favorite, most under-appreciated Sherlock Holmes’, Ronald Howard, with this post over at BlackGate.com.  Howard gave us a younger, more humorous Holmes, laying the groundwork for another under-appreciated portrayal: that of Ian Richardson.

When series creator and guru Sheldon Reynolds wrote the first two episodes, he “tied them together” in case the pilot failed to sell. That way, he could splice together a ‘B’ film and market it as a “filler” Holmes movie.

So, this week, I dug into those two episodes with some commentary added. Head on over and check out some more on Ronald Howard.

And this post marks two dozen ‘Holmes on Screen’ entries over at Black Gate. I’ve linked all of them within the post, so go do some exploring.


If you’re totally unfamiliar with the series (which was my first Holmes on screen), Sheldon Reynolds set up shop in Paris, casting British star Leslie Howard’s son as a younger, more earnest, more likeable Holmes. H. Marion Crawford played his not as Nigel Bruce-ish Watson. There were 39 episodes, with only The Red Headed League being a direct translation from Doyle. Though there were plenty elements from the Canon in other episodes. Including a pretty good take on The Valley of Fear (minus the Scowrers).

It employed an ensemble cast, so you saw people in different roles in different episodes. The scripts varied widely in quality, with some real stinkers. But overall, it was a fun series, though it lasted only the one season.

You can usually find the entire thing on DVD for $10 or less and it’s certainly worth a watch.

Catching up on Black Gate

Dorak_BookI continue to post over at Black Gate every Monday morning. I just might make it to two straight years! Along with my ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column, I toss in an occasional RPG-related post and I’m still helping with the ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series.

Recently, I went back-to-back with posts on Solar Pons (the guy this site is named after!). The Dorak Affair drew heavily on a real-life archaeological scandal. And I also wrote a post that looked at how August Derleth manged to successfully write Sherlock Holmes pastiches during the hard-boiled era.

I LOVE J.R.R. Tolkien’s word building and history development in ‘The Silmarillion’ and wrote about one piece of it regarding the famed ‘Necklace of the Dwarves.’

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Happy Birthday, Peter Cushing (Sherlock Holmes)

Cushing_PeterHoundPeter Cushing was born on this date (May 26) in 1913. THE star of Hammer Films’ horror franchise, alongside friend and fellow Holmes Christopher Lee, the two appeared in Hammer’s 1959 The Hound of the Baskervilles. Cushing played Holmes while Lee was Sir Henry Baskerville.

Cushing also starred as the great detective in a BBC television series (succeeding Douglas Wilmer) and in a tv movie, The Masks of Death (his second-to-last film).

Cushing was approached for a sequel to Masks, but his failing health (he looked painfully fragile in the movie) prevented that from happening. He was also asked to play Reverend Merridew in Granada’s The Last Vampyre. While certainly not one of the best in the series, it would have been something to see the Holmes of the sixties opposite the Holmes of the eighties.

I think that Cushing rates the upper echelon among Holmes impersonators.

Here’s a link to an essay I wrote last year on his Hammer Hound.


The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Wontner & Dr. Watson

Wontner_withHardingTwo weeks ago, The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes wrote about Arthur Wontner, one of my top three Holmes’. He deserves to be better remembered.

And last week, I looked at three cases in which Dr. Watson filled in for Holmes with some detective work. Holmes was a bit harsh.

The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes – A Lost Story and Some Criticism of Holmes’ Detective Work

Wanted_PearsonLetterToday over at Black Gate, The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes looks at ‘The Man Who Was Wanted,’ the lost Sherlock Holmes tale.

Last week we took a rather critical look at Holmes’ on the job performance in The Speckled Band.


The Public life of Sherlock Holmes – Search for (The Movie of ) The Mystery Holmes

Holmes_BragingtonToday over at Black Gate, The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes draws on a post I originally made here at Almost Holmes. Last week, the most cool British Film Institute said they’re stepping up the hunt for the 1914 British version of A Study in Scarlet, which is number 9 on their list of top 75 Most Wanted Missing Films.

For at least forty  years, the name of the Holmes to the right was a mystery. We’ve since discovered who he was (you’ll have to read the article for his name!), but now the search is on to find the film he made.

Head on over as I head on back into the world of Sherlock Holmes.