Tag Archives: television

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.

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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.

Alan Wheatley as Mr. Sherlock Holmes…

ImageIn 1951, the BBC aired a six-episode series, We Present Alan Wheatley as Mr. Sherlock Holmes in… It was actually broadcast live, so no tapes exist today. Wheatley was an impressive looking Holmes with Raymond Francis as his Watson. Wheatley said of his experience, “I never enjoyed anything less..it remains an unpleasing memory for me…” Of Holmes, he said, “In my opinion he just seemed to be an insufferable prig.” Can’t fault his assessment there.

The stories used were The Empty House, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Dying Detective, The Reigate Squires, The Red Headed League and The Second Stain.

I’ve not heard from anyone who actually saw this series, though the Times did lavish some praise on Wheatley. He is certainly one of the most unknown Holmes’.

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