Welcome back, all! Illiamdra, what's a Ninni?
I got a few Holmes-related Christmas gifts this year: some cassettes and CDs of the old (and newer) radio plays, a novel called The Sherlockian
, a little book titled The Sherlock Holmes School of Self-Defence: The Manly Art of Bartitsu as used against Professor Moriarty
, and two sets of DVDs: the two Christopher Lee mini-series and the late 60's BBC series with Peter Cushing. Now, I think I've mentioned here already that Cushing is one of my favourite Holmes actors, but I'd only seen him in the Hammer Films Hound of the Baskervilles
, which is a bit dated but he's very good. The BBC series also started off with a version of The Hound, which I watched last night. Pretty dreadful, I'm afraid - tiny, poky sets, not particularly good supporting cast (the actor playing Sir Henry Baskerville was attempting a Canadian accent and producing something unconvincing as either Canadian or American) and a rather muddled script. The hound was barely seen and not particularly terrifying. There are four others still to watch, and I hope they're better. Peter Cushing is a much better Holmes than they deserved, and Nigel Stock is a good Watson.
The Christopher Lee TV mini-series have been spliced together into two long movies, Incident at Victoria Falls
and Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady
. We watched Incident at Victoria Falls
on Christmas Day. Kind of dreadful. Everyone makes an appearance, from King Edward VI to Teddy Roosevelt (surprisingly well-played by Claude Akins). Lee plays Holmes as an older man trying to retire to his bee-keeping, and he pretty much just shows up to collect his paycheck. Patrick McNee, on the other hand, works frantically hard as a particularly bumbling Watson. The story is mostly set in South Africa, and although some of the second half was shot on location at Victoria Falls, the first part is clearly not Africa at all. (It's a Belgian production, so I'd guess it was filmed somewhere in southern Europe.) I guess we'll have to watch the second one soon, although I can't say I'm looking forward to seeing Morgan Fairchild as Irene Adler.
Anyone else get Holmesian goodies in their stockings?