Author Archive

News Bulletin 300

Seasonal Viewing & Listening Guide

“A few trifling points might perhaps be added”

Talking Pictures

Without a Clue (1988) starring Michael Caine is on Christmas Day at 9.30pm, repeated New Year’s Eve at 10.00pm.

“A broad and at times slapstick approach to Holmes, which you will either love or loathe.” (Alex Kane, Chronicler 17, September 2006)


Mr. Holmes (2015) starring Ian McKellen is on New Year’s Day at 6.20pm.

“Mr. Holmes focuses on the man behind the mysteries and while it may lack Baker Street thrills, it more than compensates with tenderly wrought, well-acted drama.”*


The Return of Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett is in an early afternoon slot from Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd inclusive. It moves to early mornings on Christmas Eve and continues in these time slots from Sunday 27th to Wednesday 30th inclusive; the run concludes on New Year’s Eve. Enough said!


Sherlock Gnomes (2018) is showing on Sunday 22 December at 2.00pm.

“Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason for its own existence.”*

TCM Movies

For Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce fans there’s Pursuit to Algiers (1945) on Saturday 19th at 7.35pm; Terror by Night (1946) has a Sunday afternoon slot (20th) at 1.40pm; Sherlock Holmes & the Spider Woman (1944) is being shown on Tuesday 29th at 7.35pm and repeated on New Year’s Eve at 8.15am.

Sky Action

On Wednesday 30th there’s a double helping of the blockbusters starring Robert Downey Jnr. and Jude Law; Sherlock Holmes (2009) is at 5.50pm immediately followed at 8.00pm by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).

“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.”*


Nothing whatsoever has been seen or, perhaps of more significance here, heard.

*Quotes included above are from consensus unless otherwise stated. Guide covers UK/Ireland, listings source – Radio Times for fortnight commencing 19th December.


News Bulletin 299

“Have there been any fresh developments?” asked Holmes

Due to the circumstances currently prevailing, the ship has had to put back into port, unfortunately for more than twelve hours (the reference is from Card). We would expect it to becalmed there for the next two months at least which means that the sailing scheduled for 25 October 2020 has been cancelled.

The possibility of holding the Annual Dinner sailing is still under investigation so crew should expect to receive an up-to-date ship to shore message about that in the not too distant future. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and each other.

News Bulletin 298

“Keep your distance and all is well.”

These are extraordinary times, so rather than delay the inevitable announcement it is best you know now that the Annual Outing Sailing has been cancelled.

The ship will remain in dry dock for the duration, undergoing her annual overhaul at a certain Belfast shipyard. It is our intention, all being well, to resume normal service on the last Sunday in October (see About the Crew/Sailing Schedules). A brief update has also been posted on the Home page.




News Bulletin 297

“You will please keep your distance.”

The sailing from Willows Wharf which was scheduled for Sunday 26 April 2020 has been cancelled. We have been carefully monitoring the developments concerning the speed of coronavirus (Covid-19) and feel it would not be wise to proceed.

The question of whether to go ahead with the Annual Outing Sailing is still under review; you will be informed about this before April is through.





News Bulletin 296

Seasonal Viewing & Listening Guide

“A few trifling points might perhaps be added”

Glancing over the “festive fortnight” listings, those of us yearning for a plentiful serving of “oven ready” Holmesian treats and who are strictly confined to Freeview will find relatively slim pickings to choose from. For those of you who have access to TCM Movies it’s a far more pleasing picture – a short season of Rathbone and Bruce films gets underway this Saturday afternoon. 

As for radio listeners, a deafening silence awaits; there’s absolutely nothing to be heard on the BBC.

TCM Movies

(Sky 315 Virgin 415 Virgin HD 416 BT 512)

Alex Kane says The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), this Saturday 21st December at 1.30pm, “is a classic example of how good the ‘golden era’ of Hollywood really was. 20th Century-Fox threw money at this production and it shows in every single department, particularly the moor—which was 300 feet long and 200 feet across. Basil Rathbone was damn near perfect as Holmes and Nigel Bruce hadn’t yet become the stumbling, bumbling caricature he was to become when Universal took over the series a few years later.”

If you’re up for it, on Monday 23rd TCM is offering a 9-hour Sherlock Holmes special with no less than 6 titles from the Universal series to choose from. It starts with Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon at 12 noon, followed by Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1.30), Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (3.00), Sherlock Holmes in Washington (4.35), The Pearl of Death (6.10), and finishes with The House of Fear at 7.45pm.

Hammer’s 1959 production of The Hound of the Baskervilles was the first of two Hound films starring Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes. Does this one tick the box for you or is your preference the 1968 BBC version? The 1959 Hound can be seen on Christmas Eve (24th) at 6.10pm (repeated on Monday 30th at 1.30pm).

Returning to Rathbone and Bruce, there’s a repeat of The Pearl of Death on Friday 26th at 1.40am. Sherlock Holmes Faces Death is also being repeated, on Saturday (27th) at 3.10pm and also on Sunday 29th at 5.00pm.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) is scheduled for 10.45pm on Friday 3rd January. Ian Nathan, reviewing it in Empire (at the time of release), said it was “a sequel confident in what it’s about – bigger, better, funnier, without stretching the joke.” The third instalment in the franchise is not due in cinemas until Christmas 2021.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is being shown on Thursday 2nd January at 2.35pm. The following day (3rd) there are further episodes, at 8.00am and 2.30pm. No details are to hand but there’s little doubt that these adventures are from the 1984 Granada series so many of us adore, starring the incomparable Jeremy Brett as Holmes with David Burke as his Watson.


Finding Neverland (2004) is not about Sherlock Holmes; it’s included here because Conan Doyle has a part in it (a relatively small one). This enjoyable biopic is showing on Sunday 22nd at 3.40pm. Conan Doyle is played by Ian Hart, who some of you will remember as Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002) and also in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004), both first shown on BBC1 (perhaps the least said the better about those two productions).


As an alternative or additional to the above, you could leave home and go to the cinema to see Knives Out (2019). Described by Mark Kermode in The Observer (1st December) as a “homage to Agatha Christie” and “a deliciously entertaining whodunit”, the film also delivers some nice nods to our own world.

Unlike Sherlock, we can’t be everywhere, which helps explain why this handy guide is confined to the UK and Ireland. Have we missed anything?

News Bulletin 295

Seasonal Viewing & Listening Guide

“A few trifling points might perhaps be added”

Unlike Sherlock, we can’t be everywhere, which may help explain why our handy guide to Sherlock viewing and listening across the festive fortnight is confined to the UK and Ireland.  Needless to say, it’s all repeats of repeats. You’ll need access to Virgin or Sky or BT for most of the TV stuff but for those of you who only have Freeview, there’s a chance to catch the second of the two Guy Ritchie steampunk blockbusters on ITV 2.

Over on the good old wireless (a few of us old codgers still call it that), there’s an opportunity to listen again to Nick Utechin’s superb The Game’s Afoot special on BBC Radio 4 Extra.  

ITV 2 (Freeview 6)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011) – Friday 28 December, 9.00pm.


For fans of the BBC Sherlock, all four series are being shown (in order) on Alibi, starting on Thursday 27 December with series 1, episode 1, and continuing up until and including 2 January. On New Year’s Eve there are no less than 5 episodes (from series 2 and 3) showing back to back. 


The Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce films have remained firm favourites since The Hound of the Baskervilles was first shown on the big screens in 1939. It’s on Sunday 22 December at 7.20pm. Films from the Universal series, e.g. The House of Fear (1944) on Sunday 23 December at 12 noon, are showing on other days during Christmas Week.

TCM also has a double bill of Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law on New Year’s Day – Sherlock (2009) at 8.00pm and Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011) at 10.40pm. The first film is also showing the following day at 11.05pm and the second film is on Friday 28 December at 9.00pm (same time as ITV 2).


This 3 hour special from 2008, The Game’s Afoot, is being aired again on Saturday 29 December at 9.00am, repeated at 7.00pm. Presenter Nick Utechin (former editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal) looks at the incarnations of the detective on radio from 1940 onwards. You can catch it on DAB, online and the BBC Sounds app. It’s a real treat!


The Rivals features Inspector Lestrade investigating sleuths who were rivals of Sherlock Holmes. This is a repeat of a four part series first broadcast in 2016. Episode 1 of 4 is scheduled for Sunday 30 December at 7.15pm (and weekly thereafter?). It’s also repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Friday 4 January.

Have we left anything out?



News Bulletin 294

“I should prefer to hear it now”


Series 2 of Sherlock Holmes with Carleton Hobbs continues daily from Monday 12 March on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Transmission times are 6.00am, 1.00pm and 8.00pm with a further repeat at 1.00am the following day. Tomorrow’s episode (4/7) is ‘The Cardboard Box’. There are further episodes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.You can find the link  here.

If you missed Episodes 1-3, which were broadcast last week,  you can still catch them on the BBC iPlayer for radio. Episode 1 is here.

Sherlock Gnomes

It’s come to our notice that Sherlock Gnomes (2018) won’t be appearing in cinemas in the UK/Ireland until 11 May (and not 23 March as we’d been previously led to believe). Russia, Singapore and the Ukraine will be on the first to see it, on 15 March. Ah well, fans of animation will just have to content themselves with Peter Rabbit (2018), which opens in cinemas on the 15th of this month.




News Bulletin 293

“I am glad to have a friend with whom I can discuss my results”*

TV & Radio Listings

Here’s our  handy guide to Sherlock Holmes on TV and Radio (UK & Ireland) over the Festive Fortnight. You’ll need access to Virgin, Sky or BT for most of the TV stuff but for those of you who only have Freeview there’s a chance to catch both of Guy Ritchie’s steampunk box office blockbusters, which are on on ITV 2. Over on Radio, there’s an opportunity to listen again to Bert Coules’ The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on Radio 4 Extra. Have we left anything out?

ITV 2 (Freeview 6)

Sherlock Holmes (2009) New Year’s Eve 9.00pm

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) 3 Jan 9.00pm


The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) 23 Dec

The Woman in Green 23 Dec

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death 23 Dec

Sherlock Holmes (2009) Xmas Day 9.00pm

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Xmas Day 11.40pm

The House of Fear Boxing Day 11.00am

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Boxing Day 9.00pm

Pursuit to Algiers 27 Dec 6.30pm

Terror by Night 27 Dec 7.50pm

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) 5 Jan 4.40pm

Sherlock Holmes (2009) 5 Jan 10.55pm

Sky Living

Elementary 9 episodes back-to-back 30 Dec from 9.00am

Also episodes of Series 3 on selected days

BBC Radio 4 Extra

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Xmas Day 11.15am, 9.15pm and 1.00am

Further episodes at same times on Boxing Day, 27 Dec & 28 Dec


Click on the links below to reveal contents:

‘The compliments of the season’

Blue Christmas


News Bulletin 292

“We both burst out into a roar of laughter”*

After a string of garden gnome disappearances in London, Gnomeo & Juliet look to legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes to solve the case. This new animated movie is due in cinemas in March 2018. Watch the official trailer here.


News Bulletin 291

“I was compelled to leave you without much news”

Dear me, dear me; this is our first bulletin since February, and it brings great news for those of you who like listening to the original stories. For the first time in ages, there is going to be a repeat run of the 1959 series of Sherlock Holmes radio adventures.
The series is on BBC Radio 4 Extra and stars Carleton Hobbs as Holmes and Norman Shelley as Watson. It starts this Monday 23 October 2017. The opening episode is ‘The Man With the Twisted Lip’. Transmissions are at 6.00am, 1.00pm and 8.00pm, and again at 1.00am the following day, from Monday until Friday. We’re not clear if there is anything the following week.
Check out Radio radio listings.