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News Bulletin 285

‘… it could hardly fail to end in such a situation’*

Sherlock: The Final Problem

At last we have a title for the third episode of the new BBC Sherlock series (this is No.4); it’s ‘The Final Problem’. Is this, finally, the end of the line for this hugely successful series? Or, is it another red herring?

The third episode will also be shown in selected cinemas across the UK/Ireland at the same time as the BBC1 screening (“I expect developments, Watson”).

Radio Times are doing another of their “Free” giveaways of Sherlock Holmes books (starting with issue w/c 31st Dec); T&Cs will apply. The issue will also carry full details of episode 1, ‘The Six Thatchers’, which is set to air on Sun 1 Jan 2017 on BBC1.

Elementary….it’s game on!

Fans of Elementary will be rejoicing in the news that new season 5 (which we all thought had been delayed until the New Year) will now launch this Tue (13th Dec) at 9.00pm on Sky Living (the repeat is on Sat 17th at 10.00pm). More good news: There will be no mid-season break during the entire 24 episode run.

Conan Doyle….the detail is in the retail

Those of you who like to see portrayals of Conan Doyle on screen, and who didn’t catch this one first time round, may wish to check out Mr Selfridge, episode 7/10 (series 1), which is being repeated on ITV3 this Tue (13th) at 10.00pm. Not to worry if you miss it though…you won’t have missed much.



News Bulletin 284

“There is material here. There is scope,” said he.

Crew are reminded that the May Day sails at 3.00pm tomorrow, Sunday, October 30th. Available crew should report for duty by 2.45 so that rations can be dispensed and cargo loaded. Details of this sailing are in the current issue of Mayday Mayday.

For those who haven’t seen the official trailer for the BBC Sherlock Series 4, watch it below. Episode 1 will air on New Year’s Day.

News Bulletin 283

“After a month of trivialities and stagnation, the wheels move once more”

Ever since our last post back in May, the blinds at the shipping office have been half-drawn (and the shutters down) as we’ve been otherwise pre-occupied with non-Sherlockian matters. Having said all that, these encumbrances haven’t hindered the production of a 16 page Mayday Mayday which members will have received at the start of last week. This explains, at least in part, why we decided to go to ground over the summer (what summer?) period and keep stum.

That’s all behind us now as we cry “Heap it on, stokers!” and board our beloved ship, the S.S. May Day, for another season of playing the grand game.  The first scheduled sailing is Sunday 25 September, departing from Canary Wharf, and we’ll be weighing anchor at 3.00pm sharp.

Our case for investigation is ‘The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge’ (Wist) – so get reading! We’ll also be embarking on a new Jeremy Brett film season (Hoorah!) – JB6, commencing with ‘The Red-headed League’.

News Bulletin 282

“I am glad of all details whether they seem to be relevant or not”

Annual Outing Sailing/Reel Back 3

The final sailing of the year is this coming Sunday (29 May). We still have one or two places left to fill so the booking deadline has therefore been extended to tomorrow, Tuesday (24th), closing at midnight.


Sherlock 3: Action at last

Just when it looked as if it was going nowhere fast (actually, slow), we now hear that filming of Sherlock Holmes 3 may/will start this Fall.


Toby Jones for  BBC Sherlock villain 

Meanwhile, Toby Jones, who was marvellous in the 2014 TV Movie Marvellous but not quite so marvellous in the 2016 Dad’s Army Movie, is being cast as a villain in the fourth Sherlock series (to air January 2017?). Expect to see him in episode 2. The question of the moment is this: Which villain will he play?







News Bulletin 281

Douglas Wilmer 1920-2016

“I play the game for the game’s own sake,” said he.

Thursday 31 March 2016 had been already clouded by the news that the comedy legend Ronnie Corbett had passed away earlier in the day. Then in the afternoon more sad news started coming down the wire; Douglas Wilmer had also died.

There’s a tribute to “an incomparable actor”  on the Sherlock Holmes Society of London website. Douglas was an Honorary Member of that Society; he was a true Holmesian gentleman.

The sad news about Douglas has come too late for us to cover it adequately in our next newsletter (No. 138, due mid April). Already completed, bar the inevitable proof read, we didn’t want to disturb it at this stage so will pay our due respects in the May issue (mid month). In the meantime, this short Bulletin must suffice.

As for the newsletter itself, contributions (short, long or in between) re Douglas Wilmer (and anything else) are invited. These must reach the office by 20 April to be considered for inclusion.

There’ll also be an opportunity for those present at the next RSS (Sunday 24 April) to talk about the great actor, after we’ve watched the last episode in our current Douglas Wilmer Season – The Devil’s Foot.

We aren’t aware of any direct links between Ronnie Corbett and Sherlock Holmes but his wife Anne Hart was the Music Hall singer in The Illustrious Client, the first episode in the Douglas Wilmer Sherlock Holmes 1964-5 series. By a quirk of fate, the crew watched this at the last sailing.

We’ve included a nice picture of Douglas Wilmer on our Home page.



News Bulletin 280

“You are engaged,” said I; “perhaps I interrupt you”*

Houdini & Doyle for ITV

Access to Houdini & Doyle will not be limited to ITV Encore viewers after all. Episode 1 of this new series will premiere on both ITV and ITV Encore on Sunday 13 March 2016 at 10.15pm. The trailer is here.

The series will then continue on ITV Encore only (Sky & Now TV) from Thursday 17 March at 9.00pm each week. It will also air on Fox in the US from 2 May.


Sherlock Holmes on Radio4 Extra

BBC Radio4 Extra is currently running The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, starring Clive Merrison and Michael Williams. Episode 6, ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip’ (details here), is this Monday (7 March) at 11.15am, with further episodes daily from Tuesday through to Friday at the same time.

To catch up on the series to date, click here.

The BBC Complete Audio Sherlock Holmes

Episode Guide


Next Sailing

Crew intending to sail at the next RSS are reminded that it is the third Sunday of the month. The scheduled date is 20 March, departing from Canary Wharf at 3.00pm. Brief details are here. The current issue of Mayday Mayday (No.137) carries additional details.






News Bulletin 279

‘I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes again’*

Back onboard!

Following our short midwinter break, sailings will resume on Sunday 28 February at 3.00pm (sharp). Our captain of the day is David Houston; our point of departure is Osborne Quay. Our study and study quiz is on Abbe and we’ll be watching the first instalment in our new film series, The Douglas Wilmer Season.

Members will find full details of this sailing (as well as March) in the next issue of Mayday Mayday (No.137). It will be emailed out on 14 February.

The March sailing has been brought forward by one week, to Sunday 20th, because the fourth Sunday of the month (27th) is Easter Sunday.

You can always find brief details of the Sailing Schedules online.


Talking about Conan Doyle in Belfast (again)

I’ll be giving an extended version (almost 50 minutes long, the original one at the Ulster Hall last May was 20 minutes) of my talk, ‘Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Belfast: The 1925 Visit’ on Thursday 11 February at Belmont Tower, 82 Belmont Church Road, Belfast, BT4 3FG.

Please note that this event, which is one in a series of monthly meetings held under the auspices of the East Belfast Historical Society, starts at 7.30pm sharp (doors open 7.00) – it will finish by 9.00pm. There is a visitor charge of £3.


Moriarty – the Irish connections

Why did Conan Doyle choose the name Moriarty for Holmes’ nemesis? Radio Kerry asked me to talk about this on the Jerry O’Sullivan Show on 20 January 2016. The Podcast lasts c.10 minutes – you can listen to it here.          


NI Science Festival: Sherlock Holmes, CSI & Geology

Unfortunately it’s too late for this one (Sold out!).


And finally

Scott Monty has been paying tribute to Frank Finlay, who has passed away at the age of 89. His multitude of roles, across cinema, TV and stage, included Inspector Lestrade in both A Study in Terror and Murder by Decree.


Edited by Oscar Ross             *Scan161

News Bulletin 278

“and then you can judge if you will listen to the details”*

Listening post

BBC Radio4 Extra, Thursday 7 January and Friday 8 January 2016 at 6.00am, 8.00pm and 1.00am.  James Nickerson reads from the ‘Devil’s Foot’ (published in 1910 and set in 1897), in which Holmes is recuperating in deepest Cornwall when death strikes a local family. The reading is split into two parts.

We are sailing

Following tonight’s Birthday Celebration (Many happy returns to both Sherlock and Margaret!), the next scheduled departure is the RSS on Sunday 28 February. Details of this and the rest of the upcoming voyages for the remainder of the 2015/2016 season are here.

Mayday Mayday

The next issue (No.237) will be mid February, pushed back from mid January (as announced a few days ago) to allow for additional coverage of the Sherlock special. Feedback on the episode is still welcome, from members and non-members alike. The copy deadline is 15 January.



News Bulletin 277

“There is just one thing” (again)

It’s Sherlock night!

As if you could have forgotten, the special Sherlock episode is on BBC One  and RTÉ2 tonight at 9.00pm. It’s repeated on BBC Three tomorrow at 9.10pm. It’s also being shown simultaneously in selected cinemas across the UK/Ireland. The only NI venue is the Odeon Victoria Square. Info/booking re all cinemas is here.




News Bulletin 276

‘I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes upon the second morning after Christmas’ Blue


Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, the special episode scheduled for New Year’s Day on BBC1 (9.00pm) is getting another outing, the following night (Saturday 2 January) on BBC3 at 9.10pm.

And for the first time ever, it’s also being shown simultaneously (with BBC1) in the Republic of Ireland, on RTÉ2. While Sherlock episodes have aired on RTÉ2 before, they’ve always been well behind the original BBC screenings.

For those who can’t get enough Sherlock, Alibi is planning yet another repeat run of series 1, starting on Wednesday 6 January at 9.00pm (Also Thursday 7 January at 8.00pm).

If you want to watch Sherlock on the really big screen on New Year’s Day, the list of cinemas showing it across the UK/Ireland (including access to book online) is here. The only NI venue is Odeon Victoria Square (A direct booking link has been included). Cinema screenings will include extra content.

TV/The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Episodes of the first Granada Sherlock Holmes productions, starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke, are scattered throughout the ITV3 schedule during the week commencing 2 January, including A Scandal in Bohemia on Friday 8 January at 7.55pm. It’s part of a run of all 13 episodes from series 1 and 2.

TV/And there’s more

For early birds, TCM has Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942) on Thursday 7 January at 9.35am. Sherlock Holmes (2009) is included in Sky Crime Thriller’s line up on Friday 8 January; it’s at 12 noon and again at 8.00pm.

Our “Handy Guide” for the week just started (26 December) can be found here.

Radio/Listen to this!

My initial disappointment that BBC Radio had overlooked SH in their Xmas scheduling was quickly forgotten when I realised , virtually at the last moment (see Bulletin 275), that Radio4 Extra was broadcasting a 1947 US radio adaptation of The Adventure of the Copper Beeches on Christmas Eve. In case you missed the show, which stars John Stanley, it’s now available on the iPlayer 

And things got even better when I discovered Radio 4 Extra is broadcasting The Devil’s Foot during the first week of the New Year. The story, spread over two half-hour episodes, is read by James Nickerson. Part 1 is scheduled for Thursday 7 January at 6.00am and 8.00pm (also 1.00am the following morning); Part 2 is the following day (Friday 8 January) at the same times. It’s not on their online schedule yet so I can’t provide a link.

Radio Times free DVD

Radio Times is giving away a free DVD of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. To get it you have to send £2.95 to cover the p&p. RT also has an offer on the Sherlock Holmes and Basil Rathbone Collection, a 4-DVD set for £9.95. The free DVD will be thrown in if you order the set, but you will still need to pay the p&p. This seems to be a good deal for the single DVD but is it the best possible deal for the Collection? Check it out here!

You’ll find details of the above offers in the Radio Times for 2-8 January 2016, an issue which includes a review of the free film by Barry Norman. The film critic says it’s “Unmissable Sherlock.” Is this really the best Hound ever? You tell me!