Archive for August, 2012

News Bulletin 92

“An extraordinary assortment!”

Man on the moon

Sad to hear the news today that Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon has died (25 August 2012), aged 82.

Holmes maintained that if the earth travelled round the sun or the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to him or his work (Stud). Was he being serious or just pulling Watson’s leg?

Bangladeshi Sherlock Holmes

Alex Kane, writing in his latest ‘Viewing and Listening Guide’ (w/c 26 August 2012) has been letting his readers know about a rather different take on the great detective which aired on Channel  Nine UK this morning (Sunday 26 August at 9am). Probably only a limited number of us have access to this channel, which broadcasts to the UK on Sky 834 but the following promo on You Tube will give a taste of what you might be missing.

There’s a translation facility available and more stuff on this, also on You Tube, if you look a little further.

More glittering prizes for Sherlock

For the second year running, the BBC’s Sherlock has picked up the Terrestrial Programme of the Year award at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. The show also won the Network and Ones to Watch Programme Choice award. The star-studded ceremony took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 24 August 2012.

Benedict on parade

Benedict Cumberbatch was on the sofa on the One Show last Friday (BBC1, 24 August 2012), talking about his brand new costume drama Parade’s End and his upcoming roles in Star Trek 2 and The Hobbit. Did he slip in anything about Sherlock when he was chatting away to Chris Evans and Alex Jones? Click on this link to watch the show (limited time only).

You can also read about his controversial remarks concerning Downton Abbey here.

Elementary Update

The pilot episode of Elementary will be shown on TV screens in the US and Canada on 27 September 2012.  Series 1, which consists of 12 episodes, will follow (so that makes 13 episodes in total). No news of the UK date as yet but we would expect to see it on our screens before October is through. Sky Living has secured the UK rights.

A Touch of Cloth

Charlie Brooker’s new spoof TV crime drama stars John Hannah as DCI Jack Cloth.  A Touch of Cloth parodies the last decade of British police procedurals, good and bad. Part 1 is due to air on Sky1 tonight (Sunday 26 August) at 9pm, with the concluding part tomorrow (Monday 27 August) at the same time. You can catch BBC Radio4’s Front Row review here (for a limited time).


Here’s Sky’s link to the show.

Cricket revival

AA Milne, JM Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle were among the writers who played in the Authors cricket team, a group of enthusiasts who last took to the crease in 1912. 100 years on, the team is being revived. Catch BBC Radio4’s Front Row item on this at the following link (limited time only). The programme also included an interview with the great Booker T.


Still A Point of View

In our last Bulletin (no.91) we told you about John Gray reflecting on ‘the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes’ in the A Point of View slot on BBC Radio4 (17 August 2012).  Here’s an article about it which you may care to read.

You can still listen to the programme on the iPlayer.


Near the knuckle?

Billiards has been in the news this past week, which made us think about the various references to the game in the stories. We know from Danc that Watson played billiards with his friend Thurston. And there are no less than four mentions of billiard-rooms, including the one at Appledore Towers, home of “The worst man in London” (Chas). It was also said that Lord Mount-James “could chalk his billiard-cue with his knuckles” (Miss). Need we say more?

A sting in the tale

Holmes, who was the author of the Practical Handbook of Bee Culture (Last), and kept bees at his retirement home (Lion), would have appreciated the tale of how some thieves were chased-off by a swarm of bees.

Mastermind on the Master

One of the contestants on Mastermind (BBC2, Friday 24 August 2012) chose the ‘Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’ as his specialist subject. You can find how he got on at this link. It’s only available until Friday 31 August.


Dandy’s December Deadline

Following up our piece in Bulletin 90, we noted that the Dandy will make its last print appearance in December. However, some of the characters will get a new lease of life online and the Dandy Annual will continue.




News Bulletin 91

“I was much astounded by this programme.”

A Point of View

John Gray reflected on ‘the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes at a time when we’ve lost confidence in the power of reason alone to solve problems’ in A Point of View,  first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 17 August 2012 at 8.50pm. You can catch this 10-minute talk here.


News Bulletin 90

“Well, Watson, what do you make of this?”

Benedict has it covered!

You could hardly miss Benedict Cumberbatch on the cover of the new Radio Times (18 – 24 August 2012). There’s a major interview inside, which includes some Sherlock stuff, but don’t get over excited, Series 3 is not happening just yet. You’ll find a lot of Sherlock on the magazine’s website too.

Elementary, my dear website

Here’s the official link for CBS’s new Elementary TV series. Episode 1 is due to air in the US on Thursday 27 September 2012. We don’t have the date for the UK/Ireland yet, but watch this space. This link is now included on our Links page also.

Another string

Taking a break for lunch at ‘some decent hotel’ during the case which we know of as The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, Watson records that they ‘had a pleasant little meal together, during which Holmes would talk of nothing but violins, narrating with great exultation how he had purchased his own Stradivarius, which was worth at least five hundred guineas, at a Jew broker’s in the Tottenham Court Road for fifty-five shillings.’ We think that Holmes might have enjoyed the following story.

Looking for Sherlock’s London

US TV Channel NBC sent its reporter Keith Miller to London to search for clues about Sherlock Holmes (a tie-in with their Olympic coverage). The clip, which you can watch here, features Roger Johnson, editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal and a couple of members of the Baker Street Babes.

Conan Doyle’s Arctic Diary revealed at last!

In February 1880, Conan Doyle embarked on ‘the first real outstanding adventure in my life,’ when he spent seven months as a ship’s surgeon on an Arctic whaler, the Hope. His diary, unseen by the public before now, is being published by British Library Publishing on 25 September 2012.

[Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure Conan Doyle (Author). Jon L. Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower (Editors). British Library, Hardcover. £25.]

The Daily Mail ran an interesting article about the diary which you can read here.

If you’d like a bit more substance, try this piece by Randall Stock.

Conan Doyle, Daily Mail Olympic reporter

Did you know that Conan Doyle reported for the Daily Mail at the 1908 London Olympics? The newspaper, which regularly gives both ACD and SH some good coverage, didn’t miss the opportunity to recall the event in its issue of 27 July 2012. You can read the article here.–Sir-Arthur-Conan-Doyle-covered-Daily-Mail.html

Most people, the naysayers aside, agree that the 2012 London Olympics was a triumph. And it’s not all over yet.

The London Paralympics are due to start on 29 August 2012.

Not so fine and Dandy

The news that the Dandy, the UK’s oldest comic, is facing an uncertain future got us thinking about a character that was introduced to it’s fun-filled pages, as part of a re–launch (one of many) 8 years ago. Dreadlock Holmes made his debut in issue 3282 (Friday 10 October 2004) and continued his adventures over the following two weeks. We’ve no idea what happened after that before we came across him again in a 2-part story in the Dandy Holiday Special (Special no.5) which was published 12 May 2005.

At the end of that episode there was a note that ‘Dreadlock Holmes will be solving more ridiculous mysteries, and delivering more excruciating puns, in the weekly Dandy soon!’ Did that ever come about, we wonder? And there’s another puzzle to solve. Did Dreadlock ever appear in the Dandy Annual (published every Christmas)? Perhaps some of our readers could shed some light on these little mysteries for us. It seems that the Dandy’s future, if it has one, may lie online rather than on paper, and that some of its most famous characters such as Desperate Dan could transfer to the Beano, its sister comic.



News Bulletin 89

“I gazed with interest and some surprise”









I hear of Wenlock everywhere

Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots of the 2012 London Olympics have been popping up in all sorts of guises across London. And no medals for guessing which of these lovable figures (there are eighty-three of them)  is doing the honours  in Regent’s Park, at the top end of Baker Street. Yes, it’s Sherlock Wenlock, standing there in all his glory on the podium.

Roger Johnson, writing in the District Messenger (no.324, 30 July) says Sherlock Wenlock is ‘even weirder than the Sherlock Holmes elephant of a few years ago.’

If you didn’t already know the following fascinating facts, we can tell you  that Wenlock was  named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock – –  that helped inspire Pierre de Coubertin to launch the modern Olympics – Mandeville was inspired by the Buckinghamshire town of Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympics were founded.

No sign of Sherlock in the spectacular opening ceremony, well, he just can’t be everywhere, despite what Mycroft said to Dr. Watson. However, we can report that the BBC’s hugely popular Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, did narrate a very warm invitation to the games on a short video.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Live

The National Theatre’s latest productions include the stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

You can find an article about the play here.

BBC Radio 4’s daily arts programme Front Row included a review of the play in their Friday 3 August 2012 edition. You can catch it here.


For those who can’t get to see the actual performances, the next best thing has got to be the live broadcasts (NT Live) from the National’s stages to cinemas and performing arts venues around the world. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time will be screened to cinemas throughout the UK on Thursday 6 September 2012.

Among the venues is the Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT), Belfast. The time is 6.45 for 7pm. Tickets cost £10.


Glancing over the cast list, we spotted Unna Stubbs, who fans of the BBC’s hugely successful Sherlock series will recognize as Mrs Hudson. And Talking of Sherlock, NT Live recently broadcast live the stage version of Frankenstein (they actually did this twice) which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and his pal Jonny Lee Miller, who we’re looking forward (well, some of us are) to seeing in CBS’s new Elementary in the autumn (on Sky Living in the UK/Ireland).

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time has sold over two million copies since its release in 2003. It is not a Sherlock Holmes book, but there are Sherlockian connections, apart from the fact that the title is one of the sleuth’s most famous quotes, perhaps the most famous.

The hero of the book is fifteen year old Christopher. Christopher’s own  favourite book is The Hound of the Baskervilles: “I like The Hound of the Baskervilles because it is a detective story which means that there are clues and Red Herrings…I like Sherlock Holmes, but I do not like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle…because he wasn’t like Sherlock Holmes and he believed in the supernatural…I thought that I had to be like Sherlock Holmes and I had to detach my mind to a remarkable degree…” Writing in Chronicler (issue 5, September 2003), Alex Kane described it as ‘a hugely enjoyable book.’

A film adaptation, written and directed by Steve Cloves is currently being planned, according to Wikipedia.