Archive for June, 2015

News Bulletin 257

“A few trifling points might perhaps be added”

Another twist in the tale?

Stephen Mangan is to play Arthur Conan Doyle in a new ITV drama – Houdini & Doyle. The 10-part series will premiere on ITV’s sister channel, ITV Encore, in 2016. The story is here and here.


Mr. Holmes….the reviews just keep coming

For those who can’t get enough reviews, we’ve a double dose from the Mail – here and here. From the Guardian online, here’s a critique from Mark Kermode; it’s his “Film of the week”.

Reviews can also be found in the current issues of the specialist film magazines – Empire, Total Film and the BFI’s Sight & Sound. None of that material is currently available online, by the way.

Feedback from crew (and anyone else out there) would be nice too, even a line or two would do.


Summertime Blues

The S.S. May Day is now in dry dock, at a certain Belfast shipyard, undergoing her annual overhaul.

The shipping office will remain open for the duration but there will be the odd occasion or three when the blinds will be half-drawn – just don’t be expecting the usual Holmes service! Bulletins will be posted here from time to time, as the need arises.

The next scheduled sailing is Sunday 27 September 2015. The captain of the day will be Victor Hamilton; the point of embarkation is Canary Wharf. The first study will be ‘The Three Students’ so there’s no excuse for not doing your prep.

The sailing schedule for 2015/2016 will be posted here around mid September. There will be additional details in Mayday Mayday (no.135), which will be circulated to members at the same time. The copy deadline for that issue is 15 July.


The Tall Ship Races Belfast 2-5 July 2015



News Bulletin 256

“A delightful twist on the world’s most famous detective” {Screen International}

Reviewing Mr. Holmes

Mr Holmes is a wonderful film and deeply moving too. I loved it. McKellen is superb. The critics have been lukewarm, but I think Holmesians will like it. And great central performance.” Alex Kane {Twitter @alexkane221b}

No shortage of reviews of Mr. Holmes in circulation; you may wish to glance over this one from The Guardian and this one from The Independent.  From the Daily Telegraph (Sherlock Holmes’ favourite newspaper?), there’s an interview with Sir Ian McKellen on his own problems with ageing, and there’s also a review from the same paper.

Spare a thought for our friends in America; they don’t get to see Mr. Holmes until the 17th of July. That hasn’t stopped at least one Sherlockian over there reviewing it, though. This review is on the website I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere (it’s a wonderful source of news and information about our particular field of interest).

If you have already seen Mr. Holmes (or whenever you do), you might like to drop me a line (of course, it can be more!) about it. I’ll be collecting your feedback for a feature in the next Mayday Mayday (yes, I know it’s September, but that doesn’t make a button of difference to me). Feedback from non-crew is equally welcome too. If you spot any reviews in the printed press/online that you’d like to bring to my notice, please do so. All contributions will be gratefully received, as always.

I’m particularly pleased to see that two of our independent cinemas here in Belfast are also screening Mr. HolmesQFT (until 2 July) and the Strand (Holywood Road). The Strand, the city’s oldest operational picture house, will be celebrating its 80th anniversary this December.

We’ve been seriously incommoded recently, due to certain technical issues which have hampered the operations of  this website. These issues now appear to be a thing of the past (or at least I’d like to think so) all thanks, entirely, to the sterling efforts of our webmaster Maurice aka Spike. Three cheers for Maurice: “Ship Ship, Hooray!”

Now in cinemas across the UK and Ireland (since 19 June 2015)



News Bulletin 255

“I shall try and not miss anything of importance”*

The Triumph of William Gillette

Thanks to the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere website, we’ve been treated to a full report on the U.S. premiere of Sherlock Holmes (1916) at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on Sunday 31 May 2015.


Sherlock debunks the deerstalker

It’ll hardly come as a surprise to dedicated fans (by the way, does this term irritate you?), though the public at large may be raising an eyebrow or two when they watch this clip.


No need to panic!

Despite the latest kafuffle over copyright, Mr. Holmes will appear in cinemas as scheduled (19 June in UK/Ireland; 17 July in USA). The Trailer is now showing in cinemas. Some of you may also have seen the short commercial running on ITV at the moment, not that it says very much about the film.

One more thing!  There is, apparently, a full stop after the Mr in Mr. Holmes (despite what Empire was telling its readers recently).


How many Sherlock Holmes actors can you name?

Here’s a short quiz to get those brain cells working. Let me known if you get them all (And no cheating, thank you very much!).


What a mistake to make

Call me an old cynic but why did this story not surprise me?


No Better Place

Alistair Duncan is now on You Tube, to promote his forthcoming book (due 10 August) and to remind us of his previous volumes (all worth reading).


Don’t hold your breath for Sherlock Holmes 3

Jude Law has been telling Digital Spy that never mind when, he doesn’t even know if there will be a third instalment of the Sherlock Holmes movie franchise or not. Does it really matter? You tell me.


Make Your Mark

That’s the title of an excellent exhibition on the history of trademarks and patents, running until 27 June at Belfast Central Library in Royal Avenue. Among many items which caught my eye was the cute Sherlock teddy bear in one of the glass cabinets (Ex-Harrods, I’ve been reliably informed). There’s a short accompanying piece of text (not to be taken too literally, though) about Sherlock Holmes copyright with reference to the recent Klinger v the Conan Doyle Estate case.



‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ There will be a repeat of the 4-part series on BBC Radio4 Extra, Tuesday 9 June at 6am (repeated at 1pm, 8pm and 1am). Episodes 2-4 follow on subsequent days until the end of the week (each episode lasts 30 minutes). Episode 1 
Sherlock Holmes comes out of retirement, takes on a young apprentice and tackles a spy – in this witty and humorous homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Starring James Fox as Holmes, Shaun Prendergast as Watson and Monica Dolan as Mary Russell. Written by Laurie King. [First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2000.]

















News Bulletin 254

“There is just one thing”

BBC Online are now carrying an article on Conan Doyle’s 1925 Belfast visit. You’ll find the link here.