News Bulletin 301

Seasonal Viewing & Listening Guide

“I am glad of all details,” remarked my friend, “whether they seem to be relevant or not.”

TCM Movies

(Virgin, Sky)

19/12 at 1.15pm – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939). Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce star as Holmes and Watson in the first of two Fox outings.

20/12 at 11.45am – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939). Writing about the second of the two Fox productions, Alex Kane says “This 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. 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.”

1.30pm – Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman (1944). This is the first instalment from a selected batch in the Universal series.

21/12 at 12.00pm – Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942) gets today’s double bill off to a solid start. The second, at 1.30pm is The Scarlet Claw (1944).

6.50pm – Carry on Screaming (1966). Radio Times says this is “one of the finest entries in the series.” Alex thinks “it’s the nearest the producers ever got to a Carry on Sherlock”.

22/12 at 12.05pm – A second double bill, starting with Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943) followed, at 1.30pm, by Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943).

Additional screenings of the Universal series, mostly repeats of the above, are scheduled from 23rd to the 30th.


26/12 at 1.10am – Mr Holmes (2015) – Alex (again), reviewing it at the time of its release, said “Mr Holmes is a tour de force performance from (Ian) McKellen: but that’s about it, I’m afraid. The plot is weak, there isn’t really any mystery to speak of and Laura Linney and Milo Parker are barely even one-dimensional characters. But none of that matters. This is McKellen at the very top of his game: a great actor being allowed to portray a great literary character in a way that no one else has been allowed to portray him.”

Sky Action

(Virgin, Sky, BT)

28/12 at 3.50pm – Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows (2011); this was the second of two box office blockbusters with Robert Downey Jr as our hero and Jude Law as his Watson. It was “a sequel confident in what it’s about – bigger, better, funnier, without stretching the joke,” wrote Ian Nathan in Empire just before it hit the cinemas.

Talking Pictures TV

TP is now offering a free online service – you can register at The current offer includes some Sherlock Holmes; the channel has only recently finished a run of the SH 1954 TV series starring Ronald Howard.


As was the case last year, BBC Radio has given Holmes and his associates a wide berth.


Produced with the assistance of Radio Times, 18-31 Dec 2021, ‘the legendary double issue’. Area covered by Guide is UK and Ireland (Republic).

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