Sherlock Holmes John Stanley 2

(4.6 stars; 46 reviews)

John Stanley - Sherlock Holmes Ian Martin - Dr. Watson First four episodes George Splevin (Wendell Holmes)- Dr. Watson Remaining episodes

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


Extreme melodrama! But the Holmes formula still works

(4 stars)

John Stanley continues his fine Rathbonian Holmes, and Wendell Holmes (credited as the generic "George Spelvin" to avoid confusion with between his name and the name of the main character) takes over as an unassuming Watson: his voice acting is top-notch, but his character, lacking the quirks of previous interpretations of the role, becomes far too obviously a mere sounding board to draw out explanations of Holmes' deductions. For instance, at one point Holmes examines a card he found, saying something like "It has 'room 223' written on it in red ink"; Watson's breathless rejoinder is "But Holmes, w-what does it mean??" ... Mostly it meant room 223. : P Also, this Watson immediately shoots at anything Holmes tells him to shoot at; in the last episode, he very well could have murdered some people as a result! New writers come along as well, with a very rough start. "The Adventure of the Uddington Witch" stands out as a particularly miserable episode; later episodes would tone down these elements, but it is rather representational of the season in featuring: a) cartoonish "insane" characters who do a lot of cackling and murdering, b) excessively melodramatic scenes--usually with the villains doing their insanity and cackling--that neither Holmes nor Watson is a witness to, b) a lot of running around, c) rather silly contrivances necessary to make the thin plot go, and d) an extremely obvious solution to the mystery, easily guessed from nearly the beginning. Later episodes also have Holmes revealing, at the end, vital clues he observed earlier that led him to solve the mystery--clues the listener was *not* treated to at the time. Argh. So, these aren't great mysteries. But they at least don't do much obvious recycling of Conan Doyle characters and settings, as some previous seasons did--aside from direct adaptations of a number of Conan Doyle's stories, which are reasonably well done (although not all seem to be great mysteries; "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs," a story from Doyle's last compilation, "The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes," comes across as particularly weak, mystery-wise (and it recycles the contrivance of one of his earlier stories, which did it much better)--but I'll reserve judgement until I've actually read his version of it, or at least heard more radio versions--the "Case-Book" is the one collection I haven't read yet.). The stories are, at least, usually a little meatier than the stories of the previous season, which often amounted to social comedies. No; while often overblown, these at least have murders, international intrigue, empire-endangering thefts, and so forth going on. The production, aside from the music being a bit too melodramatic, is quite good, and, all in all--and thanks particularly to the good acting--the Sherlock formula still produces mostly entertaining listening material, in spite of the mediocrity of certain aspects of the writing.

Not as good as you'd wish, but....

(4 stars)

I've never seen many of these shows on any other OTR site - it's great to see them here. I enjoy listening to anything Sherlock, so it's a pleasure to have them. That being said, the writing isn't the best. Coming up with plausible, well-written stories must be difficult, and I'm afraid the writers of these shows were more workman-like than masterful. Opening the show with Sherlock deducing that his client's long-dead brother was left handed and spoke with a lisp... you get the idea - that sort of thing is easily overdone. I gave them four stars in comparison to other OTR shows, but they deserve less as Holmes stories or classic radio mysteries in general. Warning: in the Elusive Agent show, Holmes and Watson do a Clippercraft Clothes commercial, in character. Depending on your take, it's either funny of painful - I'm in the painful group.

Dr Watson constantly second-guesses in these

(2 stars)

The stories are good, and there's a gruesome quality to some of them which is welcome. As well, the villains are extra-nasty. So I give it a good rating. The complaint I have is with the portrayal of Dr Watson. He *second-guesses* Holmes incessantly. Example: Holmes: We have only half the packet. Watson: Half?! Holmes: Do you detect a faint odor of tobacco in this room? Watson: Tobacco?! Holmes: Interesting scent, very. Watson: What do mean, smells like regular tobacco to me! Holmes: on the contrary this is a rare and unusual blend. Watson: Eh?! Holmes: Only one expert makes a blend like this. Grimsby. Watson: Grimsby?! Yer not gonna find a dumber Watson than this one, believe me. Be prepared for the shock of hearing Holmes and Watson participate in clippercraft commercials, Holmes explaining why the cheap suits are so great.(ie, Elusive agent episode 1)

Awesome collection of VERY rare Cases

(5 stars)

Dear dear TCS, as a fanatic collector of OTR of Sherlock Holmes I have been hunting for those rare radio plays for ages....and now I have found them!!!! Words can not express how grateful I am!!! You have compiled a BRILLIANT selection of those rare radio gems - it's a wonderful treasure trove!!! If you happen to have some more, please keep on uploading them - I can't wait to listen to them! Best regards from Germany, Joe_Holmes


(4 stars)

Though the Rathbone-Bruce teamup is my preferred Holmes-Watson,John Stanley does a good job considering his Watson's varied. I think this hurts this show and causes the writers to force their relationship. Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce worked together for years on radio and the movies,and to top it off they were good friends in private life. Still a good listen and a good insight into the late '40's.

What Inspires Us

(5 stars)

Hi, this what inspired us to write a steampunk spin-off to Sherlock Holmes. Here's a portrait I drew of his daughter Sheryl Holmers, our main character: - Let me know if you like it. Be watchful, you sleuths of old and new Sherlockorama!

great rare holmes OTR

(5 stars)

I have been collecting rare Holmes OTR for several years. VERY greatful to finaly get these episodes. Many thanks for uploading them.


(5 stars)

I love reading sherlock homes and these storys dont warp the book at all! thanks so much!