If you ask most people which actor they think of when they think of Sherlock Holmes, you’re likely to get one of four names: Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey, Jr., or Benedict Cumberbatch. Actually, in the U.S., you may get a lot of RDJ or Jonny Lee Miller. Some may point out Sir Peter Cushing or Douglas Wilmer. Maybe even Christopher Lee. But if I had access to Watson’s cheque-book, I would be willing to bet that you won’t hear anyone say “Ronald Howard.”
The Ronald Howard/H.Marion Crawford Sherlock Holmes series aired for one year: 1954-1955. Until this year, it was the only American television version of Sherlock Holmes. That is, producer Sheldon Reynolds was an American; the show used British and French (and some American) actors, and was filmed in France.
My knowledge of Holmes onscreen is not what it should be, so I’ve been trying to remedy that this year. The 1954 Holmes series is made up of 1/2-hour episodes (including space for commercials), with some canonical references. For the most part, they tend to be light–I think the best word for them is “charming”–and they have that 50’s television feel. A couple are actually pretty dark, and one is…well…it’s got a cowgirl in it. If you don’t look too closely at the women’s costumes,* you’ll probably find most of them an enjoyable way to spend an evening on the couch.
The DVD series is never very expensive on Amazon, and you can watch individual episodes on YouTube, but you can have your very own 3-disc set, free, just for answering this question:
Dr. John H. Watson (or Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle) might think of something else when he hears the word “carbuncle.” What is it?
Just send your answer via blog comment or FaceBook PM (Twitter DM is messing up for some reason) to qualify for the drawing! Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve–and please don’t drink and drive!
Day 7 Winner!!
Congratulations to James O’Leary, who knew that the Blue Carbuncle–that “forty-grain weight of crystallized charcoal,” as Holmes put it, was the cause of: “two murders, a vitriol-throwing, a suicide, and several robberies.”
*We’ll not get started on that.