12th Night Giveaway: Day 8

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.”

Not this Ronald Howard

Not this 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.

This Ronald Howard.

This Ronald Howard.

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.

John says "Get the popcorn! And the syrup!"

John says “Get the popcorn! And the syrup!”

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.


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3 responses to “12th Night Giveaway: Day 8

  1. Basically a boil — a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus.

  2. James O'Leary

    According to PubMed Health website: “Carbuncle–Skin infection – staphylococcal; Infection – skin – staph; Staph skin infection; Carbunculosis
    A carbuncle is a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and may contain pus. When you have more than one carbuncle, the condition is called carbunculosis.”
    Of course, it is doubtful that Watson had in mind the Urban Dictionary definition of Buncle: “An Uncle that lives in your house. Usually, is on disability for a false injury. They smoke cigars and wear jogging pants.
    Typically, a Buncle can be seen lingering around your neighborhood, in a creepy, rapist fashion. Some believe Buncle’s are pederasts, although, there is no evidence thus far. All Buncle’s are habitual liars. Creating fiction about partying with celebrities, being watched by Feds, etc..Steer clear of all Buncle’s unless you have time to spare. When one interacts, there is no telling when a Buncle will ever end his ramblings. It is said to be an abbreviation of the phrase, ” Uncle Bum”.” A car buncle, then, is the bum uncle that camps out in your car. Nor do I think Watson was referring to a carb uncle, that relative most concerned with his carbohydrate intake.
    I own a DVD set which has the Howard series, “Murder at the Baskervilles”, “The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes”, “The Sign of Four”–all with Arthur Wontner, and the Rathbone “The Woman In Green”. Special introduction by Christopher Lee. All in a deluxe tin case for $9.99! I haven’t watched all of the TV series yet, but I can say that while Ronald Howard doesn’t do anything for me as Holmes, I am digging H. Marion Crawford as Watson. He comes across as Nigel Bruce’s younger, smarter brother, with a bit of the Jude Law brawler thrown in.
    So if I am correct, please leave my name out of the basket for 12thNG.08.

  3. Wart like mark on the skin.