As part of their lower-cost audios, Big Finish has a one hour adaptation of The Adventure of the Speckled Band. Much like their previous audio adaptation of The Final Problem/The Empty House, the strength of this adaptation lies in a nearly straightforward telling of the Conan Doyle story. Much like its canon-based companion, The Speckled Band is a top-notch production that (at least, from my vantage point) will encourage a willingness to sample the rest of Big Finish's Holmesian efforts, including the non-canon original stories (whose titles and premises offer all sorts of delight). Big Finish releases a wide range of audio dramas, and their Sherlock Holmes series continues to provide high quality and entertainment, providing an excellent contemporary example of well-executed audio drama.
For those with a penchant for "classic" audio drama, Radio Archives has put out two volumes of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, whose 1945 - 46 season featured Tom Conway as the sleuth, with Nigel Bruce reprising his role as Doctor Watson. By this time, the show had changed networks and sponsors (and indeed, there is something slightly disconcerting about hearing a commercial for hair products in the middle of an episode), but make no mistake - these radio dramas are strong in their own right, with some being relatively loose adaptations of the canon. Even to more modern ears, there is more than a hint of Victorian atmosphere in these stories....and these collections are easily affordable as digital downloads.
With autumn upon us, there is ample opportunity to sit and enjoy Holmesian adventure. Both Big Finish and Radio Archives have provided ample opportunity to sit back and engage in an entertainment art form that may not be as prevalent....but which still provides ample opportunities for pleasure. Both are highly recommended.
Photo credit: Phil Cornell
Editor's note: Gordon regularly covers the intersection of Sherlock Holmes and the entertainment industry. You can also find him at Blog THIS, Pal! and Comic Related.