The Unopened Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
By John Taylor
BBC £15.99, 3 hours
A dramatic opening burst of violins sets the tone for these six cliffhanger-ridden tales. Written in the 1990s by scriptwriter and producer John Taylor for BBC radio, they are a somewhat grisly homage to Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective. These creepy stories focus on missing, dismembered and even cooked corpses.
Simon Callow is meticulous and prim as Holmes, while Nicky Henson is warmly decent as Watson. As a full-scale radio dramatisation, it’s replete with impressive sound effects, tension-building music and a lively supporting cast. This all makes for an entertaining listen, although Taylor’s writing lacks the complex characterisation and subtlety of the original.