'Nicholas Briggs adaptation is note perfect, as is his portrayal of Holmes...'
'Richard Earl is masterful as Watson...'
The Final Problem
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Nicholas Briggs
Sherlock Holmes visits his good friend Dr John Watson… but Holmes is not his usual, composed and supremely confident self. He is a hunted man. Having unearthed the criminal mastermind behind the greatest crimes in the land, Holmes has found himself a fugitive. But the Great Detective already has a plan in motion. It will not be long before his arch foe, Professor Moriarty, is in custody. If only Holmes and Watson can manage to stay alive in the meantime.
The Empty House
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Nicholas Briggs
Still lamenting the death of his valued friend and colleague Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson finds himself intrigued by a murder case. But as he begins his investigations, a strange old man enters his consulting room. Could it be that Sherlock Holmes is back from the dead, and even now working to solve a murder? The game is once again afoot!
'Richard Earl is masterful as Watson, carrying the burden of the story. He sounds a youngish and bright version of Holmes’s friend and has a wonderful way of subtly bringing the action to life. Nick Briggs is a fine Holmes, enigmatic and dramatic by turns... If you like your dramatised Holmes unadulterated, strong on atmosphere and rich in detail, this is the CD for you.' The Sherlock Holmes Journal
'Nicholas Briggs adaptation is note perfect, as is his portrayal of Holmes, and when Holmes finally faces Moriarty, played by Alan Cox (who, fact-fans, also played Watson in ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’), the tension is incredible, reaching out to grip you by your throat, almost dragging you into the room as each man tries to gain a psychological edge over the other as they prepare for their inevitable confrontation... Briggs is again superb as Conan Doyle’s most famous creation, and Richard Earl is a perfect foil, his portrayal of Watson ensuring that the most famous of crime solving duo’s remain just that, a duo, the emphasis never shifting and never favouring either character, allowing both characterisation and story to shine. Superb. Simply superb…' Tim, Mass Movement
Recorded on: 17 May 2011
Recorded at: The Moat Studios
IN THE STUDIO
Assistant Producer, Richard Dinnick reminisces about the week that was Sherlock Holmes, series two
DAY ONE: Monday 16th May
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Nick Briggs, Ken Bentley, David Richardson and I meet early at the studio. Richard Earl (Watson) arrives followed by John Banks, Barnaby Edwards, Charlie Norfolk and Samuel Clemens. The recording is amazingly slick, the actors buzzing. As Toby dishes up one of his haute cuisine lunches it strikes me that Richard Earl is the rock upon which the foundation of these audios is built. He spends every second in studio and often asks to do pick-ups unbidden!
DAY TWO: Tuesday 17th May
The Final Problem and The Empty House
Nick has abandoned his idea of treating the morning as rehearsal time. “The energy was too good to miss!” he explains. Actors Nick, Richard and John are joined today by Alan Cox, who played Watson in the 1987 film Young Sherlock Holmes, He gives us a wonderfully measured performance as Moriarty. Despite (or because of?) the huge amount of unintentional innuendo we’ve detected in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing, all is going swimmingly.
DAY THREE: Friday 20th May
The Reification of Hans Gerber
A cast of thousands! Andrew Havil, Rebecca Tanwen, John Dorney and James Albrecht (who Nick met on Victory of the Daleks) as well Dan Starkey and Terry Molloy along with scriptwriter, George Mann. There is much mirth and colourful language as Nick gains a new regard for the actors playing the Doctor. “If only I could play it as me!” he wails about playing Holmes. “But I’ve got to play it as someone intelligent who speaks insanely quickly!” Nick is, of course, being self-deprecating. If Richard Earl is the rock then Nick is the aforementioned foundation. He flits between acting and directing with the speed and precision of a humming bird.
DAY FOUR: Monday 23rd May
The Tangled Skein
Giles Watling (brother of Debbie) who has come in to give us his Dracula! Original author, David Stuart Davies arrives, followed by John Banks, Barnaby Edwards and Beth Chalmers, who quips: “I won’t need any pick-ups!” I think of a witty riposte but then I remember that she boxes (seriously!) and I shut up! As recording starts I am humbled by levels of talent that surround me. John and Beth slip effortlessly into any character, Giles is understated as the Transylvanian (not stooping to cliché) and Ken adds his steady hand to the tiller, never ruffling the artists.
DAY FIVE: Tuesday 24th May
David interviews cast and crew as we go through the pick-ups and are joined by sound designer, Martin Montague, to record a podcast. Richard and Nick offer fascinating insights into their characters while I remain true to Conan Doyle’s unofficial legacy by slipping in several innuendoes! Ken Bentley eyes me like a disapproving headmaster. The whole thing has been a dream for me, but it has now come to an end. For the rest of the Big Finish crew, the show must go on. Nick and David are onto another production, another story, another range…
That's for you to investigate!
Alan Cox and Nicholas Briggs