Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5/26/1953 The Black Baronet gets suspenseful

May 26, 1953.  On this night the CBS TV show Suspense featured Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Black Baronet."  This was based on a story by Doyle, sort of, but not that Doyle.

Arthur Conan Doyle's son Adrian had decided to expand the family empire by co-writing a set of new Holmes stories with the great American mystery writer John Dickson Carr.  Each took its starting point from some case mentioned in passing in the Canon, as Holmes fans call the original tales.  The stories were published under the name The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, which causes me to raise an eyebrow.  Did they know that one meaning of "exploit" is to use selfishly for one's own advantage?

Nigel Bruce was not part of this particular adventure, having passed away two years earlier.  Instead the faithful Dr. Watson was played by Martyn Green, who is considered by many Savoyards to be to Gilbert and Sullivan what Rathbone was to Holmes: he was the greatest performer of the principal comedian parts in the light operas.

No copies of the show are known to survive, which is particularly unfortunate because it was apparently Rathbone's last filmed performance as the Master.

1 comment:

  1. I read "The Exploits" about 20 years ago over a summer, happily snuggled under the blankets in the air conditioning, reading the stories on successive nights. Me? I loved them! Didn't know any had been filmed!