Act Two then. And not untypically, Richard Earl's exceptional Doctor Watson takes much of the centre stage here. Happily, Earl is joined by the equally wonderful Lucy Briggs-Owen, who has been brilliant in every one of her roles for BF (Nick's compliment to her in the extras is spot-on). Here, she is the flirtatious actress Genevieve Dumont and her confidence in the face of Watson's polite sheepishness is great listening. Holmes is restricted to an awkward meeting with brother Mycroft for the most part.
For the villains, the wonderfully names 'Honest' Jim Sheedy continues to provide a murky 'baddie' whose motivations, if there are any, remain intriguingly obtuse. Sebastian Moran, too, is fascinating. Like an opening flower, we get clues as to what is going on, and a number of red herrings. This is a lovely, rich, thickly atmospheric drama. That not a huge amount happens in this installment does not matter whatsoever, because everything is so well done - from the excellent script and the top performances - and so entertaining. We're in good hands.
'Surround yourself with yourself' - Kristeen Young.
I couldn't resist not listening to this final part a moment longer. It's a very pleasing ending of course, and very nice to hear Watson finding happiness again (he's a one, isn't he? Entirely in-keeping with his image in the books, of course). I wonder if BF, or Jonathan Barnes, regret killing off Moriarty earlier in this run, as they seem keen to make the very interesting Moran a recurring nasty. Honest Jim Sheedy has been very memorable also. A proper shady, slippery bad 'un. Great to see attention being paid also, to the darker, private side of Holmes' nature. More of this please, loves!
I love the Sherlocks. They have an indefinable Autumnal quality about them. Listening to the extras, it seems the Christmas giveaway was a bid to attract new listeners to these stories. I know they may not threaten to topple Doctor Who or Torchwood as BF's big sellers, but I hope they aren't getting lost among the many other BF releases currently available.
Another very enjoyable Sherlock Holmes audio, being one story told over three discs did make it feel like a novel adaptation.
Based on the length of time between releases and from what was said in the interviews I can only surmise that this isn’t a big seller for Big Finish which is somewhat of a surprise and a really big shame because they have been consistently very good if a little prone to venture into sci-fi territory.
This story is a very straight and believable Victorian drama and in my opinion all the better for it.
The ending does set up an intriguing adventure for Doctor Watson, so I hope that Nick Briggs gets to play detective some more (I do like his Holmes). He just needs to deduce how to find the time and budget for another audio.
In the interviews, Nick Briggs implied as strongly as he could that the adventures would continue. I enjoyed this story and am looking forward to seeing where it goes and just who is setting up shop in the London underground.
Please somebody recast Holmes! Briggs is out of his depth.
I'm not sure if I can agree with that. While I've only seen/heard a handful of people doing that part over the years, I don't find anything horrible with Mr. Briggs' version. Would I rather have John Patrick Lowrie? (who has been doing the part over a TON of episodes with Imagination Theatre), hmmmm, I don't know. I.T. is a separate continuity and JPL is fine -no- excellent there. However, with the BF storyline, I'm totally fine with ol' chrome-dome playing the part.
I really like Nick as Sherlock Holmes I think he is perfect for the role. He will never surpass Clive Merrison, but I would unhappy if Big Finish continued the range without him or without Richard Earl.