My Dinner at Baker Street

The second episode of The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes, from Joe Bevilacqua seems to have forgotten to mention what kind of show this is by promising one thing and giving us something else by the next episode.

I enjoyed episode one a lot, but I don’t remember it being a farce comedy where Holmes was a complete idiot. This is all episode two was, one wacky hijinks after another, making the world’s greatest detective (sorry Batman, but he inspired real life forensics) a laughing stock. I’m all for comedy, but when it makes a well known character a complete buffoon, it just feels like betrayal–especially after the great first episode.

The plot of this episode is pretty self-explantory, given the title. Holmes has invited someone to dinner. Based on my own deductive powers, it was more than likely one of two people from Holmesian canon: Lestrade or Moriarty. After all, they were the only two not mentioned or heard from in episode one. Hijinks at the expense of character ensues and you get something that isn’t quite parody, but not a serious Sherlock Holmes adaptation either.

3/5 Stars

You can get this, along with the entire collection over at Audible.comiTunesDownpour.com, and Amazon.com (CD Set). Note that some retailers price it higher than others.

The Mystery of the Creepy Hack Writer

The first of ten episodes from The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes from Joe Bevilacqua is everything you’ve come to expect from the now public domain literary character. In an addition to having the audible tone of a Holmes radio narrative, the story itself is new. Having only read the first three to four stories found in most Sherlock Holmes collections, this one feels fresh. It’s not another retelling of a story, such as “A Study in Scarlett” which seems to get a nice adaptation polish every year or so via some artistic medium.

The plot of this episode is straight forward. Holmes and Watson–who have only just met–are visited by a mysterious gentlemen. As the story progresses, you find out who this person is. it’s a fun little WTF moment that acts as both a coolness factor and fan service. The simplicity of it is mind boggling. You think you’re getting another standard mystery, but what you’re given isn’t that, it’s so much better.

4.5/5 Stars

You can get this, along with the entire collection over at Audible.com, iTunes, Downpour.com, and Amazon.com (CD Set). Note that some retailers price it higher than others.

The Whisperer: “The Seeing Eye”

I first heard the ending of this audio short while dabbling in ITunes’ radio feature. It was the last few minutes and by the end of the piece, I wanted to listen to it all the way through. It took me about a week to find the episode. I was fortunate enough that the series name: “The Whisperer” was repeated. Unfortunately there were a lot of episodes I had to sift through. And by pure luck, I found it.

The story is about a blind sea-captain who has a clear motivation. He doesn’t want to stop being on the sea. You can “see” how him being blind could come into conflict with that desire. But wait there’s more. The first mate is blackmailing the captain. It couldn’t possibly get any worse for the blind adventurer of the seas. Wrong. A man wrongly sent to prison comes back onboard the captain’s ship. The first time we are introduced to this man, he wonders why the captain is acting so strange. He wants to know why the first mate can do whatever he wants. That’s a clear protagonist, antagonist dynamic right there. The protagonist is the sea-captain, because we spend so much time with him. The antagonist is the person whose goals are—by definition—opposing the protagonists.

Let’s talk about the ending, and yes I will be spoiling the ending somewhat. This episode came out in 1945, so the statute of limitations has passed. I said on the Facebook fan page that the ending takes the concept of radio being a “blind medium” to a literal sense. The ending is sort of a deus ex machina, but really it’s not. To some people it would feel cheap, but to me the writer took advantage of the medium. We are the sea-captain. He’s blind and so are we. Sure we can imagine what everything and everyone looks like, but for a lot of people “imagination” isn’t an inherited trait. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize something out of thin air.

Spoiler: At the end of the story, the sea-captain thinks he’s killed his antagonist. But what actually happened was that someone else was killed. The antagonist never left the room from the previous scene and saw the captain building the trap meant for him. We never know this until the very end, but then again, a lot of audio dramas of the mystery genre tend to have the big explanatory dialogue scene. In fact Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960) does the same thing.