Public Domain Avengers: Starlight Radio Dreams

Public Domain Adventure Team

Public Domain meets the MCU

Why no one has made it big with such a simple idea is beyond words. Thankfully, the folks at Starlight Radio Dreams do it rather well in their recurring segment, titled: “Public Domain Adventure Team.”

As the title suggests, it stars characters in the public domain. Think the Avengers or Justice League, but with literary classics. The cast includes Jane Eyre, Beowulf, Mr. Toad (The Winds and the Willows), and the Ghost of Christmas Past (A Christmas Carol).

This particular review looks at the first episode of the second season of the podcast feed as a whole. More information can be found on their website as to the different shows they have available.

The cast of characters remains constant, but every episode a new character from the public domain. For this episode its the relatively recent addition from classic literature: Sherlock Holmes. In the beginning, we learn about Holmes through Jane Eyre more or less fan-girling about his knowledge. Oddly enough Sherlock doesn’t steal the show like the BBC series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

The story told is primarily comedic. By far the funniest member and the source of most recurring gags is Beowulf. The actor’s old english accent is hysterical and when added with the physical humor is hilarious beyond reason.

One of the more fascinating elements about the show is that it is a live performance. The engaged audience adds to the level of enjoyment on the podcast. Like yawning, laughter is contagious, and you’re certainly laughing with the audience every time a joke lands. For those who hate laugh tracks in sitcoms, might get annoyed at the constant laughter, but you can’t deny it adds to the overall experience of the live performance—which is by far the most entertaining aspect of this production company, even while listening by yourself with the theater of the mind.

Next time…

Powder Burns Episode Five

Links

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Sound Cloud

Patreon

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London: The Gloria Scott

A Sherlock Holmes tale from The Sherlock Holmes Society in London. Released in 2009, this audio drama is reminiscent of a Grimms Fairy Tale. What makes this story interesting is that it plays in Sherlock Holmes’ childhood–where, even back then, his keen powers of observation were well above average.

To clarify the Grimm brother’s reference above, it’s not that this is a fairy tale. Rather there’s a certain story in that collection of stories which shares a lot of dark elements with this Sherlock Holmes tale. I’m referring to Rumpelstiltskin.

What does Rumpelstiltskin have to do with Sherlock Holmes? Not much, but there’s a certain character in this story who is essentially the devil. The father of one of Sherlock Holmes friends has, unwillingly, struck a deal with a mysterious man, and the scenes that man appears in are quite creepy and dark.

The mystery itself isn’t as memorable as the tone of the piece, but the perforamances are top notch and despite it being discontinued, this podcast–and in particular this episode is worth checking out. It’s one of the best ones out of this company

4/5 Stars

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.