Synopsis: A threat to Holmes’s life, murders on Hampstead Heath and a deadly phantom lady lead Holmes and Watson into the most dangerous investigation they have ever undertaken… An encounter which brings them face to face with evil itself, embodied in Count Dracula, the Lord of the Undead.
Review: The Tangled Skein, a pastiche novel written by David Stuart Davies, proved to be perfect material for the Hammer Horror fans at Big Finish. According to an Extra interview with Davies, he was lucky enough to have Peter Cushing pen the forward for his Sherlock Homes meets Dracula mash-up. Indeed, Cushing hoped the book would one day be made into a film. That was not to be. Instead, Nicholas Briggs, regarding Cushing as his favorite actor, channeled his idol in a love letter audio production.
Adapter Richard Dinnick masterfully translated Davies’ direct sequel to The Hound of the Baskervilles. The story began with a marvelous game of cat and mouse between Sherlock Holmes and his Baskerville adversary Jack Stapleton. Stapleton was played with maniacal relish by Barnaby Edwards. I loved how Davies and Dinnick highlighted Stapleton’s true nature and fate as a pathetic bully. Dracula intended him to be an aristocratic Renfield, and Stapleton couldn’t even function in that capacity.
While Stapleton was Renfield, Holmes, with the aid of Van Helsing, went on to match and best his ad hoc mentor in the field. The detective’s final confrontation with Dracula was well worth the price on its own. It was a true Hammer feast of declamations, shrieks, charred flesh, severed parts, and sandy mires.
- You can purchase Sherlock Holmes: The Tangled Skein here.
Written By: David Stuart Davies, adapted by Richard Dinnick
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley
Nicholas Briggs (Sherlock Holmes), Richard Earl (Dr Watson), Barnaby Edwards (Mr Jack Stapleton), Beth Chalmers (Mrs Hudson/Delia Lydgate/Mary Gardner/The Phantom Lady/Catherine Hunter/Landlady), John Banks (Professor Abraham Van Helsing/Inspector Lestrade/Policeman/Meinster/Silas Gardner), Giles Watling (Count Dracula/Matthew Boulton/Dr Collins)
- Perfect Halloween fare
- Not a thing wrong
- Audio Production10