This was one of the cheap titles I picked up in the Big Finish Christmas Sale:
The Hound Of Baskervilles adapted by Richard Dinnick, directed by Nicholas Briggs and Ken Bentley.
So Big Finish do lots of other stuff besides Doctor Who. Time and money prevents me from dipping into their other ranges but £2.99 for a Christmas download was too good to pass up. So here is Mr Big Finish himself, Nicholas Briggs, as a suitably intellectual and supercilious Sherlock Holmes, ably assisted by Richard Earl as a likeable and intelligent John Watson.
The story is so familiar that I won't trouble you with my usual synopsis. Suffice it to say that this is the adventure where Holmes disappears completely from the middle of the story and the weight of the investigation, and the telling the tale itself, falls on Dr Watson. Richard Earl is well up to the task, I don't know if I have heard him in any other Big Finish plays but he impressed me here as he makes Watson a thoroughly dependable and likeable companion. Samuel Clemens as Henry Baskerville, John Banks as Dr Mortimer and Barnaby Edwards as Stapleton are also all very good.
This is a great production of a rollicking good yarn. In fact the performances direction and sound design are so good and the story so familiar that it left me contemplating some of the mysteries of Conan Doyle's original novel. What is Holmes up to on the Moor? And why does he take so long to intervene when he has clearly worked out what fate awaits the last of the Baskervilles? Sherlock Holmes is rather like the Doctor in this respect, he always understands far more than he is willing to let on until it is almost too late. Interestingly Watson even describes it as one of his friend's few "failings" in this tale.
I had forgotten what happened to the villain at the end of the adventure, which intriguingly sets up the slimmest possibility of a Big Finish sequel. Anyway a terrific tale well told by my favourite audio adventures company. 5 out of 5 Spectral Hounds. Perfection