Odds are good that even if you’ve never read any of the Holmes stories, you can name at least one: “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. It’s got a very evocative, memorable title, and is a very popular story, having been adapted many times. Now Big Finish, as part of their line of Holmes audios, have adapted the story. Does it work well in audio form?
The story begins with Holmes (Nicholas Briggs), and Watson (Richard Earl), chatting merrily away at Baker Street prior to the arrival of one Doctor James Mortimer (John Banks). He tells them the tale of Hugo Baskerville, a man of means who had died some time back, allegedly killed by a giant hound. Now one of his descendants, Sir Charles Baskerville, is dead, and the body was found with large dog prints nearby.
Holmes and Watson begin to look into the case, and speak with Sir Henry Baskerville (Samuel Clemens. Yes, apparently reports of his death…oh, never mind), heir to the family fortune, who has recently arrived in the country after spending some years overseas. He’s dealing with quite a few problems, including the fact that two of his boots have gone missing.
After some strangeness in London involving a bearded man, Watson finds himself up on the moors, investigating. He soon meets Jack Stapleton (Barnaby Edwards), and his sister, Beryl (Charlie Norfolk). Before you know it, he’s caught up in strange doings on the moors, an escaped criminal, a possibly sinister butler, and the mysterious origins of the hound legend…
This story was extremely entertaining! Briggs and Earl do their usual excellent jobs with their roles, and my only complaint about them is that Briggs wasn’t in the story more. I assume that’s probably just a problem with the source material, though, so probably not much can be done.
While there were a couple times I had to back up and re-listen to something, I found the plot generally easy to follow, except in a couple places. Norfolk does about four voices, and there were occasionally times I lost track of what woman was talking, but those instances were rare.
I also have to say that while I figured out fairly early on who the bad guy was, I wasn’t sure exactly what his methods were, and I was quite surprised when I found out what was really going on with the titular hound.
This story was quite good; a worthy addition to this seasons’ stories. It’s good for anyone who wants something to entertain themselves with. So far I’ve enjoyed the original works more than the adaptations, but this adaptation was well-worth hearing, and I can’t wait to find out what the next story has in store!