Full Episodes

Episode 7: The Blue Carbuncle

In the final episode of season one, Holmes and Watson find themselves in possession of the mysterious gem, The Blue Carbuncle.  We also examine the careers of composer Patrick Gowers and director David Carson.  And Gus & Luke discuss hats, goose crops, and the unique properties of carbuncles.  Plus, listener emails!

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7 thoughts on “Episode 7: The Blue Carbuncle

  1. The beginning scenes with Holmes being so grumpy contrasted with his eventual forgiveness and sense of righteousness is lovely. I hate Christmas and Christmas-y things, but I love this episode and story, because it’s the rare example of something with a Christmas theme that’s not treacle-y.

    I too love David Burke the best. Dare I say he and Jeremy had a certain sexual charisma together that Edward Hardwicke and Jeremy lacked, as wonderful as their partnership also was?

    I was today years old when I learned that geese have no croups. As an author myself who is very meticulous, there is a tiny part of me that kind of admires Doyle’s bravado. “Research, I don’t need no stinkin’ research!” Despite having a large head for a woman (size 7), the comment about large heads and brains signifying intelligence has always irked me. Ah, Victorian junk science.

    Okay, I’m now all caught up with your wonderful podcast and await new episodes. Bravo!

  2. One of my favorite Holmes stories and a beautifully crafted tv script. Just wondering if you’ve ever looked into the Gielgud/Richardson radio shows. Their version of The Blue Carbuncle is top-notch. To me Holmes is a combination of John Gielgud’s voice and Jeremy Brett’s wonderfully odd movements. Love the podcast. Keep it up!

  3. I have to say, if it was a hardship to lay sideways on that sofa, it was a bit wasted: going to look at it the camera moves in after barely a second, and you can’t even tell that he’s not sitting for the rest of the deduction scene.

    I love so many of the moments in this. It’s another one from the books I had as a child, and it has such fun “gotcha” moments, when Holmes gets one over the goose seller and the thief. “It laid an egg after it was dead…” It is an overall really funny episode, just as it was in the canon, really.
    And then it’s elevated by the final confrontation of Holmes having to decide if he wants to condemn the pathetic little criminal, or save him. Feels like he’s still uncomfortable making choices like that. It definitely becomes a theme, morality over law. It’s not so impactful in The Naval treaty as he lets the criminal go for political convenience rather than moral reasons. Oh, it happens 14 times, really? More than I would have guessed.

    Aah, the person who scored this also composed that theme, the First Contact theme? It’s my absolute favorite Star Trek melody. I had noticed how lovely all the interwoven hymns were.

  4. Hi, I am catching up with your podcast episodes. My compliments to the both of you for these in-depth and impressive little journeys through the best Sherlock Holmes series out there. Your podcast raises an interesting (and funny!) question about hiding the blue carbuncle in the goose’s beak. I’ve watched this scene frame by frame and it does indeed appear that the gem should have fallen into Ryder’s right hand. At a certain point you see the stone between his ring finger and little finger, but you don’t see it fall. I therefore think that the stone just got stuck in the left hand and that the director thought it was fine. I don’t think the stone was removed from the pictures, otherwise they would have definitely removed the sound too. I also think that a stone, falling into a hand, does not produce the kind of sound you hear in the scene. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Don’t think we will ever know for sure.
    Keep up the good work, guys!

  5. Hello, Gus and Luke!

    First, thank you for creating and making available your podcast series. I have only gotten a little way in from the beginning but am loving every minute. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment you’ve provided me.

    Second, I would like to add my thoughts on the naming of the carbuncle itself.

    On terminology, I forgive the misappellation: as correctly stated, not everyone is a gemologist, able to identify stones at a glance. Calling a diamond a garnet based only by its color is probably a common mistake and even today, it is easy to misidentify gems and stones.

    The property of cutting glass is something any stone with a Mohs hardness rating above 5.5 can do. Humble quartz could perform the task equally well as a more valuable gem.

    And then, there is the relatively recent controversy regarding the Crown Jewels of England: several of its rubies have been tested and identified as spinels, a lesser-valued gem, affecting the overall monetary value of the Crown Jewels themselves. It went undiscovered for so long due to the lack of accurate means of analysis and identification of precious gems, I believe, than from any intention to mislead the public or the Crown.

    Third, I hope that when you reach the last of the Granada Holmes episodes and movies, you might yet find some way to comtinue your podcasts. I would love to see your handling of the larger world of 19th century London with the same enthusiasm and research you’ve brought to this series.

    It cannot be any less impressive!

    Keep up the great work! I look forward to listening (and enjoying) your episodesas long as they may come.


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