Episode 14: The Red-Headed League

In this installment, Holmes and Watson investigate the sinister intentions behind The Red-Headed League. Also, the “Napoleon of crime” rears his oscillating head, encyclopedias abound, and Luke and Gus amuse themselves by nitpicking this nearly flawless episode of the classic series. And, listener telegrams!

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2 thoughts on “Episode 14: The Red-Headed League”

  1. The leaping over the sofa is the moment when Jeremy Brett first leapt into my heart! There are so many great Jeremy moments, based on his facial expressions and inflections, such as the “spies in an enemy’s territory” gaze at Watson and his verbal disciplining of the director in the bank cellar. I love the fact some of Holmes’ original lines go to Watson in this story, which makes the partnership feel much more equal.

    I was kind of fascinated a vegetarian restaurant was common enough in the 19th century for Doyle to make mention of it his original story.

    Tim McInnerny is a genius, but I kind of felt the introduction of Moriarty takes away from Clay’s weirdness as a villain. I love the print Clay, who is described as very delicate and slight, more boylike than McInnerny. I sort of missed the earrings and the acid mark, and I rather love the idea of a gentlemen robber acting on his own. The note that he went to Oxford and Eton, so best to bring a gun, was a great add by the scriptwriter.

    In the story, Clay’s partner has bright red hair, and that inspires them to create the League. I’ve always assumed Clay was going to “swing” for some past offense he had committed. Regarding the lack of “vulgar intrigue” with a woman, a 14 year old lower-class serving girl probably wouldn’t be interesting enough to work somewhere for half wages, versus a very comely younger wife.

    Despite all the Jones confusion, I feel like this blustery, good-natured Jones suits this particular adaptation very well, while the somewhat craftier and slightly sleazier Jones of The Sign of Four suited that particular tale in a uniquely perfect way.

    Thank you so much for the care and detail you put into your wonderful podcast!

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