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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sherlock Holmes and arbitary murders of East End prostitutes

Big Finish Productions are a producer of audio plays, best known for their all original Doctor Who plays. Indeed the company kept Doctor Who in the limelight for a great many years, when the TV series was off the air. They create full cast audio plays for CD and download and have been in business since 1998 and continue to produce quality work.

Their Doctor Who plays are highly regarded. They use the actual TV actors to play the role of the cosmic hobo - Peter Davidson, Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy and Tom Baker are among the previous TV doctors who have recorded for the company. Big Finish began with a series of audio plays adapted from New Adventures. These were a series of novels from Virgin Books which had originally been licensed Doctor Who stories, but by then had become officially independent from the show and were based around the character of Bernice "Benny" Summerfield. Big Finish then obtained a (non-exclusive) license to produce official Doctor Who plays, beginning with the multi-Doctor story The Sirens of Time. Doctor Who and spin-offs have remained the main part of the company's output ever since, although they have since diversified. Until July 2006, Gary Russell served as producer of the Doctor Who audios. When Russell left the company, Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs took joint responsibility as Executive Producers.

Though it's not all Doctor Who - the company have done plays based on Sapphire and Steele, The Tomorrow's People, various 2000AD characters, Stargate and many more.

Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper is based on a stage play by stalwart TV scriptwriter Brian Clemens. The writer of course is best known for his work on The Avengers, The Protectors, The Professionals and his work with Hammer Films. He is also a distant relation of Mark Twain.

Brian Clemens
The play starts off with one of the Ripper's brutal  killings and finds Holmes drawn into the case because it presents a challenge for his ego. Right away we are transported to a London of some great Cockney accents and Gothic melodrama. Nick Briggs, who voices the DALEKS for the television series as well as the Big Finish productions, plays Sherlock Holmes and he does a damn fine job of giving us the classic Sherlock Holmes. Watson is played by Richard Earl in a semi-bumbling Nigel Bruce kind of way. We also get to see (well hear actually) Holmes falling in love with a character played by the always reliable India Fisher, who played the Dr Who companion Charley Pollard in the Big Finish eighth Doctor adventures. She also appeared in many audio plays with the sixth Doctor but how that came about is a rather complicated story.

It's an atmospheric tale with an audacious showdown in the PM's office.

Check out Big Finish HERE

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