Sunday, September 12, 2010
What's On the iPod/iPhone?: Big Finish's (Sherlock) Holmes and the Ripper
a.) The Big Finish Podcast
b.) That Big Finish is doing Sherlock Holmes stories
c.) You can now download from the Big Finish website
d.) Downloads are less expensive than CDs
I've been under a rock two years, so I'm still catching up on a lot of things.
Of course when I gained all this knowledge, starting with the podcast, a natural choice for a birthday gift request was "Holmes and the Ripper," an installment based on a stage play by Brian Clemens of The Avengers fame and scores of other TV shows and movies.
The story's core stems from the conspiracy theorized in Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution by Stephen Knight, so it bears similarities to From Hell, the Jack the Ripper miniseries and the earlier Holmes flick Murder By Decree. Chronologically, release-wise, the play falls it the middle. It pre-dates From Hell and the graphic novel on which it's based but followed 1979's Decree by about nine years.
I suppose the conspiracy is too delicious dramatically to be abandoned, even though it's widely discredited.
Familiarity with the source material doesn't minimize the enjoyment of the production, because it's gloriously and freshly executed with a full cast, incredible music and a music suite track that's a dark mind ride unto itself.
Nicholas Briggs is wonderful as Holmes, pining over Irene Adler--The Woman--yet up to the challenge of conspirators and mystics in pursuit of the truth behind the Whitechapel killings. Interesting use is made of Scotland Yard Commissioner Robert Anderson, who, I believe, gets a lot of examination in Ripperology.
"Holmes and the Ripper" manages action, chills and excitement, sparking the imagination with its brilliant mixture of sounds and pauses. It's a great starting point for the Big Finish universe.
A note on the download - The download is not like an Audible or iTunes audiobook. You receive the CD tracks in a zip file, which means importing to iTunes and making a playlist. It's relatively painless.