Sherlock Holmes is the most prolific fictional character in cinema history. In 2014, BBC Four's Time Shift series broadcast its own examination of the key actors who have portrayed the Great Detective on stage, screen and television since 1900.
According to Wikipedia, there have
been at least twenty-five adaptations
of The Hound of the Baskervilles for cinema, TV, radio, and theatre,
including an animated version, and
the story even inspired a Bollywood production.
Conan Doyle's novel was first published in 1902. Hammer Films made the first colour rendition in 1959 (twenty years after Basil Rathbone's debut portrayal), and Holmes was played by Peter Cushing (1913-1994), but the film was not a box office success. Cushing
returned to the role in 1968 (when he replaced Douglas Wilmer in the BBC's
Sherlock Holmes TV series), then in 1984 for the film, The Masks of Death.
Christopher Lee (1922-2015), another iconic figure from the Hammer stable, appeared here too (as Sir Henry Baskerville), and would later play both Holmes brothers - Sherlock (in 1962, 1991 and 1992) and Mycroft (for The Private Life
of Sherlock Holmes in 1970).
Cushing (pictured, right) went on to star as Dr. Who in Aaru's Dalek features
made to feed the Dalekmania of the Sixties. Shown again on Film4 today, this supernatural mystery featured five other Doctor Who cast connections:
- Quatermass actor Andre Morell (Dr. Watson, pictured left) played Marshal Gaspard de Saux Tavannes in The Massacre [his son Jason Morell was the Vicar in The Next Doctor]
- Francis de Wolff (Dr. Mortimer) was Vasor in The Keys of Marinus: Snows of Terror, and Agamemnon in The Myth Makers
- Ewen Solon (Stapleton) was Chal in The Savages, and Vishinsky in Planet of Evil
- Michael Hawkins (Caphill) and Michael Mulcaster (Seldon) both appeared in Frontier in Space - as General Williams and a Prisoner respectively, the latter was also the Old Duke in The Masque of Mandragora
When Cushing played Holmes on BBC TV, the series included another, two-part retelling of The Hound of the Baskervilles, which also featured these five other classic Doctor Who guest actors:
- Nigel Stock (as Dr. Watson) was Professor Hayter in Time Flight
- Philip Bond (Stapleton) was Ganatus in The Daleks
- Christopher Burgess (Barrymore) was Swann in The Enemy of the World, Professor Phillips in Terror of the Autons, and Barnes in Planet of the Spiders
- Penelope Lee (Laura) was the Computer voice in Revelation of the Daleks
- Gerald Flood (Sir Hugo) voiced Kamelion in The King's Demons and Planet of Fire