Story: The Finishing Stroke
1) When did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?
When I was growing up, the BBC had an annual tradition of screening the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movies... and I had an annual tradition of watching them. When I was about 10 or 11, I checked a copy of His Last Bow out of the library... and I was lost forever.
2) Do you have a favourite story from the canon?
An unexpected choice: Wisteria Lodge. I suppose everybody has a fondness for the first story they read, but I admit, at age 11, I didn't have the faintest idea what this one was about! It was all horribly confusing. Now, I read it again, and it seems to be the Sherlock Holmes story with a bit of everything: murder mystery, international politics, voodoo...
3) Are you active in any Sherlockian societies?
I host the annual film evening of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, screening rare Holmes movies for the members. Of course, in this DVD age, it's getting harder to find anything really rare.
4) Are you involved with any other Sherlock Holmes projects?
For the past five years, I've provided scripts for Imagination Theater's Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series, starring John Patrick Lowrie as Holmes and Lawrence Albert as Dr Watson. I've also dramatised several stories from the Canon for their series The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The achievement of which I'm proudest must be my three-hour version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (in which I had the small role of Cartwright, the boy from the District Messenger's office!). The shows can be heard and purchased here: http://jimfrenchproductions.com/zc137m/
5) Any other of your projects you’d like to tell our readers about?
I've just finished a three-part radio mini-series for Falcon Pictures Group entitled The New Adventures of Mike Hammer, in which Stacy Keach will re-create his famous role. I'm also scripting several new episodes of Falcon Pictures Twilight Zone series - it's hoped at this stage that Mena Suvari, star of American Beauty, will play the lead in my first show. You can read more about it here: http://twilightzoneradio.blogspot.com/ I'm also working with the cast of cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 on their new project, Rifftrax. If you were a fan of the show, you'll be pleased to hear that Rifftrax is much the same. I've recorded commentaries for two movies thus far, Dark Water and House of Wax (in which Paris Hilton has a metal pole thrust through her head - anywhere else on her body, and it could've done some real damage). At the moment, I'm preparing for a collaboration with MST's very own Mike Nelson. Visit their website: http://rifftrax.com/ I've edited five volumes for Wordsworth Editions: two collections of H P Lovecraft stories, two of Robert E Howard, and the forthcoming Charlie Chan Omnibus. You can find out more here: http://www.wordsworth-editions.com/jkcm/default.aspx?pg=34 For Imagination Theater, I supply scripts for many series, including my own creation, The Hilary Caine Mysteries. Other shows include Raffles the Gentleman Thief, The Adventures of Harry Nile and Kincaid the Strangeseeker. For Colonial Radio Theatre, I've scripted a sixteen part series based on G K Chesterton's Father Brown mysteries. I've also written the second in a continuing series based on the original Perry Mason novels of Erle Stanley Gardner. Colonial's website is here: http://www.colonialradio.com/ and the first eight episodes of The Father Brown Mysteries can be purchased here: http://www.blackstoneaudio.com/ If, after visiting all those links, you have any strength left, you can follow the trials and tribulations of a writer's life on my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/matthewjelliott