Talking Pictures July 2020: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Bognor

Judy Geeson in The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

An occasional look at what classic TV shows Talking Pictures (Sky 328 | Freeview 81 | Freesat 306 | Virgin 445) is going to be airing soon

Two interesting TV shows are lurking in the (very thick) Talking Pictures schedules in July. And on Tuesday 21 July, Overseas Press Club will be joining them at 5.30am


An obvious highlight that starts on Tuesday 21st July at 5am is Bognor, a 1981 ITV series starring David Horovitch.

Based on the cult mystery novels by author, journalist and royal biographer Tim Heald, the light-hearted whodunits star David Horovitch as a bungling but diligent Department of Trade investigator. Featuring guest performances from Patrick Troughton, John Le Mesurier, Glynis Barber, Peter Jeffrey and Elizabeth Spriggs, it only ran to four stories: Unbecoming Habits, Deadline, Let Sleeping Dogs Die and Just Desserts. However, each of those stories ran over six half-hour episodes.

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The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

It’s not the first time it’s been on Talking Pictures, but returning on Sunday 12 July at 8.10pm is The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, a 1971-1973 ITV show. The anthology show consisted of 26 adaptations of often-forgotten detective stories written at the same time as Conan Doyle was writing the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Detectives featured included Dr John Thorndyke (played by John Neville and Barrie Ingham), Ernest Bramah’s blind detective Max Carrados (Robert Stephens), Baroness Orczy’s Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (Elvi Hale) and Polly Burton (Judy Geeson), and Thomas Carnacki, William Hope Hodgson’s occult detective, played by none other than Donald Pleasence.

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