Radio producers reinvent tales of Sherlock Holmes for the iPad era

David Peart is Dr. Watson pic: Aaron Lee

A collection of Sherlock Holmes radio dramatisations, produced at Goldsmiths College, have been revitalised for the iPad audience.

Goldsmiths’ head of radio, Tim Crook, and visiting radio tutor, Richard Shannon, co-produced the adaptations in the 1990s, starring Edward Petherbridge as Holmes and David Peart as Dr Watson.

Stefan Nowak and Dominic Burkhalter from SN2apps have re-mastered the original dramatisations. The stories are now combined with scripts, period maps of London, visual graphics, and the original texts by Arthur Conan Doyle.

A launch party for the apps was held earlier today at Goldsmiths’ New Academic Building.

Crook told EastLondonLines: “I’m very proud of the original audio productions. I think they’d stand at anytime because they’re faithful and they’re not dated. I think with the modern design, the text and the maps, and the flexibility of the tablet computer… [these new apps are] pretty fantastic.”

The Goldsmiths’ lecturer, who produced the dramas as part of UK Independent Radio, got into trouble for giving Holmes progressive civil rights views in The Five Orange Pips. He joked that Holmes aficionados do not appreciate such licence-taking.

Nowak, director of SN2apps, told EastLondonLines: “One of the attractions to us was to build on something that already exists in the way of content. So having these radio programmes was quite a unique and valuable asset we could build an app around, rather than starting from scratch. That was what inspired us to take this route, and, obviously, Sherlock Holmes is perennially popular.”

Shannon said he felt glee at the prospect of this radio archive having a “new life”, and he is keen to present more radio productions in app form.

Peart, the only member of the cast present at the launch, said he was “honoured” to contribute to the Sherlock legacy. He said: “They’re wonderful stories that keep reappearing, they’ll never die.”

Four Conan Doyle short stories have been given the digital refresh: The Twisted Lip, The Five Orange Pips, A Scandal in Bohemia and The Speckled Band. The apps are available for iPad, priced £1.99.

In keeping with the detective theme, users can take part in a hunt across London by uncovering clues hidden in the apps.

The first person to find the landmark object and email will win an engraved vintage magnifying glass.

Nowak and Burkhalter are also releasing a Frankenstein app in early 2012, followed by a series based on Charles Dickens novels.

The release of these apps comes during renewed popularity for Sherlock Holmes, thanks to modern interpretations from the BBC, and the latest Guy Richie film, starring Robert Downey Jr.

Sherlock Holmes interactive audio apps are available now for iPad from the App Store, with iPhone and iPod versions soon.

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