Welcome

The Red Circle is Sherlock's home in Washington DC. Now in our seventh decade, we continue to celebrate his immortality and enjoy each other's company.
All are welcome to join us and share our interest in all things Sherlockian and Doylean.

Next Meeting

Friday, June 26, 2015
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Drinks at 6:00 -- Dinner at 7:00
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The original BBC Sherlock is back  is the delightful slogan devised by the British Film Institute for its new four-DVD set with all of the Douglas Wilmer television shows from 1964 and 1965, and his fans will welcome the chance to see the series again. Two of the shows have been reconstructed, since only some of the original footage has survived, and there are some nice added features. The set costs £39.99 at the BFI website  (it's less expensive, of course, at Amazon). Unfortunately, the set is region-2 only, and it's unlikely that there will be a region-1 or multi-region version, but there are convenient programs that will allow you to play region-2 DVDs on your computers.  Douglas Wilmer is alive and well, at 95 years old, and had a cameo role as a disgruntled member of the Diogenes Club in an episode of the BBC's Sherlock series.

A horse in the day-time? You bet  The disappearance of the running of the Silver Blaze (Southern Division) for lo these 17 years has left a nagging hole in the local Sherlockian calendar. But thanks to Greg Ruby, this storied race will be resurrected at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday, May 23. It honors the Sherlockian Canon's most famous equine, and the day will include a traditional crab cake lunch which you're bound to enjoy even if your luck at the betting window is less than rewarding. Reserve your place at the track here.


221B or not 221B?  Benedict Cumberbatch will play the title role in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet. Previews at the Barbican Theatre in London begin on August 5.  All the tickets for the entire run have been sold, but a stage-to-screen version of the production will be shown in theaters worldwide beginning on October 15, when it will be featured locally at the Bethesda Row Cinema, and on other dates in other cities.  Details are here

Sherlock Holmes to be screened in Culpeper, Virginia on June 13.  The newly-found and freshly-restored film of William Gillette's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes (see below) will be screened on June 13 at the State Theatre in Culpeper, Virginia, as part of The "Mostly Lost" confab sponsored by the Library of Congress. It will not be necessary to register for the conference to buy individual tickets for the screening, which are expected to go on sale toward the middle of April. We'll keep you up-to-date here on ticket availability and the time of the screening. The Red Circle is investigating the possibility of a screening closer to Washington later in the year.

William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes Onscreen  Many Sherlockians know that the film version of William Gillette's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, long believed lost, was discovered recently in France. Shot in Chicago in 1916 and released by Essanay, the film has now been restored and had its world premiere on January 31 in Paris. It will be screened next during the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, May 28-June 1. The festival's site also includes a nice story about "The Gillette Jollification" at the December meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. Read it here. The Red Circle trusts that in due course a Washington screening will also be in the offing. Meanwhile, a three minute excerpt of the restored film is available here. To celebrate the film's discovery, restoration and release, The Société Sherlock Holmes de France have published Le Guide du Film Sherlock Holmes (1916), a profusely-illustrated 64-page discussion of the film and its actors, with articles by Thierry Saint-Joanis and Bernard Oudin; it is almost all in English, and costs 20 Euros. You can order it here, where you can also see thumbnail images showing the results of their splendid research.


Sherlockian author wins Oscar for film starring Sherlockian actor  As 2010 came to an end, Black Peter reported in his Logbook on this site that a young man named Graham Moore had written a new pastiche called The Sherlockian that had met with some critical acclaim. It was Moore's first novel, and it would not be the last we'd hear from him. Moore went on to write the script for The Imitation Game, the tale of British mathematician Alan Turing's quest to break the Nazi's Enigma code. The film, of course, stars Benedict Cumberbatch in a superb performance as Turing. On February 22 Moore took home the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and made what many consider to be the most memorable acceptance speech of the evening. See it here.

Gridlock DC 2015 builds on inaugural success, adds a second day. Gridlock DC will be expanded to a two-day event, on August 8-9, at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda.  Last year's convention was a one-day affair in Alexandria, with an impressive 195 people on hand for the festivities.  Some of the conventioneers were old Sherlockian hands, but the vast majority were young, and fans of film and television, some of them in costume, and everyone enjoyed the event.  You can see what last year's programming was like, and register for this year at their website here

Red Circle Baskerville theater party a smashing success
and the Washington Post took note. Read their report here.

Dan Stashower Scores Second Hat Trick   Washington writer, Sherlockian and Red Circle member Dan Stashower has won a third major prize for his book The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War. The Anthony Award, presented at Bouchercon in Long Beach in mid-November goes on the shelf along with the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar and Malice Domestic's Agatha awards. Dan's first trifecta was for Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters in 2008. Congratulations Dan!

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal in Klinger case
  In a one sentence ruling on November 3, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the Conan Doyle Estate's appeal in the copyright suit brought by Les Klinger. The judgment has the effect of upholding Klinger's contention and the decisions of two lower courts that the 50 Sherlock Holmes stories published before 1923 are in the public domain and not subject to rights payments to the estate. The copyrights on the remaining ten stories will expire over the next decade.



  • Scuttlebutt: One Fixed Point in a Changing Age  Our own Peter Blau's monthly Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press has endured for more than four decades, and has a permanent home right here on our website. It's the most remarkable collection of Sherlockian news and notes anywhere, and your webmaster recommends a monthly visit. The very latest edition is available now, as are past numbers. It's just a click away--use the "Scuttlebutt" button at the top of the page.
    • Be an Inner Circle Contributor We welcome submissions from all quarters for this page. Please direct materials to the webmaster, alan@redcircledc.org
    • For earlier, archived items from The Inner Circle, click here.