A ship has arrived on the shores of England with a missing crew and a dead captain who had lashed himself to the wheel. The captain's dead face is twisted in terror. No reason can be given as to why he died except that he is totally devoid of blood. Yet there are no signs of violence. There is no blood on the captain or the surrounding area. The only marks on the body are two small puncture wounds on the neck. Baffled by this strange event a local reporter enlists the aid of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to solve the mystery. Soon the great detective discerns that Count Dracula has made his way to England. So too has Professor Abraham Van Helsing who has followed the Count from his homeland in his ardently quest to destroy the vampire. But it's Holmes and Watson that are hot on the trail of the dark plague of the night. And before long their dogged pursuit forces a desperate Dracula to turn his attention to Holmes and Watson. It's up to Sherlock Holmes to stop Dracula. But will the fiendish Transylvanian terror prove to be too formidable for the great detective and his faithful friend and companion?
John Moffatt who most will recognize as the voice of Hercule Poirot in the long running BBC's radio drama mystery series stars as Sherlock Holmes in this adaption. Moffatt does a excellent job a Holmes. This is a finely written story that proves to be most entertaining. Not too dark or sinister. Yet a nice touch of goose bump raising fright and mystery. So turn down the lights..... if you dare!
This production doesn't appear to be available for purchase from the BBC. It has been rebroadcast on a number of occasions in recent years.
First broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on December 19th, 1981.
Rebroadcast Sunday November 7, 2007 BBC Radio 7; Thursday November 4, 2010 BBC Radio 4; Sunday October 30, 2011 BBC Radio 4
From the BBC:
The year is
1890. A ship is discovered adrift off the English coast, its crew
missing, its murdered captain lashed to the wheel, and its only passenger is a sinister black dog. This impenetrable mystery is clearly a
case for the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, but for the first time in
his illustrious career the great detective is baffled. Clearly the crew
have been murdered and dumped overboard, but what can account for the
captain's expression of imponderable terror and his acute loss of blood,
or the ship's strange cargo - fifty boxes of earth?
The game is
afoot, and Sherlock Holmes, aided as ever by the faithful Dr. Watson,
finds himself on the trail of no mortal enemy, but the arch-vampire
himself - Count Dracula...
Sherlock Holmes...........John Moffatt
Doctor John Watson......Timothy West
Count Dracula..............David March
Professor Van Helsing.....Aubrey Woods
Thomas Parker..........Michael Maloney
Mr. Caffyn................Noel Howlett
Mary Watson........Theresa Streatfeild
Inspector Lestrade...Nicholas Courtney
Mrs. Barton.............Katherine Parr
Red Bridger................John Hollis
Adapted for radio and directed by Glyn Dearman.