Excellent anthology series featuring short stories from famous authors. It was hosted by Arthur Shields playing a bookshop owner. He also provided narration. The show lasted twenty-six episodes.
Typical episode: “The Adventure Of The Speckled Band” based on the Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Helen Stoner (Evelyn Ankers) visits Holmes (Alan Napier) and Doctor Watson (Melville Cooper). She says she’s afraid something will happen to her. Two years ago her sister Julia died. It was said the cause was fright but Helen thinks it was murder.
She says her stepfather has been acting strange ever since returning from India. He has a thing for strange animals and keeps them in their castle. She’s due to marry her sister’s old boyfriend. That means her stepfather will lose an inheritance. When she leaves the stepfather shows up and tries to intimidate Holmes from investigating.
That doesn’t stop him from going to the castle when only Helen is there to look into the room where Julia died. Of course Watson tags along. Her obnoxious boyfriend shows up and demands to know what’s going on. He’s told to go away and not interfere,
Holmes and Watson start investigating. Right before Helen’s sister died she heard a metallic noise and a whistle. Before she expired Julia said “The speckled band.” Helen doesn’t have a clue what she meant. A bell rope that doesn’t ring, an air ventilator that doesn’t ventilate and repairs on the rooms lead Holmes to the solution.
This was a good episode and intended to start a series of Holmes shows. It didn’t happen and this was the only one.
Arthur Shields was the younger brother of Barry Fitzgerald and made dozens of movies.
After decades in movies Alan Napier became a cult figure as Alfred the Butler in TV’s “Batman” (1966-68).