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The Strange Case of the Delayed 1939 Radio Broadcast of The Three Garridebs

The Strange Case of the Delayed 1939 Radio Broadcast of The Three Garridebs

“Some delay was inevitable.”

– The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax (LADY

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, prior to one of their NBC Radio broadcasts of Sherlock Holmes

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce began appearing as Holmes and Watson on The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on NBC Radio’s Blue Network in October, 1939. The 13th episode of the series was The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, which was broadcast on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, 1939. A partial recording of that broadcast survives and you can listen to it HERE.

But, was it supposed to air on Christmas Day? Let’s take a look at this news item from the December 11, 1939 edition of The Centreville (OH) Herald.


December 11, 1939 edition of The Centreville (OH) Herald.

A few days later, from the December 17, 1939 edition of The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, we learn that the story of The Adventure of the Wisteria Lodge had been planned for broadcast on Christmas Day.


December 17, 1939 edition of The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner

December 22, 1939 edition of The Centreville (OH) Herald.

On December 22nd, The Centreville (OH) Herald basically reprinted their earlier announcement of the radio broadast for The Three Garridebs, but with the date change to Christmas Day. The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner confirms the broadcast as well.


December 25, 1939 edition of The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner

In reading these news items, it states that Edith Melser (the writer of the scripts for the radio series) thought that the Adventure of the Wisteria Lodge was just a bit too gruesome to be broadcast on Christmas Day and that the broadcast of the Adventure of the Three Garridebs was a jollier mystery for Christmas Day. I think we can agree that Wisteria Lodge is probably not a good story for Christmas Day.

Let’s just pause for a second to consider that Dr. Watson gets shot in The Three Garridebs. This is considered a jolly story for Christmas?

If anyone is curious, the following week’s broadcast was The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Maybe they should have chosen that episode for the Christmas Day broadcast…….

3 Responses to The Strange Case of the Delayed 1939 Radio Broadcast of The Three Garridebs

  1. Funny story and a good listen. It is interesting what would pass for”jolly” in different eras. Is there a recording of the Blue Carbuncle program?

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