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The Musgrave Ritual


The legendary Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are thrown in the midst of a strange cult when they investigate the disappearance of two members of the Musgrave family.



Air Dates

  • First Run - August 31, 1981
  • Repeat - November 24, 1981





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4 Responses to Episode 1238

A Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Jeremy Bushong

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. Murray Burnett wrote one of the best adaptations of a Sherlock Holmes story! He was on point and focused on every character’s persona in this classic mystery that came from “The Memoirs Of Sherlock Homes” Collection. The sound effects of the newspaper, unlocking the cabinet, note pages of the Riddle, farm animals, cups clinking, birds cawing, bell tolls, footsteps, bushes, cellar door, lighting the match, lifting the stone slab, tapping of the door, log pieces echoing, the iron ring, and the wooden wedge supporters were very supportive in this mystery. The music as well, with its suspenseful tracks covering every scene. My favorite track was at the 16:04 mark where the Mystery itself lies in the past. In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall brings up the topic of Sherlock Holmes and the riddle to the Musgrave Ritual. In ACT-1, knowing Sherlock’s idiosyncrasies and learning that this particular story took place before “A Study In Scarlet” (Episode #0623). In ACT-2, mentioning the lyrics to “A Foggy Day (in London Town)” by George Gershwin and pointing out that Dr. Watson thought about killing Holmes every time he filled his pipe. In ACT-3, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote “The Final Problem” as a cliffhanger. But more importantly, “The Adventure Of The Musgrave Ritual” was the only story that ended with any sort of conundrum, wonder if Rachel Howells (the Maid) deliberately tomb Richard Brunton (the Butler) or was she unable to prevent a horrible tragedy. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall's says he thinks Rachel Howells did it deliberately because knowing what her persona was in this mystery, it reminds him of the old saying by William Congreve: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” And finally, our amazing cast: Gordon Gould (as Sherlock Holmes), Court Benson (as Dr. John H. Watson and Richard Brunton), Marian Seldes (as Rachel Howells and Mrs. Sykes), and Bernard Grant (as Reginald Musgrave and Sergeant Davies). Bernard Grant’s performance was remarkable just like his role in LES MISERABLES (episodes #1275-1279) when he played Inspector Javert. Marian Seldes is one of the most memorable actresses in CBSMRT and her acting in this shouldn’t be forgotten. Court Benson has played Watson many times and was perfect for the role. As for Gordon Gould, big props to him. Even though he played Sherlock 3 times for CBSRMT, I think his performance equally matches with Kevin McCarthy who played Sherlock 10 times. Fans of sleuth stories should not miss this episode. Tune in, everyone. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =^D


Great commentary. Thank you Russell.

Dwight Callaway

Brilliant episode great acting love these old radio stories reminds me of my childhood


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