You will not hear a single "Elmentary, my dear Watson" to - night if you tune for the opening Sherlock Holmes adventure story on radio WETA-FM (909-9).
The reason is elementary Arthur Conan Doyle's detective never uttered those four words in conjunction, even if he did drop an "elementary" here and there.
To the delight of Sherlockians who maintain that Sherlock Holmes did live and is still living - and less tanatic fans of Holmesian deduction. WETA-FM will broadeast 53 half-hour radio dramatizations drawn from the Holmes canon.
The eries will be broadcast on Mondays an Thursdays from 6:30 to 7 p.m. (although next Monday will be skipped for a marathon fund-raiser).
"It was a wild night with the wind howling . . . screams of a terrified woman could be heard . . ." begins the adventure of "The Speckled Band," which opens the series tonight.
The first radio dramatization bodes well for the series, with Carleton Hobbs playing a credible Holmes and Norman Shelley as Watson. The series was produced by the BBC over a series of years, beginning in the late 1960s.
WETA-FM found that it was getting a "very good listener response" when it ran some old time radio shows including. "The Long Ranger" and "Fibber McGee and Molly" recently. So it looked for other radio drama and came up with the Sherlock Holmes series.
Allen Mackler, the station's production coodinator, just happens to be a Sherlockian and a member of the Red Circle gathering of Holmes enthusiasts in Washington.
Mackler said the series will cover 41 short stories and 4 novelettes told in three episodes each.
And as the winds howl and screams are heard, the listener's imagination can see the yellow fog rolling in with hues more vivid than color TV, Hyman Brown, producer of "Mystery Theater" for CBS Radio maintains a listerner's imagnation makes things more real than TV.
Mackler said he agrees but never has listened to "Mystery Theater."
"I don't listen to commercial radio," he explained.