TV Cream

TV: B is for...

Baker Street Boys, The

ARNIE WIGGINS and a bunch of his urchin mates, soot of cheek and fleet of foot, are taken into the employ of the World’s Greatest Detective to run around the streets getting under the feet of posh nabobs (“Blast these tearaway tykes!”), their equally posh but more sympathetic wives (“Have a heart, Geraint, they haven’t got any shoes on!”), and London’s assorted jay-walkers, fish-hawkers, barrow-merchants and soil-carts. Kids end up solving actual crimes, much to the annoyance of him upstairs (who is never seen, except in shadow) and dopey police who dislike “these sorts of things not being done by the book”. Fantastic stuff, replete with convincing Victoriana-murk in spades. Jay Simpson was Arnie, Ian Beale one of his pals, Howard from EVER DECREASING CIRCLES was Lestrade, and confusingly Lestrade from Jeremy Brett’s Holmes was Moriarty.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    May 3, 2024 at 3:33 pm

    The sort of drama the BBC churned out by the bucketload in the seventies and early eighties: Victorian or Edwardian period stuff, either heavily studio bound like this or done more on location depending on the budget, and mostly shown at 5.10 when Grange Hill and Blue Peter weren’t on. The Baker Street Boys was OK, a clever take on Sherlock Holmes, but might it have been better if Holmes appeared in person rather than as a silhouette and helped the street kids.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    May 3, 2024 at 9:55 pm

    Most bizarre of these period adventures was The December Rose which included a reference to ‘horseshit’, surely first time ever in a children’s TV show, and had an ending which wouldn’t have been out of place in an adult drama, with Patrick Malahide blown up by a booby-trapped gladstone bag.

  3. Richardpd

    May 3, 2024 at 11:02 pm

    I remember the boy who played Barnacle in The December Rose being interviewed on Blue Peter.

    This sort of drama continued to be made into the 1990s, I remember one with Yvette Fielding & a man who goes mad & starts ripping of the tiles from the roof of his house & throwing them to the ground. One of the last I can remember featured a bullying Victorian Dad who insisted his sons were “thrusters”, which sounded like some innuendo to my adolescent ears!

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