Cover for Bulldog Drummond
|First appearance||Bulldog Drummond (1920)|
|Created by||Herman Cyril McNeile|
The Bulldog Drummond stories follow Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond, DSO, MC, a wealthy man who was an officer in the "Royal Loamshire Regiment", who, after the First World War, spends his new-found leisure time as a private detective. It begins when he places an advertisement in the local newspaper-
Demobilised Officer finding peace incredibly tedious would welcome diversion. Legitimate if possible; but crime of a humorous description, no objection. Excitement essential.
Drummond is a proto-James Bond figure and a version of the imperial adventurers depicted by the likes of John Buchan. In terms of the detective genre, the first Bulldog Drummond novel was published after the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Nayland Smith/Fu Manchu novels and Richard Hannay's first three adventures including The Thirty-Nine Steps. The character first appeared in the novel Bulldog Drummond (1920), and this was followed by a lengthy series of books and adaptations for films, radio and television.
|“||Drummond ... has the appearance of an English gentleman: a man who fights hard, plays hard and lives clean ... His best friend would not call him good-looking but he possess that cheerful type of ugliness which inspires immediate confidence ... Only his eyes redeem his face. Deep-set and steady, with eyelashes that many women envy, they show him to be a sportsman and an adventurer. Drummond goes outside the law when he feels the ends justify the means.||”|
Drummond is a muscular man, who has worked to remove the limitations of his size carries making him stealthy ("he could move over ground without a single blade of grass rustling") and quick ("he could kill a man with his bare hands in a second") for such a large man. During his time on the Western Front he would take himself on solitary raids through No-man's land.
The first four books deal with Drummond against Carl Peterson (who becomes his arch-enemy). Peterson is also a master of disguise and uses many aliases. He is killed in the fourth book, The Final Count. Peterson is in part modelled on earlier types of super-villain, including Professor Moriarty, the enemy of Sherlock Holmes. This is additionally signalled by Drummond's suggestion, in The Third Round, that they fight a duel on a glacier, recalling the contest between Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. In his complex schemes for world-domination, he is also reminiscent of Sax Rohmer's character, Fu Manchu.
The title of the fifth Bulldog Dummond book, The Female of the Species refers to Rudyard Kipling's line; "the female of the species is more deadly than the male". Drummond's adversary here is Peterson's (presumed—their relationship is never explicitly stated) mistress Irma, who in this and a number of following books seeks to kill Drummond in revenge for the death of her lover.
Bulldog Drummond undoubtedly had influences on pulp heroes. Drummond was a muscular man with a group of followers who helped him in his adventures.
McNeile's works are, to a modern reader, strongly laced with jingoism and racial stereotypes. This was typical of British adventure stories of the period (e.g. Buchan's Greenmantle, 1916), but McNeile's works are notable for their frequent hostile references to foreigners, especially Germans, and to Jews.
In The Final Count, for example, Russia is referred to as "ruled by its clique of homicidal alien Jews." Earlier in the book, one of Drummond's companions disguises himself as "a nasty-looking little Jew".
In The Female of the Species, Drummond disguises himself as a black henchman of the villainous Irma and, revealing himself to Irma and his astonished companions, explains: "Every beard is not false, but every nigger smells. That beard ain't false, dearie, and dis nigger don't smell. So I'm thinking there's something wrong somewhere."
- Bulldog Drummond (1920, by McNeile)
- The Black Gang (1922, by McNeile)
- The Third Round (1924, by McNeile)
- The Final Count (1926, by McNeile) "A scientist has invented a poison which will end war. He is seized, along with large quantities of the poison (which causes instantaneous death wherever it is sprayed). The kidnapper, an old enemy of Bulldog Drummond, intends to use the deadly invention for his own foul ends."
- The Female of the Species (1928, by McNeile) "Carl Peterson, a long-time villain, has been killed by Bulldog Drummond but Peterson's mistress escapes and turns the tables on the detective. She kidnaps Drummond's bride and plays a nerve-jangling game of hide-and-seek."
- Temple Tower (1929, by McNeile) "In a break from battling Peterson & Irma, Drummond fights against a French foe who strangles his enemies"
- The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1932, by McNeile)
- Knock-Out (1933, by McNeile)
- Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1935, by McNeile)
- The Challenge (1937, by McNeile)
- Bulldog Drummond on Dartmoor (1938, by Gerard Fairlie)
- Bulldog Drummond Attacks (1939, by Fairlie)
- Captain Bulldog Drummond (1945, by Fairlie)
- Bulldog Drummond Stands Fast (1947, by Fairlie)
- Hands Off Bulldog Drummond (1949, by Fairlie)
- Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951, by Fairlie)
- The Return of the Black Gang (1954, by Fairlie)
- Deadlier Than the Male (1966, by Henry Reymond)—from an original story by Jimmy Sangster
- Some Girls Do (1969, by Henry Reymond)—based on the film script by David Osborn & Liz Charles-Williams
Stage adaptations 
- Bulldog Drummond (1925, by Gerald du Maurier and McNeile)
Short stories by McNeile 
- "Lonely Inn"
- "The Mystery Tour"
- "The Oriental Mind"
- "Thirteen Lead Soldiers"
- "Wheels Within Wheels"
Films and television 
Radio and television 
Episode Listing with first broadcast dates (where known):
19xx-xx-xx - Book Store
19xx-xx-xx - Death Ship
19xx-xx-xx - Fatal Right
19xx-xx-xx - Geiger Counter
19xx-xx-xx - Hubert s Museum
19xx-xx-xx - Murder off Catalina
19xx-xx-xx - White Star and the Ringer
1941-09-28 - The Richards Mob (Audition)
1941-09-28 - Hijacker
1941-xx-xx - Fiery Island
1941-xx-xx - Porcelain Ming Cat
1941-xx-xx - Ride In The Moonlight
1942-01-04 - Death Rides A Racehorse
1942-01-11 - Death Loops The Loop
1942-01-11 - A Study In Mink
1942-01-25 - The Circus
1942-05-12 - Death Uses Disappearing Ink
1942-05-19 - Death In The Deep
1942-06-17 - The Deadly Stand In
1942-06-29 - The Circus
1942-12-01 - Penny Arcade Story
1943-09-16 - Axis Submarine
1943-xx-xx - Devil Flat
1944-06-26 - Nazi Sub
1945-02-05 - The Fatal 50,000
1945-04-23 - Dinner of Death
1945-05-07 - Ride In The Moonlight
1945-08-13 - Help Wanted
1945-09-10 - Murder In The Death House
1945-09-17 - Death on the Diamond
1945-09-24 - Escape Into Death
1946-10-14 - Case of the Fatal Right
1947-01-17 - Claim Check Murders
1947-09-28 - Hijacker
1948-05-05 - Death Paints A Portrait
1948-06-16 - Death in the Deep
1948-12-01 - The Penny Arcade
1948-xx-xx - Blind Man's Bluff
1949-01-13 - Atomic Murders
A 30-minute episode of Douglas Fairbanks Jr Presents featured Bulldog Drummond in "The Ludlow Affair" (1957). Drummond (Robert Beatty) was little more than a detective in London, aided by Kelly (Michael Ripper). This episode is available on DVD.
Later incarnations 
- The 1973 BBC documentary Omnibus: The British Hero featured Christopher Cazenove playing Drummond, as well as a number of other such heroic characters, including Richard Hannay, Beau Geste, and James Bond.
- Another parody, Bullshot Crummond, was originally staged as a play and subsequently made into a 1983 motion picture.
- Kim Newman's short story "Pitbull Brittan" (1991), a savage parody of Bulldog Drummond and the state of Britain under Margaret Thatcher, features the eponymous adventurer's battle against an international conspiracy responsible for the 1984 Miners' Strike. Newman also used the character for a brief cameo appearance in his novel The Bloody Red Baron.
- In 2004, Moonstone Books released a Bulldog Drummond comic book written by William Messner-Loebs and illustrated by Brett Barkley.
- In the graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, an elderly Drummond is one of the three Secret Service agents tasked to hunt down the heroes of the piece.
- DelFattore, Joan (1988). "Herman Cyril McNeile (Sapper)". In Benstock, Bernard; Staley, Thomas. British Mystery Writers, 1920-1939. Detroit: Gale Research. ISBN 978-0-7876-3072-0.
- McNeile, Herman Cyril (2008). Bulldog Drummond: The Adventures of a Demobilised Officer Who Found Peace Dull. London: Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-84354-851-5.
- McNeile, Herman Cyril (2007). Bulldog Drummond, the Carl Peterson Quartet. Ware. ISBN 978-1-84022-620-1.
- Roseman, Mill (1971). Detectionary. New York: The Overlook Press. ISBN 978-0-87951-114-2.
- Penzler, Otto (1977). Detectionary. New York: The Overlook Press. ISBN 0-87951-041-212 Check
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Bulldog Drummond: An Overview by David L. Vineyard
- Bulldog Drummond audio and video media archive.org
- Old Time Radio Bulldog Drummond archive.org