26/07/2010

MONDAY THOUGHTS, SHERLOCK REVIEW



Sir Arthur Conan DoyleCover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The problems in Afghanistan are still there, the problems of crime are still there (be it opportune or organised) and London is still in part shows; its underbelly of darkness. One could argue that the new Sherlock Holmes is just as appropriate story telling in 2010 as it was when originally published in Victorian times by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I wonder how many reviewers have encountered the original books? I ask as if they had, they would have understood that remarkably the new series catches the tone perfectly (its almost hard to say how?) and this is a true credit to script and direction.

The BBC have produced a fantastic adventure series (if based in the first episode) that will serve this reviewer as an excellent take upon the detective myth and this much beloved character. I wont bore with the details of the plot, other than “A study in Pink” is a clever riff on “Study in Scarlet” as originally written many years ago. For me the script and the acting was the thing. Both Holmes and Watson were excellently cast in Cumberbatch and Freeman.


Even the character of Lestrade is very “very” well played, yet would hardly get a mention usually. Promoted from comic support role, this policeman has been well crafted. No one would now buy that a bumbling officer would be promoted, and in tight dialogue we are told why Lestrade puts up with Holmes. Revealing Lestrade to be a good person, and recognising at once his own fallibility.

I would add that the fan boys would also have some nice nods. The show mentions Cardiff which is definitely a shout to the stereotype of Welsh weather and to the home of Steven Moffatt’s Dr Who.(which is and you will either love or hate - similar in tone)

Viewers of modern procedurals are not spoilt for choices, when it comes to amazing male characters showing almost magical skills in deduction. However the BBC have managed to out mental the Mentalist as it were. Nothing against the new shows out there, but when you have character over 100 years old, and a huge international fan base, you are forced to up the game and deliver.

I urge viewers to revisit the original stories as soon as possible and understand that watching this take is not a homage to past performances (I will mention Jeremy Brett with the respect he deserves) but a fantastic spin on the beloved characters. Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law may have the cinema, but Cumberbatch and Freedman own the television for several years and will accomplish so much more.


Love and Peace

Newman

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