Sherlock Holmes is forever connected with long summer holidays in the family cottage by the sea where I read the stories of the master detective in my teens. And I still love Sherlock though its been years since I picked up one of the books. All that dryness and intricateness and the romanticism of foggy Victorian London – what’s not to love? So of course I have been watching some of the tv and movie adaptations and Jeremy Brett is so far my favourite. Downey Jr. was entertaining but it all felt a little bit too fancy though I liked the updating of the characters. And if “updating” is the keyword then BBC’s recent series Sherlock is really the thing. I just watched it and loved it.
Sherlock Holmes goes 21st Century with all that it entails – smart phones, internet, modern forensics, which funnily enough makes no difference at all because Sherlock Holmes has always been about the characters and Holmes and Watson just have to be perfect. And that they are in this adaptation. Benedict Cumberbatch (how wonderfully quirky a name can you get?!) is Sherlock and his slightly alien face combined with his cool, cool acting makes this a very interesting interpretation. This is not a nice person and yet you feel that you’re in on some joke and as long as you’re in on it you have to like Sherlock – even if he is, as he terms it, a high functioning sociopath:
And then there’s John Watson played by Martin Freeman whom I will always connect with his role as a stand-in actor in Love Actually but who is probably best known from The Office. Freeman gets to make John (this being the 21st Century first names are compulsory) a deeper character with a mind of his own and a tormented past as a military doctor in Afghanistan and this extra layer actually makes the character a more believable everyman than most John Watsons.
A small clip from their second meeting when John has come to see the apartment in 221B Baker Street:
Many reasons to love this adaptation, and a bonus one is that Lestrade, the police inspector, is portrayed by Rupert Graves who’s one of my favourites from series such as The Forsyte Saga. But watch it primarily for the chemistry between Cumberbatch and Freeman and enjoy those little humouristic hints at it being more than just a roomie-thing.