This week has seen me re-watching BBC’s recent foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock).
Suitably re-booted for the iPad generation, with a beautifully tailored and nervy Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, Cumberbatch is superb. Holmes’s skin fits him like a glove. Arrogant and diva-like, he captures the character’s dynamism, wit and intelligence, brilliantly. In all this, he is well supported by a more fleshed out role for Mrs. Hudson (a surprisingly good, Una Stubbs) and his loyal documenter, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman). Lestrade, remains a plodding policeman, caught in Holmes’s gravitational pull.
The snappy writing, courtesy of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, pays homage to the original stories, whose themes and outlines remain recognisable. So for example, the hound remains in The Hound of the Baskervilles, but the story of its ghostly existence moves from the 17th century, to the present day. The bulk of the action, takes place in Holmes patch (London) and the filming doesn’t waste any opportunities to showcase the city’s beautiful skylines. Score? 10/10.
By contrast, I have also been watching CBS’s sherlockian adaptation, in the guise of Elementary. Now, while this has proved a relatively entertaining way for my eyeballs to pass an hour, I’m not sure that it really stands up to the Beeb’s über offering. Jonny Lee Miller (Holmes), I liked. Lucy Liu (Dr. Joan Watson), I didn’t. And I’m beginning to think that this is due to wooden acting rather than lack of on-screen time for her character. The inclusion of Vinnie Jones, as Sebastian Moran helped to leaven the mixture. Score? 6/10.
So, as Benedict Cumberbatch has completed the filming of Star Trek and Martin Freeman has finished with the dwarves (The Hobbit), can they now get back to doing the day job and give us more Sherlock. Lots more.