Somewhere, up in heaven, Mr. Rathbone and Mr. Brett are looking down and smiling “We have found our successor, and his name is Cumberbatch.”
BBC’s trailer for “Sherlock”
Being a big fan of Holmes and Watson for about 25 years now, and being a history buff, I am somewhat particular how the characters and stories are put out there.
Not to worry with this one (well, not to worry about the historical settings anyway). I was a little nervous about BBCas new “Sherlock”. The creators of this newer brand of Doyle’s master detective and colleague are Steven Moffet and Mark Gatiss, two writers feom the new Doctor Who series (I’ve been a fan of the Doctor for as long as a fan of Holmes). I am always nervous when Holmes is taken on to a new version.
Unlike the recent (and awesome) movie starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, this version takes place in present day. No time travel, just them being brought up in our present. Cars, internet, gadgets and all that.
Phone texting replaces telegrams (“BakerStreet. Come at once if convenient. SH”, A minute later “If inconvinent, come anyway SH”), hansom and fourwheeler cabs are transformed into the newer fourwheeler, in the shape of a car.
I read one Holmes fan comment saying that they haven’t been this excited about a Sherlock Holmes production like this since Jeremy Brett. And I’ll have to agree. While I loved the Downey and Law Victorian version, this new Sherlock and John is even better. Is it blasphemy to say I like them as much as Brett and Burke/Hardwicke? Well, maybe a smidgen less… but just a smidgen. Very smart writing, not a lot of special effects (should only be used to heighten a great story, not cover the lack of one), The off-ness of Sherlock, his quirkiness, uninterested in personal relationships of any kind though takes an interest in his new friend Watson… oh, sorry… John
That is one big difference; they call each other by their first name, though they call just about everyone else by their last name (Lestrade, Donovan, Anderson, etc.).
John is played wonderfully by Martin Freeman. He continues the recent line of smarter Watsons (David Burke, Edward Hardwicke, Jude Law). Though this John does not have a mustache, and has blond hair. Only a small difference. Everything else was easy to get accustomed to. Interesting thing that remained the same, John returning from injuries while serving in Afghanistan. Yes, that’s how long fighting has been going on in some form or another within that country. True in the 1880s as it is today. Also has great chemistry with Cumberbatch’s Sherlock (esential to making a good episode)
Cumberbatch has a great look to him. Pale face, piercing cold eyes. Just so perfect. Tall. Can amaze people with his quick deductions. And writes a blog? Yes, this new version of Sherlock keeps a website.
While Brett remains my favorite canonical Holmes, personality and time period. But when it’s just personality; the mannerisms, making deductions, quirky smiles, Cumberbatch is right up there with Brett. A true joy to watch.
John is played by Martin Freeman. As with the Watson of the Canon, he finds his new flatmate interesting. Loyal to him but yet can get really irritated with him. Amazed with the quick conclusions that Sherlock makes of him at their first meeting. Has a sibling named Harry. And also writes a blog.