Tuesday, 10 August 2010

COMPLIMENTARY, MR. HOLMES!


Modernising Sherlock Holmes never seems a good idea although in the past a few film-makers have attempted it without coming completely unstuck. There was a film with Raymond Massey where Holmes had a modern (for the Thirties) office and, of course, the Universal Pictures series of B-movies starring Basil Rathbone set Holmes and Watson down in the dark days of World War Two and provides some first class entertainment for everybody except the most rigid purists. So, modernising is not, in reality, quite as bad as it seems at first. The news that the BBC were producing a new series which relocated Holmes in the London of 2010 did seem a bit worrying but with writers like Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis on hand all has turned out well...very well indeed. The first series consists of three feature length films (more promised for the future) with the first being based on Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet - with a new back story but keeping John Watson's return from Afghanistan (how little things have changed), Holmes and Watson's first meeting, taking the rooms in Baker Street and Mrs.Hudson and Lestrade and the new title A Study in Pink. The second ventured into Sax Rohmer territory but had nods to both The Sign of Four and the Rathbone SPIDER WOMAN. The last of the three episodes pays homage to several Doyle stories including The Bruce Partington Plans and The Five Orange Pips and in a wonderfully creepy scene to Rondo Hatton's Creeper in PEARL OF DEATH. The casting is faultless with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, Martin Freeman as Dr.Watson , Rupert Graves as Lestrade, Mark Gattiss as Mycroft and Una Stubbs as Mrs,Hudson. Each modernisation is carefully thought out from Dr.Watson being a blogger to Holmes "This is a three nicotine patch problem!" and just incase you are wondering, yes, James Moriarty turns up and.....oh well, just buy the DVD (as an extra you get the 60 minute unaired pilot film)....trust me, I'm a blogger.

2 comments:

Terry Frost said...

Seen all three episodes so far and I agree, it's pretty bloody good. Moriarty is a revelation when he's revealed and there's also a sense that the Holmes/Moriarty conflict is a clash of super-human intelligences and that Moriarty is a dark mirror version of Holmes himself. Nicely worked out, especially the variation on The Baker Street Irregulars.

Cerpts said...

I shiver with keen anticipation!!!