Monday, October 25, 2010

Sherlock Holmes, 21st Century Version

Just watched the updated Sherlock Holmes online. (Thank you, PBS.) A Study in Pink is the title of the first episode (the actual Holmes tale was A Study in Scarlet - get it?) in this intelligent new series. A series which does what I thought to be impossible: it moves Holmes into the 21st century and doesn't botch the job. Well, it has perfect casting for one excellent thing. Benedict Cumberbatch (love the name) is perfect as Holmes and Martin Freeman is nearly as perfect as a newly macho Watson, not only an Army doctor just back from Afghanistan, but a remarkably crack shot.

As Inspector Lestrade, Rupert Graves is adorable. Don't know if Lestrade is supposed to be so, but what the heck, he is. The guy playing Mycroft, less so. Mycroft as we all know, is big and hefty, the physical opposite of Holmes - since he hardly stirs from office and club. They're casting against type, I suppose.

In comparison to the frenetic, smarmy and almost unwatchable (for me) Robert Downey/Jude Law movie which was foisted on us last year, this new Holmes seems sprung from a different universe. The best thing about it: they've kept to the original personal eccentricities and details (well, most of them) of the Conan Doyle tales but added a hefty dose of modernization to keep things fresh and to the moment.

Some minor quibbles:
  • The music was mediocre.
  • The Baker Street flat was so dark it was hard to see what was what. It was NOT atmospheric, just overly dark as if most of the light bulbs had blown.
  • The woman in pink. Do women ACTUALLY still dress this way? With matching luggage? I wouldn't have thought so. It seemed something out of the 1960's. Maybe she worked for Mary Kay cosmetics.
  • The camera work was of the 'dizzyingly quick, fast-forward' variety which seems to be the way they're going these days. I'll get used to it.
Can't wait to see the next episode.

Read more, in detail, about the episodes at Squeezegut Alley.


  1. (with apologies for *SPOILERS*, to anyoneone reading this who has yet to view Sherlock)

    What did you think of the way they used on-screen lettering to highlight Sherlock's thought processes?

    I actually liked the messy 'lived-in' feel of Sherlock's flat and the despairing housekeeper....!

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the series, Yvette.

    BTW, watch out for Sherlock and Holmes blogging in the next couple of episodes - part of the plot, but you can actually access them online - it's a hoot!

  2. Duh! That should be Sherlock and WATSON blogging....... ;-p

  3. Hi Sue! Yes, I never thought I'd like an updated version of Holmes and Watson, but this one works. Well, I did like the messiness of the flat but I'd like to have seen it a bit clearer is all. :)

    The onscreen lettering gimmick was ok, though it should have, somehow, cut down on Holmes having to verbally explain everything he's deduced. Still, it was fun. I'm hooked. ;)

  4. I am so glad this is finally on in the us and you are enjoying it! I didn't think the second episode was as good, but the third is ah.may.zing! I agree about the wonderful casting and I think the relationship between the two of them is spot on and very cleverly done.

  5. Thanks for dropping by, Lyndsey. Yes, I am enjoying the heck out of the new Sherlock!


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