Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sherlock


For those who know me know I am a Sherlock Holmes purist. And I have mentioned in the past how I am not crazy about the Basil Rathbone series that placed Holmes and Watson in the 1940's or liking anything that takes the character out of the Gaslight Era. So, with a brand new series being produced by BBC Wales which plonks Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson right down in current day London (or Cardiff where it's filmed), you're probably thinking I'm going to proceed to rip this new series to shred complaining about the way they've modernized Sherlock Holmes.

Well, I'm not.

The new series Sherlock produced by Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat and Doctor Who/League of Gentlemen writer Mark Gatiss which is currently being shown on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! is great!!

I wasn't able to catch the first episode, but my fiancee Sydney and I were able to catch the second episode. And we really enjoyed it!! Both Mofatt and Gatiss have done a really great job not only modernizing Sherlock Holmes but also giving the episode we watched a fast pace while still maintaining a level of mystery.

Something that was lacking in the Robert Downey Jr./Guy Ritchie film. Imagine that!! Here I am a Sherlock Holmes snob who loves a contemporary Holmes while disliking a period piece. It's like I've stepped into a parallel reality. Ha ha!!

That's the other thing. Benedict Cumberbatch is an upgrade at Holmes. Not on a Jeremy Brett level, mind you. But apart from his Tom Baker hairstyle, I find him to actually be very good as Holmes.

I wasn't completely convinced of his performance when I first started watching. But by the end of it, I found myself really taken by his performance. And his voice which I was wracking my brain throughout the entire episode trying to think what he sounds like.

"Alan Rickman!" Sydney suddenly said as we were watching. My eyes brightened and I said aloud "You're right!" as I listened to his voice again and he did indeed sound like one of my favorite actors out there right now.

That was one of the things I always liked about Jeremy Brett and even Robert Stephen's performances as Holmes. They had interesting voices that weren't like how most people portray Holmes. And I'm finding that's what I like about Benedict Cumberbatch's performance. The Alan Rickman sounding voice really fits this version of Holmes.

And that's what I like about the Holmes Moffat and Gatiss are presenting over what Guy Ritchie is. They found the right actor instead of a big name actor to fill the role.

As I said in the past, this is in no way a knock against Robert Downey Jr. as an actor. I like him a lot. He's brilliant and a talented actor. He's just NOT Holmes for me.

If he's Holmes for you, that's fine. Don't ever let my opinion jade your enjoyment of that film. Save your angry responses because I'm not knocking anyone for having their own opinion.

And I'm getting the distinct impression since Steven Moffat is the producer of Sherlock, this could possibly mean he's grooming Benedict Cumberbatch to be the next Doctor on Mr. Moffat's other show Doctor Who when Matt Smith decides to hand over his TARDIS key and hang up his bow tie.

There has been a history in the past of the current producer hiring on an actor they worked with in a current series. In the 1980's then-producer John Nathan Turner hired Peter Davison. Someone he worked with on All Creatures Great and Small. And in the current series, former show runner Russell T. Davies hired both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennent. He had worked with both actors on past series's of his. Eccleston with the miniseries The Second Coming and Tennant on Casanova.

So, it would not surprise me in the least in the next couple of years if I happen to pick up a copy of Doctor Who Magazine and see Benedict Cumberbatch IS The Doctor! on the Doctor.

He seems to have all the right qualities to play the Doctor. Not to mention the most unique and distinctive voice I've heard with the Doctor since either Tom Baker or Sylvester McCoy!!

But since I am enjoying Matt Smith as the Doctor right now and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, I don't mind if something like that doesn't happen anytime soon!!

Well, with all that said I give a big thumbs up to Sherlock!! If you have not caught the series just yet I highly recommend you check it out!

7 comments:

Andy Fish said...

"Fiancee"? Is this something new?
Congratulations!

Bret M. Herholz said...

Thank you Andy!! Yes you read that right, I officially got engaged October 10th!! The wedding is going to happen May 28th next year :-)

Andy Fish said...

Congrats to you both!

Bret M. Herholz said...

Thank you Andy!! And I'm glad to have you both back too :-)

Izabella said...

Hello! Since you mention having enjoyed Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the Granada series, I thought you might be interested in the following website: http://www.bafta4jb.com

Bret M. Herholz said...

Oh!! Very nice Izabelle!!

Jeremy Brett is a hard act to follow. In the beginning of the series he look like Sherlock Holmes... or Walter Paget who artist Sidney based it on. Ha ha!!

But his looks, his mannerisms as well as the overall look, feel and costume design from the series WAS Sherlock Holmes for me.

But at the same time I try not to make my comparison's too harsh with any actors who have followed Holmes ;-)

Bret M. Herholz said...

And the picture of JB with the pipe is absolutely brilliant :-)