I am obsessed.
No, it isn’t Colin Firth. Although I could talk about him if you’d like. I haven’t in a while.
This is far worse, I’ve watched it three times already and I am going back to read the books.
I am obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. Season three finale was on again last night. As if the sad end to Downton Abbey’s season four wasn’t enough for me, watching Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman exude British cool, simultaneously stifling pain, was like a soothing balm on a very mournful heart. It has been such an exciting season. With this latest adaptation, 221B Baker Street has never fascinated me more.
Sherlock Holmes, whatever you may think of him, has an edge. It is an edge that makes him slightly remote but intelligently intuitive. His mind is so keen and precise, deduction is an art. A fine piece of work with brushstrokes that reveal gorgeous layers of color and genius simultaneously. There is so much to the character, I often find myself wondering what would happen if Holmes teamed with Bond. I suppose we would have a superbly tuned brain leaving nothing to chance and brawn with an instinct for survival, fully intent on saving the world. I feel quite clever around Holmes. Sometimes I imagine I am deeply involved in some Sherlock Holmes mystery. I can’t sleep, I think. I want to keep reading. I want to solve. I want to sit in a chair and see things Holmes sees. It is quite the joy to watch this character come alive from the books I know so well.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived in my house. Well, erm, not really. Just that his very brilliant character, Sherlock Holmes did. My brother, my dad, they were prolific readers. I showed no inclination towards Holmes at all, but I listened to their discussions, their analysis, as words were thrown about randomly. I thought they were ridiculous. Why would you waste time arguing about logic and deduction. He’s fictional for goodness sake. Er, it all changed when I discovered Holmes for myself, it was in ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles.’
I didn’t have a t.v. till I was ten years old. I grew up reading on a tree, in my garden for hours. My mind was always at work with these fictional characters. So when I finally watched Basil Rathbourne and then Peter Cushing take on the roles of Holmes in the 1945 film version of Hound of the Baskervilles, I was hooked. Back then, The Hound of the Baskervilles was the most popular or well-known book adapted to t.v.
Basil Rathbourne + Peter Cushing – Photo Courtesy http://www.tor.com/blogs
Cushing in the latter of the two photos had Holmes’s typical hawk like nose – I bet that nose could smell a mystery a mile a way – and didn’t smile very often. However, Rathbourne was more the Victorian gentleman. Distinguished, yet not quite the Holmes I could relate to. I didn’t fully understand him.
I really enjoyed Jeremy Brett however.
Jeremy Brett photo courtesy: http://www.tor.com/blogs
He was the Holmes of the 80s. I recently caught up on a couple of episodes on Masterpiece Theater. He was funny, egotistical, Victorian in some ways and modern in others. They showed his weaknesses, explored his addictions more thoroughly. He was also slightly creepy. How could you not like him? I thought he was fantastic. Unfortunately he did succumb to those addictions in the end.
I must admit, I haven’t seen the second Holmes film with Robert Downey Jr. Although I like them both, especially Jude Law’s Watson. What’s not to like? And yet,something doesn’t sit well about it. I like the eccentricities, but I don’t like the fight scenes. Holmes doesn’t fight, he uses his brain. Do you feel this way too or is it just me?
There is Elementary on CBS. I like Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and a female Watson (Lucy Liu) is a very fun twist to the character. Miller played Mr Knightly on a favorite Jane Austen mini series adaptation of Emma. I enjoy the show on occasion but I’m not curious. I don’t stay up late at night thinking. I like a puzzle not just a show.
we go back to Cumberbatch and Freeman. I love, no,no, I feel they are near perfect to Doyle’s Holmes and Watson. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She tried a few different chairs, two bowls of porridge, until the third sat well. She sat on some beds and found that bed number three was just perfect. Yes, in Cumberbatch and Freeman, they have at last found for me, two perfectly opposite – one practical and solid, the other brilliant and eccentric with no social graces whatsoever – characters. There is a slight madness to this Holmes, his brain is addled with numbers and words, puzzle pieces and faces; he sorts through them with meticulous detail. He is completely messy, narcissistic, arrogant yet feels strongly for his best friend Watson, is he Holmes’ Achilles heel? I don’t know. But he is beautifully flawed and his humanity is oddly attractive. Watson is so solid, he could be a Hobbit and a doctor, I will take either. No, really, Martin Freeman is smart and humorous. He isn’t a cold Watson, he sort of epitomizes the witty English gentleman to Holmes crazed genius. No two actors have made me feel sentimental yet eager all at the same time. I’ve always wanted Doyle’s books to come alive, stir the mind, put the puzzle together; these two have certainly done it.
What do you say, dear readers, does Sherlock Holmes stir your mind and which actors do you prefer?