Why Sherlock Holmes stirs my mind..

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

The Rathbone (1)

Peter Cushing HOlmes

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

sherlock-jeremy-brett

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?

Then…

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.

And now,

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.

B cumberbatch

What do you say, dear readers, does Sherlock Holmes stir your mind and which actors do you prefer?

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11 thoughts on “Why Sherlock Holmes stirs my mind..

  1. You amaze me with your characters – you should have ben an actress my lovely. How absorbed you get with them. I have to admit I am not really into Sherlock – I saw the Movie – well yes because of Robert and Jude..I mean what girl wouldn’t want to see these two! I actually watched an episode of Top Gear last night and they had Benedict on it doing a time lap with a car and he..well he’s pretty damn cute. I have only watched one episode of Sherlock with him in it. Once again you place yourselves in the characters mind and give us a detailed description of how they tick. You are clever and you are gorgeous 🙂 Hugs xxoxx

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    • You are such a darling my sweet Jen.
      Where, where, which car did Benedict test on Top Gear? my hubby watches it. You watch it too?
      You sporty thing you!!
      I love my characters and books; to travel with them as I read is such a joy. I would find it extremely difficult to go back in time, let alone choose which character I would want to be if i ever had the choice.
      The era would have no plumbing, hot water and I wouldn’t be able to shower. .. yuck!

      I can’t wait to hear how your course goes. You know it takes so much courage and determination to do what you’re doing. You are going to be fantastic. I am right with you, sitting at the computer, supporting you.
      xoxox

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      • Hello my gorgeous girl,
        I like TG – they are funny 🙂 He only drove a small one and his time wasn’t that great, I didn’t catch the model, only that it was red lol See I am so much a car buff aren’t I lol.
        I would b along side with you, holding your skirts out of the mud my sweet.
        Courage – that is probably why I’m pooping my pants, haven’t received it as yet, or the email confirming that I have enrolled..but there is time. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were right with me full stop 🙂 Hope you and all the family are well and thank you for your never ending support of me. Hugs – Love you xox

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  2. I love Sherlock, with Cumberpatch and Freeman. I feel like that series reinvigorated the Sherlock Holmes genre. It’s fresh, exciting and slightly off kilter like Sherlock himself. But I also thoroughly enjoyed the Jeremy Brett version. Did you know that Jeremy was also a singer? He co-starred in the film, “My Fair Lady,” and sang the song, “On the Street Where you Live.” Very handsomely too, I might add.

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    • Monica, Did Jeremy Brett really play Freddie? Oh I must watch it again. I have the film at home. I loved Audrey Hepburn as Eliza. Of course the play is so brilliant.

      I think Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are so good together, they could almost be real. Their chemistry is genuine. Did you know that Mary, who married Watson is Freeman’s real-life partner and they have kids too.
      Did you watch the last episode of Downton?

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      • Yes, Jeremy played Freddie! Can you believe it? And he was so handsome with such a beautiful singing voice. Watch that scene and let me know what you think.

        I had no idea Mary is Freeman’s real life partner. Fascinating!

        I have not yet seen the Downton finale. Will prob watch this weekend. We’ll talk about it afterwards. Sound good?

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  3. I haven’t seen it yet, but I am now intrigued. As a megalicious fan of Colin Firth (not to your extent, I wouldn’t want to rob you off the greatest fan of all title) I am sure I will agree with you. I hope you and your family are doing well. Lots and lots of Greek kisses my friend xxx

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    • Hello my sweet girl, how are you feeling? looking beautiful I bet.
      Thank you, I hope you watch this particular Sherlock Holmes if you ever have the time. The team is brilliant.
      I need to write Colin a note. I haven’t in a while. 🙂
      I hope your beautiful babies and lovely hubby are well.
      Sending you, lots of love, hugs and kisses too
      xxxx

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  4. Gosh, I am SO out of the loop when it comes to American television, but this looks like a show I would love. And, I don’t think I have read a Sherlock Holmes novel since high school. I need to do that, as well. Sad, isn’t it?

    Hope your week is going well, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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    • Oh Kathy, if you read Sherlock Holmes at any point in your life, you will love this current adaptation. I watch it on Masterpiece Theater. There’s a lot of stuff on television which is just plain rubbish at times. This show is smart.

      I’ve been meaning to comment on your Valentines day card project from recycled material. I loved what you did my friend. I got some great ideas from your material.
      My daughter has her annual Earth day faire coming up and her project this yr is recycled greeting cards. They take a loan from the parents, buy, sell and make money to fund their class trips etc. The loan has to be paid back as well. I will let you know how everything goes. Last yr, she made pencil holders from toilet paper rolls. They made quite a bit of money.

      Wishing you happy days in beautiful Ecuador
      many hugs

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