Sherlock: Holmes Sweet Holmes

I enjoyed this modern update on the character that proved as resistant to being killed off as Rasputin, dogging creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the point of believing in *fairies just to get away from him. I’m not familiar with the actor playing Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, (not Holmes, please note) in this new Steven Moffat series. But, by George, he’s rather splendid in it, as well as sporting a fine moniker.

Martin Freeman does an excellent job in the sidekick role of Dr Watson, AKA John, here an Afghan army war vet (with a stick, a la Hugh Laurie in House). Despite the modernisation of the story, there are nonetheless quite a few insider gags for Doyle fans to enjoy, including:

  • Holmes’ use of multiple nicotine patches instead of pipes during tricky cases
  • Rupert Graves as Scotland Yard’s Inspector Lestrade making reference to Holmes’ cocaine habit
  • a running gag about whether or not ‘Sherlock’ and ‘John’ are actually a couple

Rather surreally, we have Una Stubbs playing housekeeper, Mrs Hudson. Also, one of my all time favourite actors, Phil Davis, makes a welcome appearance as a bitter cabbie offering a ‘Russian roulette’ choice of bitter pills to people at gunpoint, resulting in the serial ‘suicides’ which make up the case.

Is it all a bit too knowing and clever-clever for its own good? I don’t think so. I liked the way London was used as a location, in a slightly Monopoly-esque way. I thought it was well acted and wittily scripted. I think this may be a winner, and I’ll be tuning in again.

* I confess I may be taking biographical liberties here

Posted by Inkface

6 Comments

Filed under Sherlock Holmes

6 responses to “Sherlock: Holmes Sweet Holmes

  1. natalie

    Benedict is brilliant in everything he does..

    Worth looking out for in

    Atonement – he lifts the character from the pages of the book. He is exactly as I imagined Paul Marshall

    Stuart – A life Backwards.. again he is Alexander Masters completely

    3 part drama on BBC .. he was a maths genius estranged from family and Max Beasley was his brother killed whilst volunteering.. can’t remember the name but again he was very very watchable!

  2. pauseliveaction

    What I liked about it: Benedict Cumberbatch’s almost alien face; Martin Freeman’s ordinariness in comparison; Rupert Graves (a fine example of a beautiful man ageing beautifully); the on-screen graphics lending a CSI kind of modernism against a backdrop that often had a Victorian feel.

    What I didn’t like: Sherlock’s manic energy which came across as too Doctor Who; the face-off between Sherlock and the cabbie, which should have been shatteringly intense but was actually a bit boring.

  3. inkface

    Succinct and nicely put, ms pla!

  4. natalie

    almost alien face is so accurate..

    and I forgot Starter for Ten.. Again.. he is absolutely how I imagine Patrick the obsessive captain of the University Challenge.. and he is so funny.

    big fan as you can tell of the almost alien face!

  5. Finally got to watch this episode last night and really liked it. The Moff can do no wrong in my eyes.

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