Sherlock Holmes is back on TV.A new series on BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role and Martin Freeman as Watson.Being a big fan of Sherlock Holmes for a long time,it was really awesome to see this new show-and the best part is it’s set is the present day world-complete with smart phones and laptops and what not.I bet every S.H. fan would have at some time imagined how Sherlock would be in the modern world.And Doyle’s narrative style is such that it wouldn’t give away too much of the time and age in which it was set ,if you glossed a few things over.So real smart move by BBC.
My first impression of Cumberbatch was that he was too young to be playing Sherlock Holmes.It was probably because of the memory of Jeremy Brett in Grenada Television’s superb series,as Brett was considerably older.But Cumberbatch right from the get go slips easily into the role of the impatient genius.Martin Freeman(I thought he looked familiar.Couldn’t place him at first to the UK version of The Office) is surprisingly good as Watson.The meshing of the classic S.H. narrative and the new world is impressive.It seems perfectly natural that S.H. would use his smart phone to check the weather and maps and GPS to locate a cell phone that is in possession of the killer,were he in today’s world.The morphine injections have been replaced by nicotine patches(3 of them.Why?Because it is a 3 patch problem.Nice touch).221 -B Baker’s Street has a lot of the original,of course now with the laptop and other accouterments thrown in.
It was also nice to see them poking a little fun at the classic.The woman who was murdered managed to scrape the word “Rache” on the ground with her nails just before she died.In the original,the police thought that the woman wanted to write the name “Rachel”. S.H. makes them look like fools when he points out that rache is actually German for revenge.This time around,it’s the same situation except someone else starts to point out “She’s German. Rache. It’s German for revenge.Maybe she was trying to tell us……” and our new improved S.H. closes the door on his face saying sarcastically “Yes, thank you for your input”
We later learn that the murdered woman had a stillborn daughter whose name was Rachel. S.H. being the quintessential “reason over emotion” guy goes on to make a seemingly cold-hearted comment about the murdered woman and her memory of her dead daughter saying “That was ages ago.Why would she still be upset?”,referring to the death of the woman’s daughter.This of course causes everyone to look shocked. S.H. then looks at Watson and asks:”No good?” and Watson says:”Yeah,a bit no good.”This show has got subtle humor weaved into it.They even got in a gay joke.Watson saying to the maitre d’ while on a stakeout with S.H. at a restaurant “I am not his date”. One up on Grenada and Jeremy Brett.
Of course.S.H. still retains his self-destructive tendencies.He was almost willing to risk his life when the murderer(a cabbie in this case) offers him a choice between two pills,one of which was poison and the other the “good pill” with the condition that S.H. take one and he would take the other.Till the time Watson shoots the cabbie dead,it seems almost as if S.H. might just choose “The Game” over his own life.To add to that,the new Watson is more adventurous and has a mind of his own.
Looks like a really promising show. S.H. fans are in for a treat.