It’s a testament to the genius of a man like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that his most famous characters are still sparking the imaginations of people even now. Just in the last two years, we’ve had the movie and now, a modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes in the form of the 3 episode ‘season/pilot’ Sherlock.
I read about this a while ago but I was too terrified (and lazy – my download speed is pathetic here) to try it out. But last night N came over and made me watch the first episode. Holy crap, I say.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who does not have the most fortunate of names, plays Holmes, and Martin Freeman plays Dr John Watson. Cumberbatch, at least in this iteration of hairstyle, is the sort of devilishly attractive person Watson hints at in his stories. His cheekbones are intense, his voice is growly and equally intense, and he’s a complete bastard all the time, except for when he wants to get his way by being nice.
Watson is just as lovely. For one, they’ve actually given him a lot of credit for being a smart, decent, courageous, man who’s suffering from a psychosomatic problem that makes him use a cane. By the way, I love how they played that – Doyle was always mixing up Watson’s wounds (hah, sounds like a band or a book or something), whether they were in the shoulder or his leg, and this show nicely puts both of them together. So at the same time he’s an everyday sort of person, he’s also a little battered and actually likes the chase. Perfect.
I’ve always, always wondered how Holmes would translate into the 21st century, and this show answers that question very well. Like Holmes in 18th c, who keeps sending people telegrams, Sherlock communicates via short messages – i.e., texting (brilliant analogy). He does nicotine patches instead of cigarettes, although there isn’t an obvious suggestion of the cocaine. And, best of all, he claims that he can tell a software engineer by his tie (?!) or a pilot by his left hand (?!) (something like that). I’d love to see the writers test that out.