Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Writing a Sherlock Holmes Story is More Than Elementary

I really enjoyed the first episode in the new series of 'Sherlock' on BBC 1 last Sunday called: A Study in Pink. It was billed as 'Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson's adventures in 21st Century London. A thrilling, funny, fast-paced contemporary remake of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic,' an assessment with which I would wholeheartedly agree. Conan Doyle was brilliant at concocting the cleverness of Holmes, and the writers of this series are to be congratulated on not only being able to equal that skill, but to do so with so much underlying humour and in a way that it works in a 2010 setting. Brilliant work from Doctor Who writer/producer Steven Moffat and actor/writer Mark Gatiss for their action-packed production.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of Holmes brilliantly - although the superhuman pace of his delivery when explaining his deductions does force the mind to flounder while trying to catch up: a problem, I suppose, anyone might have when trying to keep up with Holmes. Martin Freeman plays the part of Dr. Watson, fresh from military service in Afganistan, amazed - nay mesmerised - by the brilliant deductions of his new friend Holmes. In this modern incarnation, Holmes acts as a private detective - or 'consultant' detective as he prefers to call it, when helping out the bumbling police. (Lestrade does seem a shade too fawning for a modern police inspector, however, although this is mitigated slightly be a policewoman who keeps telling Watson what a freak Holmes is.) We are told Homes doesn't get paid for this 'consultancy' work, which I slightly worry about. What is the source of his income in this mercenary world? I reckon that if he is so bright, he would be making something out of his talent rather than just 'getting off' on the excitement.

Watch out for the next two episodes!

1 comment:

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