Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Great TV: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Posted by Jason O on Mar 30, 2011 in Movies/TV/DVDs |

Jeremy Brett: The Holmesian's Holmes.

Jeremy Brett: The Holmesian's Holmes.

Browsing through my obscene DVD collection (I mean in size, not in content) I was reminded of the fact recently that if I never bought another DVD again I would not be too troubled. I was also reminded that I have some treasures that I have not watched in ages that are such a treat. Granada Television’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” is one such gem. It’s available on DVD, and stars the late Jeremy Brett as Holmes and David Burke and Edward Hardwicke respectively as Watson.

Two words: Pure Quality. The period details are great, including an entire life size Baker Street set. It’s true to the original Conan Doyle stories, but the real meat is in the performances of Brett and his two co-stars. Brett, who suffered terrible psychological illnesses, is just stunning as Holmes, creating an eccentric, captivating character around the framework created by Conan Doyle. Every scene with him leaves you unable to take your eyes off him, with every twitch and flamboyant hand gesture and flinging of himself onto the floor of grand country houses looking for clues adding to the character’s depth. Both Burke and Hardwicke could easily have been blown off the screen given Brett’s performance, but both instead create a calming, grounding and very human foil to Brett, leaving the viewer with a very clear understanding that Holmes could not be Holmes without Watson, who although is not his intellectual equal, brings to the table human skills that Holmes does not possess, in particular Watson’s skills with women, a fearless willingness to get physical if necessary, and simple human decency.

The series was made over a ten year period beginning in 1984. 

1 Comment

Paul
Mar 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm

FWIW, it’s also a recurring series on ITV3 for those who want to casually surf it.


 

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