I finished Granada's Sherlock Holmes with David Burke and then Edward Hardwicke as Watson and the awesomely talented Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes.
This series focused on the original Sherlock Holmes stories written by Doyle. In fact, the episodes say 'adapted for television by' because they are so close to the originals, they weren't even rewritten.
This made Brett's performance even more spectacular because he took on Holmes as Holmes. Not an updated version, not a re-imagined version but the original man himself.
And, after reading the entire collection of original stories and then watching this series - wow!
David Burke is a sparkly-eyed, wonder-struck Watson. (You should see his expression when he meets Mycroft – the only man Sherlock admits is smarter than him.)
Edward Hardwicke is an outstanding Watson with the kindest, most comforting voice you can imagine. He is devoted to Holmes but will put him in his place as needed.
Jeremy Brett flails his limbs, laughs abruptly, darts his eyes, jumps onto furniture, sniffs people while talking to them and shows a cold, calculating brilliance in one moment and heart and soul in the next.
There were some strange episodes. The Last Vampyre comes to mind. I liked the short story better than this two-parter. In fact, the twist got lost in the TV show and it wasn’t as cool. The Master Blackmailer – I swear I do not remember a single drag queen in any of Doyle’s stories.
Not even Granada, Hardwicke and Brett could salvage The Hound of the Baskervilles. I’ve not talked about Hound on my Blog but that has got to be the slowest moving, most boring story anyone has ever written. (I’m sorry Mr. Doyle!)
And The Cardboard Box was hysterical in a horrific kind of way. If you read the story first and know what’s in the cardboard box and see Grenada make it a Christmas story and the box is put under the tree to be opened at a party…that was more suspenseful than BBC’s Sherlock season one cliff hanger!
The Man With the Twisted Lip, Silver Blaze, The Final Problem, The Empty House, and The Devil’s Foot were a few of my literary favorites and the series brought them to visual life splendidly.
Though, Silver Blaze is unquestionably one you must read before you watch.
The Dying Detective was also well done.
Oh! My heart just broke into pieces when Holmes explains himself to Watson in the The Empty House! Jeremy Brett is a master at his craft.
Suffice it to say, I wish every story was televised with Brett as Holmes and Hardwicke as Watson and that they’d been able to film even more. Original stories. How cool would that have been?
Almost as cool as the entirety of the Granada series itself, I suppose.
What do you think?