I want to take a brief moment to plug the BBC’s Sherlock, a spunky, savvy and devilishly fun re-boot of the oft mined Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I stumbled upon Sherlock by chance while flipping through selections on Amazon Prime, and though I originally thought “Oh Christ, more Sherlock Holmes?” have savored all five of the ninety-minute episodes I’ve watched. Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, that’s really his name; actually it’s Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch) plays Holmes and Martin Freeman plays Watson and the two, for my taste, make Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law (who play Holmes and Watson, respectively, in the recent Guy Richie directed big screen versions) look like trashy impostors. Especially Cumberbatch, who does for freak-braininess in Sherlock what Billy Ray Cyrus did for mullets in the 90’s. And Cumberbatch is not sexy, in spite of legions of female followers. He’s an odd looking bloke, actually. Lean and birdlike. But his fiery portrayal, which pushes Holmes into a more A.D.D. infected and cold hearted version of Conan Doyle’s cooly brilliant icon, is a high wire, kinetic feat and among the more memorable performances I’ve seen in a long time. Freeman is also stellar, mostly as comic relief, and because he seems to know that he’ll better serve the show by staying out of Cumberbatch’s way. Highly recommend you make some time for this particular duo from 221B Baker Street. Though the show is soon to be filming it’s third season, here’s the original promo.
As a brief addendum, I’ve been re-reading some of the original Conan Doyle stories and they’re as good as I remembered. Short, clever, timeless. And, thanks to our good friends at public domain, free through iBooks or Kindle.