May 30, 2009

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes solves a mystery while Dr. Watson dreams of breakfast and tea

Title: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Year: 1984 / 1985
Network: ITV
Creator: John Hawkesworth (developer)
Directors: Alan Grint (season 1, 2 episodes; season 2, 2 episodes), Paul Annett (s1, 2; s2, 1), John Bruce (s1, 2; s2, 1), David Carson (s1, 1; s2, 1), Ken Grieve (s2, 1)
Writers: Jeremy Paul (season 1, 2 episodes), Derek Marlowe (s2, 2), John Hawkesworth (s2, 2), Alexander Baron (s1, 1), Anthony Skene (s1, 1), Alan Plater (s1, 1), Alfred Shaughnessy (s1, 1), Paul Finney (s1, 1), Bill Craig (s2, 1), Richard Harris (s2, 1); based on stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
Starring: Jeremy Brett, David Burke
Music: Patrick Gowers
Episodes: 13, at c. 52 minutes (2 seasons of 7 and 6 episodes)
Synopsis: a private investigator solves mysteries
How I saw it: on video (some rented on VHS from the library, some from Netflix), over the past few weeks
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great).
Objective Rating: 7/10 (points off for story, dialog and cinematography) c. 3.3/4 (Very good).

I don't like period dramas, and I'm not particularly a fan of mysteries, but these shows are delightful. The adaptations aren't always great, and there are a few bad episodes (especially the last one - what was supposed to be an epic finale was just dull). Characters have a tendency to tell their stories in a manner that seems like they're reading passages of the book. But most of the stories are engaging, or if they're not the characters make up for it. Burke's Watson is likable and relatable, and Brett's Holmes is a lot of fun - sort of Hannibal Lecter (minus the killing/eating people) crossed with Doctor Who. I'm no longer looking forward to the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie, as I'm convinced you couldn't do better with the character than Brett did.

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