Monday, October 25, 2010

Sherlock

Lars Walker was apprehensive about the new Mystery Masterpiece series, Sherlock, as was I for the same reasons. But he enjoyed it, and so did I. From Walker's review of Sherlock: A Study In Pink:
.... The new Holmes operates as a police consultant in contemporary London. The police are suspicious of him (one accuses him of being a “psychopath,” to which he replies that he’s a high-functioning sociopath). He doesn’t wear a deerstalker or Inverness cape, but those costume elements have tended to be overused (and inappropriately used) in films and TV shows anyway. The modern world doesn’t allow him to smoke, so he relies on multiple nicotine patches when he needs to think out a problem. He does take drugs. The actor who plays him (one who rejoices in the name Benedict Cumberbatch) looks too young for the part, but has the attitude exactly right.

He is supported by one of the best Watsons I’ve ever seen (Martin Freeman), like the original a recently returned wounded veteran of a war in Afghanistan. He’s seeing a psychologist who thinks his limp is psychosomatic, and is right. However, she thinks he’s suffering from PTSD, while Holmes immediately recognizes the truth, that Watson’s become an action junkie, and is starved for adventure—a commodity his new fellow lodger is ready and willing to supply. ....

I think what pleased me best about the episode, though, was that it was clearly written by people who know the Holmes stories, and enjoy riffing off the “canonical” material. For instance, in the scene where the body is found, the word “RACHE” has been scratched in the floor by the victim (in the original version, it was written in blood on the wall by the murderer). In the original, Inspector Gregson assumed that someone started writing the name “Rachel” and was interrupted. Holmes condescendingly informed him that “Rache” is German for revenge.

In this version, Inspector Lestrade suggests that the victim must be German, and Holmes condescendingly informs him that it’s surely an unfinished “Rachel.”

This episode, called A Study in Pink, is loosely based on A Study In Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes mystery. .... [more]
The three episodes of the first season of Sherlock are already for sale from Amazon and will be released next month.

Sherlock: A Study In Pink | The American Culture