Thursday, November 12, 2020

Pure Sherlock

Just as Joan Hickson was the perfect Miss Marple, Jeremy Brett was the definitive Sherlock Holmes. From a Telegraph appreciation of the series:
.... Stage actor Brett was approached in 1982 with the idea to make an exquisitely crafted, fully authentic adaptation of the consulting detective’s best cases. He set his heart on becoming “the best Sherlock Holmes the world has ever seen”.

He conducted exhaustive research, becoming a stickler for any discrepancy between the scripts and Conan Doyle’s stories. One of Brett’s most treasured possessions was his bulging “Baker Street File”, detailing everything from Holmes’s mannerisms to his eating habits. In contrast to the stuffy portrayals of the black-and-white era, Brett brought passion to the role. He introduced Holmes’s fluttering hand gestures and barks of eccentric laughter (“Ha!”). He would leap over furniture in search of clues or hurl himself to the ground to examine a footprint.

Brett’s Holmes was like a bird of prey, with piercing vision and a predator’s instincts. He suffered black moods between cases – like Brett himself, who was bipolar – but crackled with electrifying energy when the game was afoot. .... Of the 80-odd actors to portray Holmes, Brett is how I imagine the character. ....

The series ran from 1984 to 1994, comprising 41 films. .... This is pure Sherlock for the connoisseurs, as faithful to his literary roots as has ever been seen on screen. ....
I watched Jeremy Brett in The Hound of the Baskervilles only two nights ago.

Culture Fix: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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