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Thread: Sherlock Holmes

  1. #1
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    Default Sherlock Holmes

    Ever since I was a kid, I always liked Sherlock Holmes. I don't know how it started, but I loved him. The strange thing is is that I never actually read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories.

    As I grew up, I watched Robert Downey Jr.'s first movie as Holmes (haven't seen the second one yet). Also, I am in love with BBC's Sherlock, and think he is the definitive modern Sherlock Holmes. And of course, I absolutely adored House, and for those of you who don't know, the title character, Greg House, was based on Sherlock Holmes (Holmes...House...get it? ).

    I've also loved mystery novels, and games as well, such as L.A. Noire. After I saw that a new game featuring your favorite detective would be coming out (Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments), I was intrigued to say the least, and it got me thinking. As many of you may know, I am a huge William Shakespeare fan, and I have discovered that the same company (Barnes & Noble) that made The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" also made "The Complete Sherlock Holmes". That immediately piqued my interest, and now I am happily awaiting to get my grubby little paws on it.

    Anyway, have any of you guys read any Sherlock Holmes stories, and if so, how did you like them? Also, what adaptations have you guys enjoyed?
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    I've read most of them. I'm not to into the "modern" versions but if I had to watch one the Cumberbatch series would be the one. I'm a big time Jeremy Brett fan, I think that series is about as good as it gets aside from just reading them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLOWHARD View Post
    I've read most of them. I'm not to into the "modern" versions but if I had to watch one the Cumberbatch series would be the one. I'm a big time Jeremy Brett fan, I think that series is about as good as it gets aside from just reading them.
    BLOWHARD! Nice to see you around. And I've heard good things about Brett's portrayal of Holmes. I'll have to check it out.
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    Brett starts well, but descends into caricature by the end of his run.

    The perfect screen Holmes was certainly Basil Rathbone, but there have been a number of good Watsons. Rathbone was cursed with the worst.

    For a somewhat unusual take on the great detective, Without A Clue is very good.

    Of the two Robert Downey films, the first is excellent, giving a very different spin on the stories, but the second is sub-par.

    The Cumberbatch series set in modern times is excellent.

    As for the books, I have read them all, including those written by Adrian Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur's son. I have read a fair number of more recent Holmes stories, too, though they are of variable quality.

    The House Of Silk is probably the best Holmes novel I have read that was written in recent times. Unfortunately, I cannot now recall who wrote it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RougeisSerina View Post
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    Brett starts well, but descends into caricature by the end of his run.

    The perfect screen Holmes was certainly Basil Rathbone, but there have been a number of good Watsons. Rathbone was cursed with the worst.

    For a somewhat unusual take on the great detective, Without A Clue is very good.

    Of the two Robert Downey films, the first is excellent, giving a very different spin on the stories, but the second is sub-par.

    The Cumberbatch series set in modern times is excellent.

    As for the books, I have read them all, including those written by Adrian Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur's son. I have read a fair number of more recent Holmes stories, too, though they are of variable quality.

    The House Of Silk is probably the best Holmes novel I have read that was written in recent times. Unfortunately, I cannot now recall who wrote it.
    Thanks for your input, I'll be sure to check out the versions you mentioned. Also, out of curiosity, what didn't you like about the second Robert Downey Jr. movie, without spoiling it?

    I also didn't even know Doyle's son wrote Holmes as well. Interesting.

    Oh btw, Anthony Horowitz is the author of The House of Silk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Zoo Boy View Post
    Thanks for your input, I'll be sure to check out the versions you mentioned. Also, out of curiosity, what didn't you like about the second Robert Downey Jr. movie, without spoiling it?
    Hard thing to put my finger on, honestly. I think removing one of the characters that really made the first work didn't help, but overall it just kind of failed to click.

    It was a shame, as I really did like the first one a lot. It was a very unique take on Holmes, yet I could still see how it was inspired by the books.

    I also didn't even know Doyle's son wrote Holmes as well. Interesting.
    If you can tell the difference between Adrian and Sir Arthur, you're better than I am He really is that good.

    Oh btw, Anthony Horowitz is the author of The House of Silk.
    I believe you are correct, Sir!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    Hard thing to put my finger on, honestly. I think removing one of the characters that really made the first work didn't help, but overall it just kind of failed to click.

    It was a shame, as I really did like the first one a lot. It was a very unique take on Holmes, yet I could still see how it was inspired by the books.

    If you can tell the difference between Adrian and Sir Arthur, you're better than I am He really is that good.

    I believe you are correct, Sir!
    Ah okay, seems fair. And wow, I'll definitely have to check out Adrian then.
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    Looks like a new film is in the works starring Sir Ian McKellan as an elderly Holmes trying to solve one final case in the face of his own failing mind.

    No idea if it will be any good or not, of course, but a great actor and an intriguing premise show some promise...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    Looks like a new film is in the works starring Sir Ian McKellan as an elderly Holmes trying to solve one final case in the face of his own failing mind.

    No idea if it will be any good or not, of course, but a great actor and an intriguing premise show some promise...
    Looks very interesting. Love the idea of seeing a 93 year old Holmes.

    Source for those who are interested: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...-new-film.html
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    I have read all the short stories and most of the novels - they rank among my favourite crime fiction stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    Brett starts well, but descends into caricature by the end of his run.
    I would have to disagree on that - with the exception of one episode of the TV series, The Mazarin Stone, where Brett was so ill he only appears at the end of the episode and the case is solved by Watson and Mycroft Holmes, Sherlocks brother.

    In general, this TV series kept very faithful to the books and it is, in my opinion, the definitive, period version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    The perfect screen Holmes was certainly Basil Rathbone, but there have been a number of good Watsons. . . . .
    It's all very subjective but, again, I disagree.

    In view of my comments about the Brett series, it is probably obvious who my favourite Holmes is.

    I always found Rathbone a little to 'Gung-Ho' for my liking - a style which probably influenced the Peter Cushing version in a 1968 TV series.

    He wasn't as over the top as Rathbone but was still a little too much like a terrier after a rat.

    I did, nonetheless, like this series and bought the DVD of the surviving four episodes.

    As for Watsons, I would agree that most of them were portrayed as bumbling idiots which was not how Conan-Doyle wrote him at all.

    Once again, the Brett series scores with the best Watsons in the form of actors David Burke in the first series and, subsequently, Edward Hardwicke in the rest.

    The Brett series also scores for me with Charles Gray as the best Mycroft and Eric Porter as the best Professor Moriarty, a stunningly good portrayal of evil incarnate.

    I have only just started watching the updated Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Must say, I am pleasantly surprised by this adaptation - I don't normally like 'updates'.

    On the whole, though, there are certain positive aspects to just about all the versions - film, TV and print - so just pick your favourite and stick with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by staticon View Post
    I have only just started watching the updated Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Must say, I am pleasantly surprised by this adaptation - I don't normally like 'updates'.
    Stick with it. It's fantastic.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Zoo Boy View Post
    Stick with it. It's fantastic.
    I'll second that

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    Staticon,

    It's pretty obvious we aren't going to agree on much when it comes to 'bests' for Sherlock Holmes, but then there's no reason we should need to, really I love Rathbone. I find him incredibly compelling. Even to the point where I can willingly endure his Watson! Brett I watched, but I never saw in quite the same way. Cumberbatch has also been superb, and I'd honestly put him ahead of Brett.

    I think it shows the massive strength of the character that he could be interpreted in so many ways, yet still come across as a fascinating character.

    The BBC just reinvented him for the 21st century, and I have no doubt that come the 22nd, someone will be reinventing him again. There is just something so utterly iconic about the character. Not too many other characters endure or update half so well.

    As for the definitive Watson - for me, there isn't one. I did like Hardwicke, but Jude Law was very good in the recent films, and Martin Freeman is superb in the new BBC series. Plus there is Ben Kingsley, who is marvellous in Without A Clue as the Watson with the mind of a Holmes.

    I think Watson is just an easier character to play, overall. Holmes requires genius and arrogance in full measure, and that's far harder to convey. I think as well it's why Holmes will always be the star of the show to Watson's plucky sidekick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot Kane View Post
    The BBC just reinvented him for the 21st century . . . . . . . .
    I'm not sure he is reinvented - the basic character would, I feel, sit perfectly well into any period of time.

    It's just that Conan-Doyle set him at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century with appropriate mannerisms and technology.

    The BBC Holmes is, essentially, the same as he always was but the surroundings, mannerisms and technology are current and the characters interact with it in appropriate ways.

    Most updates, and the Peter Ustinov 'Poirot' films come to mind, take the story, basically unchanged, and drop it into contemporary settings. This makes them inherently ridiculous as modern folk don't talk/act/behave/interact in the same manner as they would have in the 1920's.

    It is refreshing to see that the BBC version has not fallen into that trap and that they have taken a fresh look at the stories - of which I have already recognized two or three from the originals of Conan-Doyle.

    You could be right in your observation on Watson.

    And we do agree that Sherlock Holmes, in whatever guise, is great. Isn't that enough to be going on with?
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    I'll agree with all of that, actually, Staticon

    For me, the greatest triumph of the BBC series is that Holmes and Watson are instantly and totally recognisable as the people they are supposed to be. I love that
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    Quote Originally Posted by staticon View Post
    I'm not sure he is reinvented - the basic character would, I feel, sit perfectly well into any period of time.

    It's just that Conan-Doyle set him at the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century with appropriate mannerisms and technology.

    The BBC Holmes is, essentially, the same as he always was but the surroundings, mannerisms and technology are current and the characters interact with it in appropriate ways.

    Most updates, and the Peter Ustinov 'Poirot' films come to mind, take the story, basically unchanged, and drop it into contemporary settings. This makes them inherently ridiculous as modern folk don't talk/act/behave/interact in the same manner as they would have in the 1920's.

    It is refreshing to see that the BBC version has not fallen into that trap and that they have taken a fresh look at the stories - of which I have already recognized two or three from the originals of Conan-Doyle.

    You could be right in your observation on Watson.

    And we do agree that Sherlock Holmes, in whatever guise, is great. Isn't that enough to be going on with?
    I agree with this. Sherlock is a definite difficult character to play, but those who play him use what Sir Conan Doyle wrote and adapt to use the character in the current times, adjusting the way he acts and what technology he uses accordingly.
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