I eagerly awaited the coming of the modern day Sherlock Holmes as portrayed by the BBC, and I was not dissapointed. With the pairing of two actors that are at the top of their game at this moment in time, Benedict Cumerbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman, (the office) as Dr John Watson (the same name as one of our guest writers, funnily enough,) and they both were superb.
Cumerbactch played the quintessential Holmes to a tee and was an equal to, if not better than all the stereotypical Sherlock's I’ve known from my film and TV youth, this ‘modern day’ Sherlock was contemptuous of his fellow humans, especially where thinking was concerned (I can see fellow libertarian bloggers nodding in agreement, especially DP.) Everyone around him was not worthy of thinking, they did not think, period!
The writers, none other than Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the former is the new writing supremo and overall head honcho for Dr. Who and the latter an actor in said Dr. Who, amongst other things. So the writing pedigree was there, the actors worthy of their respective parts were in place and the writing was crisp, manic but with subdued logic and all the quirks of Sherlock were there too…all except one!
This ‘modern’ day Sherlock was trying to give up smoking?!?
Here is Moffat’s babbling about his ‘hero’:
Co-created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade.
The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain – they live at the same address of 221b Baker Street, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them.
Hmm, let me see, which ‘iconic’ detail was missing from this exciting episode? The pipe for instance, maybe the cigarettes that Holmes smoked when he needed to think.
Hazy camera work homing in on Holmes lying down clears to see him in some state other than normal. Holmes is holding his arm at the joint in the classic heroin addict fashion, bent at the elbow. Watson walks in saying, “what are you doing?”
Holmes says, “Nicotine patch, helps me think, it’s impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days, bad news for brainwork!” as he shows to camera three very large patches on his arm.
Watson asks: “Is that three patches?” “It’s a three patch problem!” Holmes replies.
Later Holmes and Lestrade compare patches as both are giving up the filthy weed!
Thank you Moffat and Gattiss for being ‘right on’ the PC button, and this was after the 9pm watershed ffs so there is no excuse by saying you were thinking of the chiiildren.
A very enjoyable first episode was torn asunder as the writers decided that it was ‘not on message’ to show Holmes smoking his iconic pipe or cheroots that aided his thinking processes as surely as playing the violin and a syringe of cocaine or two! Lets see if Holmes or Lestrade decide that patches are bloody useless and by the third and final episode both decide that the ‘filthy weed’ is more suitable for aiding the thought processes and consign the patches to the bin where they belong!
God give me strength!
Sherlock Holmes in a 1904 illustration by Sidney Paget