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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

“No shit” Sherlock goes PC!

is2 WTF did I do?

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!

200px-Sherlock_Holmes_Portrait_Paget Sherlock Holmes in a 1904 illustration by Sidney Paget



handymanphil said...

Just shows you how corrupt this anti smoking brigade really are when top writers fear for upsetting the twats. The question now is to whether the writers will omit the famous open fire warming Holmes arse! (3rd/h smoke, toxic particulate etc?)

TheBigYin said...

The thing is Phil, I really enjoyed that opening episode. The writers really had me guessing as to what was going on and the end scenes were a cliffhanger. All the names were used from Conan Doyle's books, Holmes, Watson, Lestrade etc and Holme's pecedillos were hinted at throughout but the writers seemed to knock the smoking on the head from the very outset. Oh the homosexual aspect was mentioned more than a few times but smoking??? That seems to be a no no!

I will watch and see if things change after episode three but I think the writers were setting the agenda, there will be No Smoking!

JJ said...

If you want to enjoy the definitive Sherlock Holmes then there is only one…and that is Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr Watson – faultless and enjoyable.

The beauty about the original Sherlock Holmes is that you can never get wound up over incessant politically correct shite about homosexuality or fucking nicotine patches for Christ’s sake!

Save yourself this emotional crap and buy the original episodes in a box set.

Anonymous said...

Holmes sans pipe or cigarette, sorry guys no cigar.

If you are going to use historical characters (even if fictional) in an historical setting then that setting has got to be accurate, to do otherwise is to rewrite history for political expediency. Fact: Victorians smoked, no amount of political correctness changes that simple fact.

Would we accept blindly William the Conquerer encountering tanktraps and mines on the beaches or Harold defending his hilltop at Hastings with claymore mines and machine guns? Come on guys lets have some perspective here, there is no need to rewrite the works of Conan-Doyle to facilitate 21st century propaganda.

The law says it is legal to portray smoking where the period concerned permitted unrestricted smoking would you portray Churchill or Roosevelte without a cigar or cigarette, it was part of their character, their social identity, it is the same with Sherlock Holmes.

You have no excuses for butchering the authors creation or distorting historical fact, it is not artistic licence it is censorship.

John Watson

Any similarity to Dr. John Watson companion to Mr Sherlock Holmes is purely coincidental, and no fictional character was hurt in the production of this post. (Well it works in Hollywood....)

Rick S said...

I didn't see it, which is a shame - I'm a big Holmes fan, and visited the Reichenbach Falls some years ago - but I can't help feeling that what you've described here is actually some very subtle satire about our times.

The comment "it’s impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days" seems like a very clear protest to me - the "bad news for brainwork" doesn't refer so much to smoking as to antismoking!

I may have got this wrong, but the idea that nicotine patches can help brainpower sounds like a deliberate attempt to show how ridiculous everything is these days.

I'll definitely be watching follow-up episodes, and with great interest.

TheBigYin said...

@Rick S, you can still watch the first episode until Sunday if you are in the UK on iplayer here.

I thought it really was very good.

Dick Puddlecote said...

I heard it was excellent from someone at my office. You've kinda put me off now though, TBY. The patch thing would be nagging me throughout, I expect.

Ta for the mention ... not sure I understand it mind. :)

TheBigYin said...

@DP Read it again DP and I have no idea what I meant either but in my defence 'it was the beer wot done it.'

Pat Nurse said...

Boycott it. Don't watch!

TheBigYin said...

But...but...but Pat it was sooooo good, I loved it until...

Talk about spoilers...sheesh!

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