Monday, 26 July 2010


As I'm a great fan of Holmes I took time out yesterday to watch the new BBC programme entitled 'Sherlock'. This is a 'reimagining' of the Conan Doyle character with him now portrayed as a modern day hyperactive 'hi-level sociopath' who's very tech-savvy and who to avoid boredom has set himself up as a consulting detective.

Now I'm all for 'reimaginings' and I can accept that bringing Victorian characters up-to-date is the way to go: the production costs are lower (no period costumes or settings necessary) and young people (like Kit and Ellie) who aren't familiar with the original have a greater chance of relating to the characters.


With great reimagings comes great responsibility and unfortunately this one shirked that responsibility big time.

I first noticed what I call 'nerve failure' on the part of writers and producers attempting to breath new life into classic stories when another 'reimagining' hit the small screen a few years back. This one was the reworking of the Jekyll and Hyde story and was called simply 'Jekyll'. Although blessed with a first-rate leading man (James Nesbitt) they still managed to eviscerate the story whilst simultaneously making it risible. The one good thing about watching this mish-mash of mediocracy was I thought 'I can do better than that' and this in turn led to me writing 'Dark Charismatic'.

'Sherlock' had all the same faults. Everything was too bland and much too predictible. The character of Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberpatch who the girls declared 'unfit') had none of the original's darkness and was much too hysterical to be a sociopath. Watson (Martin Freeman) was better but still there was just that certain something missing. And the realtionship between the two of the princlpals...nonexistent.

My biggest gripe was with the plot (plot?) which was ludicrous. This was being shown at 9 pm for heaven's sake so surely we could expect something with a little more heft, a little more gravitas and - dare I say it - a little more originality. It was BORING!

I went to bed fuming and woke up with a whole new idea for how Sherlock should have been portrayed. Trouble is (thanks to Guy Ritchie who, I admit, made a good fist of it) there's Holmes overkill at the moment so I'll have to keep it under my hat for a couple of years.

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