Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Tale of Two Detectives

I have always loved the Sherlock Holmes stories. Why I'm such a mystery buff, I may never know; but love them I do.

There is a long-standing debate about who has played the best Holmes: many cite Basil Rathbone's hugely successful sleuth as the quintessential Sherlock.

Me? I prefer Granada's Jeremy Brett as the private detective. While Holmes should be smug and damnably intelligent, he should not...be so unattached as to be blase.

And while I'm a fan of old films, I was lucky enough to have Brett's Sherlock Holmes airing on television during my middle and high school years. I never missed a show...and taped many.

But just recently, as I finally began the rather dense Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and read the introduction, something occurred to me: it's not really the actor playing Holmes that swings the vote so much as the portrayal of Watson.

In almost every instance, Dr. Watson is a bumbling idiot...showcasing Holmes brilliance with his inaptitude, all the while providing comedic moments with his pratfalls.

If you read the books, however...Watson was nothing like that.

And I suddenly realized that, while I will always love Jeremy Brett's Holmes, it's the way the show write Watson that really seals the deal. David Burke's good doctor was not an idiot, nor was he a genius. He was, quite simply, as Conan Doyle wrote him: The perfect partner for his detective.

Idle Chatter: Post a Comment
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?