Holmes

With just that single word, I have managed to make you recall one of literature’s finest characters. You may have never read any of the original stories, but you will almost certainly seen a glimpse of one of the many interpretations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work. Whether it be the older more classical adaptations, or one of the more recent ones to hit our screens, the character of Sherlock Holmes is always an interesting one.

After recently watching the new BBC series of “Sherlock” I thought it would be interesting to compare that to the recent film, so I rewatched it last night. I must confess that the BBC’s version was fun to watch, but the character of Sherlock was not one I liked. He lacked compassion and was too difficult to get on with for my liking. Robert Downey Junior’s version of the character was much more to my liking. He was not as brilliant as the BBC’s version, but this is only when compared to a character who is near perfect. His compassion was far greater and his relationship with Watson was more established. The film version I could live with and the BBC one I can admire, but only from afar. His intuition is of course second to none, but as a human being, he leaves a lot to be desired.

I initially felt that these two versions of the character were very different, but I neglected the facts, that which Sherlock himself never fails to consider. One is set at the beginning of the relationship with Watson the other at the end. Much time has passed, and time can change a man quite considerably. It is this that happens to Holmes, even in the books, and these two interpretation are just the same take with different settings.

The question now is to whether the BBC knows this, and are going to show the character progress or not. I will certainly enjoy the inevitable sequel to the film and I will watch the second series of “Sherlock”. Whether I will like that however remains to be seen, as the version in Sherlock is just a bit too raw for my liking.

Let me know what you think of the recent versions of Sherlock, which you prefer and why. All comparisons to the books are welcome, but spoilers on plot of either version should be marked as such.

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2 thoughts on “Holmes

  1. It took me a while to think about how I felt the two Sherlock’s were different and why.

    Personally I liked both, Robert Downye Jr’s Sherlock was quirky and obviously very intelligent, I personally loved the way you would find something had happened that he had obviously planned in advance, knowing what was about to come next. Essentially proving he was several steps ahead all the time.

    Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock was younger I think and as you rightly said, at an earlier stage and, therefore, perhaps less fond of Dr Watson than he hopefully will be in later BBC episodes. I don’t agree with you that he is lacking in compassion, however. I think the BBC put him in more situations where he knew if he showed compassion he would endanger the lives of others. Without adding spoilers I think he made it clear on a few very small things he said to Watson that simply be being with him Watson was putting himself in danger and he was only letting him because he was an army doctor and could possibly cope with that more than the average person.

  2. chrysalisloall says:

    I think you might be right about the compassion. He has indeed got some, but not quite enough for my liking. Or rather, too selective. Again, it is hard to make an argument without evidence, as I imagine Sherlock himself would say, but I don’t think he’s perfect by a long shot. However, neither is Downey Jnr’s; both only chose to carry out the investigations which interest them and I doubt either would remember a birthday. I think it is not a flaw of the interpretations, but of the initial character. His focus is not on the greater good but on the greater challenge. As interesting as he is, I don’t think I could get on with him in real life. Someone who shared common aspects maybe, but without more love, no.

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