SHERLOCK HOLMES: BRITAIN HAS GONE BONKERS FOR THE MAN. THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS ADAPTATIONS OF THE AMOROUS CHARACTER AND HIS ADVENTURES AS A CONSULTING DETECTIVE; ALL DIFFERENT, ALL DARING IN THEIR PORTRAYALS OF DOYLE’S DEPICTION.
Originally published as a series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891, the fiction threw itself into the Victorian lifestyle and gave readers a sense of excitement living in London. Instead of video games as a kid, I was given Conan-Doyle. Initially I was incredibly reluctant, but then I became engaged in the excitement of the stories. So naturally, I’m a slight wise-ass when it comes to the character. Here’s the lowdown of the top five Sherlocks the worlds needs to watch.
Co-starring with Nigel Bruce as Watson, a span of 14 films were created in 1939-1946. Personally, my favourite Holmes. He evokes the dark, and truly mysterious man Conan-Doyle. Historian Alan Barnes agrees stipulating: “Rathbone was Sherlock Holmes”. I remember watching the series as a child and being almost to the point of terrified of the detective – terrified, yet mesmerised. Rathbone has a chillingly strong manner, even the way he’d whip his coat made him unpredictable, yet so intriguing.
Kingsley stars in Without a Clue, a comedy released in 1988. This cleverly fabricates a John Watson who bases his crime-solving upon reading about the character in The Strand Magazine. Focusing his career into the detective life rather than his doctor title, Watson decides to formulate a Sherlock himself by hiring an actor (played by the incredible Michael Caine). The production is humorous for its time and really engages with the idea that Watson and Sherlock are like bread and butter. It endorses that behind the detective, Watson is perhaps more than an accomplice, and rather the brains. A thoroughly enjoyable film, with a legendary cast.
Released in 2009, the film had an impressive cast of Rachel McAdams, Jude Law and Robert D-J. Receiving popular feedback in America, it was an action packed adaptation. And that was just the problem for me. Many enjoyed the slow-motion Matrix-style moves from Downey-Junior, and the explosive fights – I’m afraid I didn’t, it was all too extreme. Nevertheless, Holmes is given a hero depiction here, and the sexual tension between him and Irene Adler provides suspense and great humour. The plot differentiates from the novels somewhat, however it results in an exciting adventure that gives top family entertainment.
Yes, you all knew it was coming. The contemporary version in the TV series has brought the British nation at its knees. Baker Street has never been so trendy – and I suspect many of you with that moustache has been modelled on Martin Freeman’s brief facial attire in the episodes. Nominated for numerous awards, the script is simply superb. We began to really see a different side to Sherlock, as he evokes a sociopath which demonstrates his difficulty with emotion. First broadcast in 2010 with ‘A Study in Pink’ was an enrapturing way to introduce Holmes into the 21st century with his fellow allies of Lestrade and Mrs Hudson. Oh and blimey, Andrew Scott’s Moriarty is truly harrowing. The BBC has teased us with spanning the series over five years, and good god I can’t wait for the next instalment.
SIR IAN MCKELLEN
Once again! Another take on the detective, completely different in its field. The story begins with a delicate and dated 93-year-old Holmes who’s mind is deteriorating. The challenge is not battling with a nemesis, but his memory as he tries to document his final case. I was saddened to see that there was no involvement with him and his loyal doctor, just a fatherly help from Holmes’ housekeeper’s son, Roger. The story evokes an emotional relationship as he is helped to recall his previous adventures and his impending health state. What I forgot about Sherlock Holmes until I watched this, was that indeed, the character is human. It is easy to get enwrapped in the younger chap who is near-invincible, whereas McKellen portrays a more exposed man.