221B Baker Street, one of the world’s most well-known addresses belongs to, as most of you know, one of the worlds most portrayed literary human characters, Sherlock Holmes. Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, this brilliant consulting detective has appeared in novels, short stories, plays, radio, films and television series.
Each time we see him, the actor who portrays the cunning detective adds their own personal flair. It is actors like Sir John Gielgud, John Barrymore, Christopher Plummer, Peter O’Toole, and Ian McKellen (the list goes on and on) that have tackled the role and made it quite their own in the process.
It was Basil Rathbone’s fourteen films, from 1939 – 1946, that most people remembered when the name Sherlock Holmes was brought up. Always wearing his deerstalker hat, wool cape/coat and usually seen carrying his magnifying glass or smoking the briar pipe, his inspired representation along with his quirky side-kick, Dr. Watson, played by Nigel Bruce, stayed in our minds throughout the years.
Then in 2009, Robert Downey, Jr. took up the role with such zealousness that his depiction of Sherlock was cemented in our minds. A tough, eccentric that exudes a bohemian grit is how we were presented with our newest Holmes. Unyielding in his cunningness, even with his brother in arms, Dr. Watson, gracefully played by Jude Law, the pair takes us on a roller coaster ride through a criminal’s mind.
With the success of the movie, I believe television got a bit jealous and in 2012 came out with the newly updated Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock and…wait for it, Lucy Liu as the honorable Watson. The show takes place at 221B Baker Street in New York City of all places. Both, Miller and Liu are very good, they must be since the show is starting season 5 this October, but I am a lover of sticking to the original.
So when noticing that BBC had done their own version, simply named ‘Sherlock’, I watched it. Benedict Cumberbatch as the wily Sherlock and Martin Freeman as his lovable friend and assistant, Dr. Watson, make an amazing team. There are not seasons to this show but series. As of right now, there are 3 series which consist of 3 episodes each. Simply fantastic!
Nicest part is that even though the show is modern day it sticks to the storylines. Your favorite cases with your favorite criminals. Yes, criminals, of course there is Sherlock’s nemesis, Professor Moriarty, who is played so eerily by Andrew Scott that you cringe when he comes on the scene.
Watson once wrote “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name” to this he is referring to Irene Adler. Again the show has taken a role and made it so connivingly wicked by placing actress Lara Pulver in the role. Rachel McAdam’s played the role in the 2009 movie and she was sultry and deceitful to a tee, but Lara Pulver is so clever and manipulative playing a dominatrix, that you can see why she is the only possible woman to match wits with Mr. Holmes.
Whichever version you choose does not matter for they are all entertaining but if you like being made to think, remember what Sherlock would say “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.” Watch them all, but delve into BBC’s Sherlock.