Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Definitive Sherlock Holmes

I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. I have read a good number of the original stories, thanks to my parents having a collected edition, and I have seen many on screen iterations. Some I like. Some I'm so-so on. One actor, though, stands head and deer-stalker above the rest, and that is the late, great Jeremy Brett.

For 10 years (1984-1994) Brett played Holmes on the Granada television series developed by John Hawkesworth, but I first saw him on PBS. One of our family activities each week was to watch Mystery!, introduced by Vincent Price. We saw many detectives on this series but the two that stand out in my mind are Brett as Holmes and David Suchet as Poirot.

Holmes is, as Price says, the consummate Victorian gentleman. Brett embodies this in every single way, from his joy at having a mystery to solve to his annoyance at those around him who can't see what he thinks is obvious. Brett is as close to the Conan Doyle Holmes as I think we will ever see on screen. If you have only known Holmes through Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey, Jr., or Basil Rathbone, you owe it to yourself to check out Brett's. I promise that you won't be disappointed.

And if you do watch an episode or two, please let me know what you think of it. I'd really like to know other's thoughts on the matter.