Anyone who knows me knows I love all things British. Their radio, their books, and of course their television. So when Doctor Who showrunner Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss started working on their own Sherlock Holmes adaptation they had my attention immediately.
Before SHERLOCK I never understood the big deal about Benedict Cumberbatch. He had a long, annoying name and a weird face. After SHERLOCK? That deep baritone, his intense eyes, and the skill of his acting had my heart. I was a Cumberbabe (Benedict’s preferred form of Cumberbitch) through and through.
But it’s not just the casting choice of Benedict Cumberbatch that makes this show a good adaptation. Martin Freeman as Watson, Rupert Graves as Lestrade, and even Mark Gatiss himself as Mycroft were all excellent casting choices as well.
But what makes this show better than, say, Elementary? (Which I also love, btw). Part of it is the way the stories are adapted. Each mini movie length episode is inspired by usually 2 or more Sherlock Holmes stories, expertly wound together into something familiar but also new. This allows the contemporary setting a bit more breathing room than most adaptations who either dispense with the originals entirely or stick so close that they have a hard time standing out.
Faithful adaptation is not always exact. You also have to be true to the spirit of the original. And I believe that Sherlock does that the best of all the TV adaptations in recent memory.
Admittedly the one thing, and it’s a pretty big thing, that Sherlock is pretty weak in is the portrayal of many of its female characters. This is a criticism Moffat has gotten for much of his career, particularly on Sherlock and Doctor Who. I personally don’t think it’s quite as bad as many fans seem to but it is definitely there and it can get irritating.
So what’s your favorite Sherlock Holmes adaptation? Do you go to TV with Sherlock or Elementary (or maybe even Forever)? Or maybe you’re a movie fan wth RDJ or the classic films?
Share yours in the comments and tell me what you think of Sherlock.
From my shelf to yours,