Sherlock the Lastest British Invasion

The Sherlock Holmes character first appeared in print in 1887

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson form an old Sydney Padget illustration.
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson form an old Sydney Padget illustration. | Source
The play presented in 1900 by actor William Gillette coined the familiar phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson".
The play presented in 1900 by actor William Gillette coined the familiar phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson". | Source

Amazon has a gift set of some great hits from the BBC

Sherlock is available, both seasons I and II on DVD via the BBC

Great Britain has shared some great performers with us starting with Benny Hill. We have swapped movies and smash hit records and of course singers and performers along the way. America and the Brits have past history far and wide and did not start out as two friends of the sharing type. We have changed all of this for the better. One idea going forward which is catching on is swapping television series. BBC TV is typically caught on DVD in the states. One of the best shows watchers are checking out is Sherlock. Of course it is the life and times, or rather the current life of Sherlock Holmes. It is definitely a catch not to be missed.

America's Sherlock

American television has adopted a similar drama under the name of Elementary. When comparing the account CBS shares every Thursday night with us, there are some glaring differences. I am not certain if these were on purpose to differentiate the two further from one another of if the writer(s) even thought along those lines.

One of the biggest is the Watson character whom Sherlock relies on heavily is a female. Lucy Lui is the beautiful doctor Watson. Martin Freeman plays the doctor counterpart in England. Martin Freeman is best known for involvement in the Lord of the Rings series. The same innocence he brought to the screen in the Lord of the Rings is found in Sherlock. There is a quiet strength seen in him along with intelligence which attracts Holmes to his side and watchers to the screen each week.

Sherlock is the first to admit he has no friends. Though, Watson is certainly his friend. Connecting with the outer world through Watson is how Holmes survives through the haze he calls his mind.

Both characters are very intelligent at heart and their wittiness and comrade are shown with ease in each episode.Right away Holmes is in charge, but Watson is following close behind. Admittedly the friendship has always worked throughout each expedition because he doesn't mind following the mad man. He is his opposite.

Sherlock is the madman, the recluse, the ill mannered jerk, misfit sociopath. Watson is the counterpart to all of these things and allows Holmes to find links to the world where none previously existed. This permits him to solve more crimes, work closely with the police, families and even friends Sherlock didn't know he had.

Several episodes show Watson saving his life physically and verbally. He shot a gun to kill a character in order to save Sherlock. He helps patch things with other people in the wake of one of Holme's tirades. This includes working with the police, bureaucrats, his family and even their landlady.

Writers make Sherlock human. This is an important step not seen in a lot of portrayals. Instead of coming off like a loudmouth know it all, you see compassion and empathy where you imagined none existed. He sacrifices everything for John and in return asks for nothing.

Family

A very interesting concept the writers bring to the board is the existence of a family for Sherlock. He has a brother, Mycroft, who is one of the most powerful people in the British government. They hate each other, despise is a better word. Though, they are actually alike in lots of different ways. There are hints connecting him to the MI-5 and MI-6 establishments, but only rough ones. Mom and Dad come into play.

Mom is nutty as a fruitcake and Dad is the normal one. Dad even shows this little tidbit with Mary when she asks. His mother is actually a mathematical genius which accounts for the smart gene inherited by both Sherlock and Mycroft.

Moriarty

Moriarty is his nemesis and cannot be ignored. This is a particularly nasty character who is outsmarting him at every turn and adds to the excitement of the cat and mouse game they play.

This is a devious man who most see as Sherlock if he went down another road. He is the same man we love, but without a soul. He is cunning and devious to a fault and has his sights on Holmes. He enjoys the hunt and the foreplay (to murder according to him) the detective provides.

He takes Sherlock to the breaking point and then beyond. This is one of the few characters and story lines I have ever had a chance to view where Sherlock's nature behind the facade begins to wrinkle. He is actually wondering if he is the smartest person in the room when confronted with this man.

Sherlock faced with feelings totally unfamiliar to him. He sees, fear, doubt, love and others which are played out perfectly.

Mary Watson

Toward the end of season one Watson brings in a third to the couple of merry men, Mary. He is engaged to be married. Suddenly audiences are beginning to wonder if this is over. The honeymoon of Watson and Sherlock was excellent, but is it to be short lived? Another twist hits the screen.

Mary happens to attempt to murder Sherlock. She is in reality a hit man for hire. A former CIA operative turned freelance murderer is not sitting well with her new hubby, Dr. Watson. She has become embroiled in one of Sherlock's adventures and suddenly becomes the main focal point of the story.

Watson being married is always not a good thing in the books, movies or television shows. It happens again in the BBC adaptation. Suddenly when Sherlock is looking no worse for the wear another surprise hits the screen. See the friendship survives the new member neither John nor Sherlock seen coming.

Appeal of the fans

All of the actors in the series admit they were not prepared for the attraction fans have for Sherlock. It is certainly a welcome surprise. Leaving cliff hangers producing hundreds of onlookers at the next shooting event, even in bad London weather. It also makes any performer in the series a focus for questions. The appeal is both surprising and scary at times admits Martin Freeman who plays doctor Watson. Cumberbatch totally agrees with his description and finds the experience serial.

Writing

Wherever the BBC has discovered the writers for this series, keep them forever. The twists and turns are totally unexpected. Sherlock is always going to be in a battle of wits with someone over something and finding the murderer. The writers add so much more to this predictable event which happens each week.

Imagine Sherlock Holmes interacting or babysitting a child? It is certainly scary, but hilarious up close and personal. He is Watson's Best Man at the wedding and of course he must give the speech. What Holmes has to say is beyond hitting the funny bone. Finding new twists on something as old as this tale could be difficult. However, these writers make it look easy.

The perfect characters and stories make for brilliance when it comes to entertaining the masses. Watch for Sherlock Season III coming soon I am sure.

In conclusion

As the popularity grows in America the expectations are the same. For someone created from the mind of an author over 200 years ago it is pretty amazing it still has the attraction and awe of fans. Moving from a book to a movie and now a television series is staying power most characters never see. Sherlock Holmes is certainly an exception to the rule.

Although the Sherlock Holmes we all know and love has above average intelligence, he is not equal in all subjects. Find out which ones are his weakness from thi

subject
qualities
 
literature
every detail of every horrific account of murder and mayhem. able to quote word for word. reads every newspaper account of everything he lays hands on
 
philosophy
nil
 
astronomy
nil
 
politics
feeble
 
botany
varies. nothing about gardening per se. well known in opium, poisons, belladonna and a few illegal narcotics
 
geology
limited. knows soil very well in and around London and able to differentiate soils at a glance
 
chemistry
profound
 
anatomy
accurate
 
literature
 
 
physical defense
expert marksman, boxer, swordsman and single stick player
 
law
good practical knowledge of British law
 
violin
well
 
Information provided by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle via A Study in Scarlet

The main actor, Cumberbatch is extremely versatile

Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock Holmes on the BBC network.
Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock Holmes on the BBC network. | Source
Fans used to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in the role like the look with long hair and the ever present scarf and trench coat of Holmes.
Fans used to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in the role like the look with long hair and the ever present scarf and trench coat of Holmes.

Television has been a medium where characters, plots or even form of comedy where directed toward a specific type of audience. This was limited by lots of things. One large item which controlled it was the location of the people viewing it. For example, comedy routines considered hilarious in Aruba where not found funny in Denver, Colorado. This was certainly apparent when it came to television viewers in the United States versus those found in Great Britain. Times have changed where this is no longer true.

America versus Britain

The phrase "It's Elementary my dear Watson" is missing from the written work the character is based on.

The American equivalent is produced by CBS and title Elementary instead of Sherlock. The popular movie versions starred

Although hundreds of actors have portrayed the detective, one common factor remains. The man has the appearance of being somewhat "eccentric".

The American actor Robert Downey Jr did a smash up job depicting the detective in two movies produced in the United States.

Observing or Detecting? Is there a difference

Sherlock Holmes in his true nature admits he is not a detective, but a very keen observer. Would you consider the work he does that of a detective or not?

  • yes. He is definitely a detective
  • no. He is something other than a detective
  • both
See results without voting

© 2014 smcopywrite

More by this Author


5 comments

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 24 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Elementary, my dear SM.

The most famous offering for Holmes in the black & white film era was Basil Rathbone, followed closely by Jeremy Brett on the 'box' in the 70's (colour tv). Hard to say how Conan Doyle saw his character, as the stories were originally related for Strand Magazine through Dr Watson, an ex-Boer War military doctor.

Holmes' deductions were made by the doctor in a Victorian era spoof with Michael Caine as a hopeless Holmes - an out-of-work actor brought back from the brink by - Ben Kingsley's Dr Watson. Turns out in the end they can't do without one another.

During WWII the British film industry resurrected Holmes - aka Basil Rathbone - to confound Nazi spies who were running riot around the UK, sending back radio messages etc. As it was almost all of them were 'turned', sending back false info along with a Spaniard known as 'Garbo' who sent the Nazis the wrong way before D-Day. All derring-do stuff the film people ascribed to Holmes' activities.

In the end nobody knew what was fact or fiction. Just what MI5 and MI6 wanted.


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 24 months ago from all over the web Author

thanks for all of the info on one of my favorite subjects. anytime you want to share more, feel free. thank you sooooo much.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 23 months ago

I enjoy watching some of the Sherlock Holmes movies. Thanks for sharing the information.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 23 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes from the point of view of Watson, the doctor writing up his case reports for Strand Magazine, which is where Holmes first appeared in print. Even though army medics were supposed to help the wounded, they still needed to know how to use an Army-issue Webley revolver (as in the Boer War - the Boers would have taken pot shots at anyone in Army khaki).


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 23 months ago from all over the web Author

this is certainly acknowledged in the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes. Great info alancaster149.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working