Wow, what an excellent slice of television we were treated to on Sunday night! The second recent re-invention of Sherlock Holmes, this time for the BBC, is an absolute master-class in programme making.
From the excellent introduction of our protagonist, the great detective’s assistant, Dr John Watson, played by the superb Martin Freeman, as a damaged, veteran army doctor to the shows ending, where Mark Gatiss’ shady character is revealed as our modern day Holmes’ brother (but is that all he is?) the dialogue sparkled, “Turn around Anderson, your putting me off.”, “My face is putting you off?”, the photography was glorious, showing a not ‘over-dark’ London, and every character played their part with aplomb. An absolute triumph for the BBC.
Expectations may have been running high for the latest outing from the indomitable detective, co-created by Steven Moffat, the lead writer and executive producer of the all new Doctor Who, and Mark Gatiss, one of the creators of the wonderful The League of Gentlemen, but it did not disappoint in the least. The writing was of the highest quality and I for one can’t wait for the, Stephen Moffat and Edgar Wright written, Adventures of Tintin out next year.
It wasn’t just the writing that made this crime drama work so well. While Martin Freeman’s Watson provided the very convincing and much needed ‘every-man’, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes stole (nearly) every moment that he was on screen. I say every moment, because as soon as Philip Davis’ murderer entered for the last ten minutes he effused corrupt charisma, rescuing a slightly flabby ending.
What was evident, from the first minute, was that Arthur Conan Doyle’s character is more than comfortable out of his own time. He was every bit the modern TV detective, more than a match for Morse, Wallander or even, another recent BBC success, Luther, whilst maintaining his Victorian eccentricities (apart from the exchange of his cocaine addiction with a habitual use of nicotine patches).
Roll on the next episode I say. ‘The Blind Banker’ is on BBC One next Sunday at 8.30, DON”T MISS IT!