Sherlock Holmes is complete

The Complete Sherlock Holmes front cover

Sherlock Holmes. He’s probably the most famous detective in the history of crime fiction.

Having posted a picture of the book I took delivery of today, the first response I received online was ‘Which Sherlock?’ was my favourite?

Most people of my age would probably reply their favourite Sherlock Holmes was portrayed by Bazil Rathbone. Our children’s TV was filled with re-runs of the films with Rathbone starring as Holmes, and Nigel Bruce as Dr John H Watson.

That pairing was my favourite, but only very slightly ahead of Granada TV’s Jeremy Brett as Holmes, with Edward Harwicke as Dr Watson. Brett seemed to encapsulate so many of the demons that besieged Holmes in the original books of Arthur Conan-Doyle.

It’s Elementary

Something that did take me completely by surprise, was the US TV series “Elementary” made by CBS. This had all the ingredients of being a complete disaster. They made Watson a woman, Dr Joan Watson who was played by Lucy Liu who I’d only seen in the Charlie’s Angels film. Worse, Baker Street in London, that bastion of Victorian design with the unstoppable Mrs Hudson, had been completely ditched for a townhouse (a brown-stone) in New York City. London City & Metropolitan Police Forces had been ditched for the media over-exposed NYPD. As a Sherlock purist, this had to be terrible. Yet, it wasn’t.

The characters and story-lines of “Elementary” created sufficient distance from the original characters and Jonny Lee Miller pulls off a quirky, post-heroin-addicted (7% solution) Holmes that simply fits in the modern context. Liu as Dr Joan Watson is convincing and again, her character works as a counter-foil to Miller’s lead role.

However, this book. The one that arrived today, has taken me back to where it all began. Whilst my first edition Strand Magazines remain under lock and key, I can now plough back through the original texts as penned by Conan-Doyle.

So here’s to “Being a reprint of the reminiscences of Dr John H Watson” and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dive straight into them.

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