I was addicted to Sherlock (BBC 1) right from the get-go and other than TopGear it is by far my favourite television program. I watched series 1 and then automatically thought that the modern twist was not only done extremely well, but that it was in fact better than some versions which stick completely to the books. Now this is all after I found out that the best version of Sherlock Holmes was the one in which Robert Downey Jr showed off his awesome English accent. This created a split, and therefore required me to choose between the two; but I couldn’t, obviously. They’re both incredible in their own unique ways, the modern twist of Cumberbatch versus the traditional but epic route taken by the creators of Sherlock Holmes (the film). So instead of this being a something – vs – something blog post, I thought I’d explain why they both deserve to be in the spotlight. It’s elementary really, my dear reader.
By now you should all have realised that my favourite actor on the planet is Will Smith; so nothing I say in this blog post will in any way go back on that; he remains at No.1 and that’s that. I do however maintain that Robert Downey Jr is my second favourite actor and this therefore means that I was always eagerly looking forward to the release of Sherlock Holmes, wherein Jude Law plays Watson, another genius move by the casting director there. Well done, people. The film is set in a late 1900’s London in which Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr) and his trusty partner Watson (Law) follow the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with remarkable accuracy. The times in which the book was originally set is matched by the films and even the slightest of details are perfectly executed. Downey Jr and Law both portray Holmes and Watson exactly the way I imagined them to be when I read the books. I will add, I’ve only read three! But they were perfect nonetheless. Every movement, every sarcastic comment made by Watson towards Holmes was put across brilliantly.
So the traditional setting and traditional everything works well; but let’s delve a little in to Sherlock (BBC) and see why the modern twist works so well, and why it is that even the most hardcore Holme-ies (see what I did there?) would love it. My favourite book of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is like many of you, The Hound of The Baskervilles. When I heard that this new modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes was going to attempt it, I almost had a heart attack, I worried that they would ruin it and that they’d make it far too modern to be even in the slightest bit recognisable. I was wrong. Very wrong. OK so obviously it was boosted in to the 21st century, but my my did they do it well. In case you haven’t seen it yet (and if you haven’t then why on the good earth haven’t you?) I won’t ruin at all by saying anything about the episode. You just have to watch it to believe how incredible it is. And how out of this world Martin Freeman (Watson) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Holmes) are as the mighty duo.
For anyone that has never read or watched a Sherlock Holmes book/film/TV Series, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend watching the BBC’s adaptation until you’ve either watched the Downey Jr films or have read a Study in Scarlet. Then you can appreciate the genius that is Doyle before you watch a modern version and get all confused as to why he talks like an 18th Century ‘high-functioning sociopath’ within a 21st century London. You’d get yourselves in a bit of a pickle and wont know what the hell was going on. So watch Downey Jr’s version first, then read the books, then I give you permission to watch Cumberbatch.
I’m pretty sure i’ve stated at least a few reasons why both of these Sherlock adaptations are in their own rights brilliant and deserve an equal place on the top podium. I love both of the actors and I love both of the styles; and when you watch them both I think you’ll agree. It’s very very tricky to choose between the two; in fact I purposefully go out of my way to not choose because I actually can’t.
If however you think that one is better than the other, let me know with a comment.