Sherlock, Series 3 by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (BBC, 2014) Having cherry-picked the most famous Sherlock Holmes stories, Gatiss and Moffat in series three give themselves even more latitude for creative adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s material, scripting three adventures that rely very much on the telling. Freeman and Cumberbatch remain resplendent.
Sherlock, Series 2 (BBC, 2012) Sherlock’s second series modernises three of Conan Doyle’s most famous stories, adapting them with stylishness, affection and considerable licence. Any infelicities are quickly forgiven, however, as the plot (though clever) is made secondary to the relentlessly paced badinage between Holmes and Watson.
Murder Rooms (The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes) by David Pirie (BBC, 2000-2001) This cleverly written historical drama depicts a young Arthur Conan Doyle playing Watson to nascent Holmes figure Dr Joseph Bell (Doyle’s real-life tutor at Edinburgh University). Replete with Holmes-esque observational deductions, the feature-length mysteries are intriguing… but moreish at only six episodes.
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (Orion, 2011) An aging Watson harks back to the most shocking of all his adventures with Sherlock Holmes, Horowitz delivering a pastiche that artfully evokes Conan Doyle’s great detective. Holmes is lofty, alacritous and yet vulnerable, the mystery absorbing, the narrative suitably Watson-esque. Top-hole.