Sherlock Holmes dir. Guy Ritchie (2009) Ritchie’s interpretation of Sherlock Holmes works on several levels—as a dark and detailed period piece, as character comedy, and as a buddy film. Jude Law (Watson) and Robert Downey Jr (Holmes) have an edgy dynamic. Rachel McAdams scintillates as Irene Adler.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1893); audiobook ready by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) Despite coming across as increasingly distant from modern times, these tales of Sherlock Holmes retain their appeal. Simply put, Holmes and Watson are great characters, and the mysteries themselves have a charm that rests enduringly in Conan Doyle’s (and Stephen…
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.
Jonathan Creek, Series 1 by David Renwick (BBC, 1997) Jonathan Creek is a detective with Holmes-like deductive abilities, cajoled and manipulated into sleuthing by a self-serving journalist less sympathetic than any Watson figure. The protagonist is quietly compelling and the mysteries beguiling, albeit at times through an improbable marrying of circumstances.
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.
Sherlock Holmes BBC, 1968 Peter Cushing rises above the BBC’s stinginess and inept adaptations to embody a Sherlock Holmes at once cerebral yet exuberant, aloof but socially aware. Nigel Stock’s Watson is something of a retired teddy bear and only six of sixteen episodes survive un-junked.
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.