Sherlock Holmes is an enduring character. “Seventy-five actors have portrayed Sherlock Holmes in 211 movies.” Read more at Suite101: Legendary Sherlock Holmes Back On Screen: Guy Ritchie Directs Newest Adaptation | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/legendary-sherlock-holmes-back-on-screen-a183028#ixzz1Vobwcdf

Just watched the first episode (on NHK BS) of Sherlock, which places Holmes and Watson in 21st-century London. It’s very good. The dialogue is very fast, snappy and clever, tho it goes a bit overboard with the lightning speed of Holmes’ near-supernatural induction skills, swerving a little close to parody a couple of times, methought.

I like Watson. Martin Freeman plays a solid, down-to-earth character who has his own quiet strengths, and completely ignores the traditional “bumbling side-kick” role, which was never true to the original Conan Doyle stories anway.

Benedict Cumberbatch is physically just right, as most of the screen Sherlocks have been: tall, slim, intellectual, a rare combination of the thinker and the man of action. He thinks while lying down staring at the ceiling, not with fist to forehead a la Rodin.

In the first episode, we get introduced to everyone – Lestrade (played intelligently, not as a buffoon) Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft and Moriarty. Oh, and the “aren’t they gay?” meme gets thrown in there as well, and promptly dealt with. Ditto Holmes’ drug use, but that was dealt with in a less interesting, tho hardly unexpected, way.

It’s interesting to see how the series’ creators mixed original details (Watson being a doctor) with modern ones (like cell-phones and Google maps). How many will consider the irony that one detail at least did not need to be changed – that Dr. Watson had seen action in Afghanistan where he had been injured? (The original Watson was injured in the Second Anglo-Afghan War; that would make the present one the Third.)

In this first episode, there is some confusion about Watson’s injury. He first appears hobbling with a cane. He later abandons it and is running unencumbered with Holmes through back alleys and up and down staircases. What the …? At the end, to Holmes’ inquiry, Watson says, “shoulder, actually”. This didn’t make any sense until I read that Conan Doyle himself was the cause of it:

the account of that wounding differs in Doyle’s books. In A Study in Scarlet Watson states: “I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail
bullet, which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian artery.” while later in The Sign of the Four he says that he: “sat
nursing my wounded leg. I had had a Jezail bullet through it some time before, and though it did not prevent me from walking it
ached wearily at every change of the weather.”. Perhaps Doyle realized this discrepancy because the third and last time he
mentions Watson’s battlefield injury in The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor he simply has Watson state: “the Jezail bullet which I
had brought back in one of my limbs as a relic of my Afghan campaign throbbed with dull persistence.” [From http://www.soldiersofthequeen.com/page21-JudeLawSherlockHolmes2009.html ]

Can’t wait to see the next episode. (Here’s a 2010 Daily Mail preview of the series.)

the
account of that wounding differs in Doyle’s books. In
A Study in Scarlett Watson states: “I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail
bullet, which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian artery.” while later in
The Sign of the Four he says that he: “sat
nursing my wounded leg. I had had a
Jezail bullet through it some time before, and though it did not prevent me from walking it
ached wearily at every change of the weather.”. Perhaps Doyle realized this discrepancy because the third and last time he
mentions Watson’s battlefield injury in
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor he simply has Watson state: “the Jezail bullet which I
had brought back in one of my limbs as a relic of my Afghan campaign throbbed with dull persistence.”