Monday, October 25, 2010

Both Sherlock and I Are Back

I'm back from a wonderful couple of days in Tucson. The Seguaro chapter of RWA was very welcoming, and my talk was well received. I got to meet a writer I've corresponded with online for some five years as well as see a writer friend who moved to Tucson. After the chapter meeting, Sherrill Quinn and Suzanne Moore took me up into the mountains around the city. The views were spectacular. I think of myself as being well-versed in plant life, but I saw species of cacti I never knew existed.

I came home to the first episode of the new BBC production, Sherlock. It's a contemporary reworking of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. The Daily News described it this way:
Moffatt and Gatis [the show's adapters] have said they loved the original stories, and fans can expect to see the new adventures highlighting details, places, idiosyncrasies, plot elements, phrases from the original stories, but with 21st-century twists. For example, in tonight’s first episode, “A Study in Pink,” watch for the clue “Rache,” which was pivotal in the first Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” published in 1887.
While the plot lines use details from the original stories, they are not slavish duplicates. Here's the description for tonight's episode from the Daily News:
A wave of suicides grips London, but Sherlock suspects the victims are not, as the police believe, voluntarily swallowing poison capsules. “We’ve got ourselves a serial killer,” he declares. “I love those!” With his newfound friend and flat mate, John Watson, he seizes on the minute details of the most recent victim, a lady dressed entirely in pink, to reveal a mastermind with the perfect cover—and a diabolical motive. But can Sherlock escape becoming the next “suicide”?
Benedict Cumberbatch does a fabulous job of portraying a young (34-year-old) Holmes who is constantly borrowing Dr. Watson's cell phone in order to send text messages that will allow him to stay anonymous. Cumberbatch has the lean, hawkish look that we've come to expect for Holmes. He's also mastered the arrogant attitude, but possesses a more engaging sense of humor than Conan Doyle's "consulting detective" did.

When one of the police evidence technicians calls Holmes a "psychopath," he responds with disdain that he's a "higher functioning sociopath" and advises the tech to read the literature on the difference.

John Watson (Martin Freeman) is a much more fully-fleshed out character than the bumbling sidekick in the stories. He blogs about Holmes' adventures instead of writing them in a journal.

Here's the trailer:

The BBC originally filmed three episodes of Sherlock. After watching tonight's episode, I'm hoping for many more.


Sherrill Quinn said...

First, I had such a great time with you over the weekend--it was great to finally meet you! And the chapter members learned a lot from you. Thank you so much!

Second, I loved, loved, LOVED Sherlock Holmes! My all-time favorite is the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce incarnation of the 30s-40s, but this one was very, very good.

Maya Reynolds said...

Sherrill: I'm with you. I was VERY happy with the new show -- especially since Sunday night is TV wasteland for me once I get past Sixty Minutes. Hope they will continue making more episodes.