Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Sherlock Holmes

The new Sherlock Holmes started on the BBC Sunday night and it had a distinct Doctor Who feel to it.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Holmes and Martin Freeman is Watson as the legendary sleuth and his sidekick tackle crimes in contemporary London. Created by Doctor Who writers Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss it is no wonder it has a Doctor Who feel with the lead actor over playing his extremely tackative character and the stories feeling a little bit whimsical. I must state I am not a fan of Doctor Who as it feels a bit daft and overboard for me. This was very similar.
The first thing that struck me was how out of place and unnecessary Holmes seemed in the modern world. He has no apparent abilities and skills apart from the power of deduction where as the police have forensics and sciences that are far superior in detection than the human eye. Holmes continues to jabber almost endlessly throughout the episode and explains everything on the nose because the police he assists for free are seemingly retarded in their policing abilities.

Watson on the other hand does little more than frown and hobble around for the first half of the episode and then frowns and runs around the second half of the episode. With little or no character development on his part other than what Holmes jabbers about him he seems redundant at best.

Then comes the ‘bad guy’ of episode one – a taxi driver. As Holmes jabbered about who could have possibly committed the crime and picked up a person in broad daylight without suspicion I had narrowed it down to the police or a taxi driver. It wasn’t rocket science. Then towards the end of the episode when all the police officers were searching Holmes’ apartment and they tracked the GPS signal on the victim's phone to that very same building no one at any point suggested that everyone empty their pockets let alone look for it. Great policing.

When Holmes leaves with the taxi driver and not one of the several police officers sees him in the doorway not one person felt the need to follow Holmes or even continue the search for the phone. Watson alone leaves following the signal to Holmes and the taxi driver’s location. As Holmes stares across a table at the driver as he jabbers on about his plan, why, where etc blah blah blah his entire story is told through exposition. There was little or no tension or drama to their final conflict despite Watson running around looking for their room. When he then finds himself in the building opposite and able to see them through the window it appears Holmes is on his own.

Just when things got interesting and I thought Holmes was going to risk his life by taking one of the tablets offered him in a Matrix rip-off Watson shot the taxi driver and ended that. The taxi died via a bullet to the shoulder, which I found odd considereing we exposiotnally found out Watson was shot in the shoulder whislt serving in the army and he looked pretty much alive to me. Well almost seeing that his character shows about as much emotion as a cadaver. The police then mopped up the dead body and Holmes started to piece together what sort of person the possible shooter could be he realises it was Watson, but the officer he is jabbering to is seemingly blank minded despite Watson being straight ahead of him.

The whole thing seemed farcical, whimsical, and full of cheesey jabbering by Holmes that was seemingly endless. I thought that the idea of Sherlock Holmes was that he was ahead of his time and revolutionary in his methods as he solved impossible crimes. This incarnation of Holmes is not ahead of his time, is not revolutionary and he doesn’t appear to offer anything more to the police investigation than their forensics team could. Imagine all the characters of CSI Las Vegas and their technology jammed into one cocky and constantly jabbering idiot in a rain coat – you have the new Sherlock right there.

I shall not be watching next week.

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