Friday 23 February 2018

Sorry, Guy, it's the BBC that keeps the Holmes fire burning

Steven Moffat's updating of Sherlock Holmes is far wittier, and truer to the spirit of the original, than the anachronistic nonsense dreamt up for the big screen by Guy Ritchie.

And it's a much better cast, too -- Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are an endearingly odd couple, whereas Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law are merely two stars in an uneasy and unconvincing alliance.

The three Holmes films Moffat devised for BBC1 in 2011 were a deserved success and the latest three will probably do just as well, though the first in the series had the same basic flaw as last year's trio -- it was too clever for its own good.

More precisely, it was so busy being clever that it neglected to tie up some crucial loose ends in the plot and even at times to make sense. "What happened there?" Watson asked Holmes at one point, and I fully concurred with him.

Such bewilderments should be unforgivable in a narrative that's supposedly all about logic, but the viewer is having such good fun in Cumberbatch and Freeman's company that it seems churlish to complain.

And in this week's episode, Lara Pulver was terrific as the femme fatale who bewitches the Baker Street sleuth.

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