I’m not sure how I ended up being linked to on a BBC website, but it resulted in an awful lot of traffic to one page on this blog, so now I feel compelled to talk about Sherlock again. I find it interesting to not that I can get over 700 hits in one day with a silly little blog of no interest to anyone, and yet we are supposed to believe that the 1895 hits John gets on his blog overnight are impressive. This was pointed out in an Empire Magazine blog, and explained by Steven Moffat on twitter as being “Sherlock Holmes’ best year”, but it seems like a bit of a pointless homage for which a much larger number would be more impressive.
Last night’s episode was based on The Hound of the Baskervilles, the Holmes story with which I am most familiar because of the BBC’s 2002 adaptation with Richard E. Grant in it. This means that I got some of the references to elements which weren’t important to the story of this version (the flashing lights on the moors!) but probably not all of them. It also means that I am well aware of the fact that in the original (and that adaptation) this was a story without very much of Holmes, and with an awful lot of Watson. I don’t think Sherlock’s presence in this episode meant that it was diminished in any way, but I would have enjoyed an episode which allowed more development of the underused John. I can’t remember the first series well enough to figure out if his role has been diminished, or if it’s just my imagination, but I do wonder if he is underappreciated. I’ve still only read A Study in Scarlet, but I guess Watson’s role in the books is mostly as the narrator and someone to bounce ideas off (does Holmes ever actually drug him? Both Sherlock and House have done this to their respective Watsons…). But does that make it worse that he wasn’t given the chance to shine in the one story where he’s dominant?
I enjoyed the more straightforward, narrower timespan of the story; I was unimpressed with the resolution. Then again the setting was good, it was quite scary. The banter was maintained. I figured a couple of things out (well, I thought the same thing as Sherlock – spoiler the drug was in the sugar! Oh…) and it was figure-outable. I’m sure there was a huge problem or something which I had thought which I was going to say, but now I can’t remember it.
In the past week, though, I have also watched Endeavour, the prequel to Inspector Morse released to mark the 25th anniversary of the first broadcast. It highlighted to me that the thing Sherlock really isn’t is a detective show, despite being based on the world’s greatest detective. Or maybe it’s not a police procedural. I’m a bit tired to be trying to make these arguments, but I don’t want to sleep and have to edit out all the “yesterdays”. It seems to me that it’s just more like a straightforward drama, like a Doctor Who, where I’m unwilling to call the ending a deus ex machina, but where it’s unlikely that an observer who wasn’t phenominally intelligent could figure out the ending without help. Anyway. Too tired.
Reading television reviews, I find it interesting that in the week Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in the next Star Trek film, at a time when we know he and Martin Freeman will be together again in the films of The Hobbit, that people are commenting on the appearence of a few actors from The Killing in another Danish drama, Borgen, as if this means there are few actors in Denmark. Or maybe these are just one ones who get cast in the only two dramas we’ve bothered to import?
Yesterday was also the birthdays of David Bowie, Stephen Hawking, William Hartnell, and Elvis Presley, which I would argue is a good haul for any one day. Happy birthday to them.