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parrot_knight [userpic]


July 25th, 2010 (10:37 pm)

A bit uncertain early on, I thought - but Holmes's and Watson's run through the streets of London was the equivalent of the first Morse and Lewis car journey through Oxford in The Dead of Jericho, and it found its direction. Gatiss has given himself a part in which he can be sinister and sibillant and chew scenery *because that's how the character thinks of himself* Benedict Cumberbatch certainly gave me the impression he and Matt Smith have been comparing notes and swapping performance tics, but given that Sherlock and Doctor Who not only share writers but locations, with one crew filming at one end of a building while the another lurks at the other, this isn't surprising. Very good, on the whole.


Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who

I haven't seen this yet. Hopefully I recorded it, assuming the aerial repair men did their job properly today, and assuming I reprogrammed the video recorder correctly afterwards. However, just going by the appearances of Cumberbatch and Smith and the short clips of Sherlock you linked to a week or so ago, I was already wondering if in twenty years time people are going to have trouble remembering which one was Sherlock Holmes and which one the Doctor. Didn't know about sharing locations at the same time, though.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)

Cumberbatch's Holmes dresses like Matt Smith does in real life, but more soberly... Will be interesting seeing what you make of it, given that you know the canon; I recognised a few elements from A Study in Scarlet, but it travels in a different direction.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who

I recognised a few elements from A Study in Scarlet, but it travels in a different direction

I didn't expect all that Mormon-bashing to survive in a BBC sensitive about giving offence!

(You can delete the anonymous version of this comment I posted before realizing I was logged out.)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)

Have done! No, I did wonder what would happen to Doyle's depiction of the Latter Day Saints...

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Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)

Yes, there was a little Brett there; but strange_complex makes a good point below about the Doctor Who influence. I think one can now talk of a Tennant-Smith-Cumberbatch style of quirky British leads - all different performers but with some similarities in what they emphasise.

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Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)

We're being faced with the prospect that Sherlock is vulnerable to temptation because he enjoys the deduction and the danger more than the solution. There are some problems he relishes almost too much. Like the Doctor, he needs somebody to stop him. (Watson's readiness to kill makes him analogous to Leela or River Song, interestingly.)

Posted by: buckbeakbabie (buckbeakbabie)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
david cutest fanboy evar

I was wondering if it was just me projecting the Eleven-ness onto Sherlock because of the shared writers. Glad to know someone else spotted it too.

I didn't know they shared locations though, very interesting.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)

There's a bit of Cardiff-as-London in among the real London, certainly.

Posted by: Lady Summerisle (strange_complex)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Tom Baker

Yes, definitely a very Doctorish Holmes, especially when he was telling people to shut up so that he could think! And I think this is quite a potent indication of the status which Doctor Who has now acquired as a story, too. We've had Holmeish Doctors before - most obviously in The Talons of Weng Chiang, of course. But this is the first time I've seen the influence going the other way - though I didn't see the recent film, so may well have missed something there.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)

I've not seen the film either, though it's attracted a loyal internet fanbase (of course).

Did you see Moffat with Mark Ravenhill on Newsnight on Friday, contrasting Holmes and the Doctor? In short (with all the caveats that implies) Holmes wants to be God, while the Doctor wants to stop. Ravenhill talked about the Doctor and Holmes as queer role models a bit.

Posted by: Lady Summerisle (strange_complex)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 09:43 am (UTC)
Farnsworth don't aks me!

I didn't see the Newsnight interview, but I've seen something somewhere in relation to the new series pursuing the same sort of comparison. Might have been a discussion on the doctowho community, and quite likely prompted by the interview you mention.

Posted by: sensiblecat (sensiblecat)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)

I loved it. I saw BC very much as a darker Doctor with similar issues regarding the morality of his approach, and moments of pure Nine in particular, going headlong into danger with a similar relish. The chase through London reminded me of the run across Westminster Bridge way back in "Rose." There's a lot of Sherlock Holmes in DW's DNA, particularly the recurring motif of the archnemesis.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 25th, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)

I recognised a clear influence from Rose too, in the way that Sherlock is set up as a mystery and that we and Watson are not entirely sure whether he can be trusted but that he awakens dormant parts of their character which Watson, like Rose, had suppressed.

Holmes was deliberately injected into Doctor Who, with the Master being a Moriarty figure almost in the original sense, given that he's introduced as having been an offstage presence of whose existence the Doctor has always been aware, but whom we, the audience, are meeting for the first time. Then again, there's been a lot of Holmes in the Doctor from the beginning, with the Hartnell and Troughton Doctors containing different aspects in their make-up.

Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)

But the plot was so bleeding obvious.

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
edward cullen

Indeed. Do they not realise the rest of us have seen The Princess Bride as well? And surely the police would suspect murder/blackmail right from the start.

I quite enjoyed it, but it was pretty silly.

Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 07:06 am (UTC)

It is noticeable that the one person on my flist who I know has published detective novels agreed entirely about the plotting.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 09:47 am (UTC)


This must be judged as a 21st century TV series, and if they can't deal with the fact that this is the weakest of the Conan Doyle long stories, full of things that were later changed by the author, and padded in the first place with all the historical Mormon stuff, then it is their fault and not that of the original material. If it can't be properly adapted, then change it.

It was far too long. It was far too slow. It was far too obvious. And, like many Conan Doyle plots, does not stand too close an examination, particularly from a 21st Century dramatic viewpoint.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)

I think we are on opposite sides of a similar fault line to that which leaves me an admirer of most RTD Doctor Who, and you not.

Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)

I loathe drama where the handwaving is obvious while you are watching. However, RTD's problem with pacing is that he thinks that if you just keep going faster and faster it will be okay, while this particular show is the exact opposite.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 26th, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)

I'm not a great one for plots, and hadn't made the link with the taxi (though should have done).

I'm already wondering what this series would be like if, once-established, it was handed over to people with more experience in writing detective stories, rather than people who are interested in drawing attention to the handwaving and performance within performance - Gatiss's heavily-stylised Mycroft being a case in point. I enjoy it, but can see why other people don't.

Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: July 29th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)

I enjoyed it too, and the viewing figures and reviews seem to suggest we are not alone!

It was great fun, stylishly filmed, very watchable. I have fallen totally in love with the new Watson, too: for me he was the highlight of the piece.

If I want a problem solving puzzle, I'll play scrabble: that's not what I watch TV / read a book for, personally.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: July 29th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)

I'm not someone who really gains great pleasure from solving puzzles, so I'm much more interested in seeing how characters react to events and muddle through, really. Watson has lots of good moments - I liked his becoming so involved in events that he forgets he has a limp. Obvious perhaps, but effective.

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: August 10th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
hopelessly behind the times...

I love the problem-solving element in crime fiction (as in real life...), but telly is too fast for that anyway. It works much better in books, and with Holmes we don't stand a chance anyway, because we are not given the many of the clues.

So I agree that this is mainly about character, and I think this version works beuatifully on that level. It takes both characters seriously, and you can see that they have a wavelength, which is why they are happy to put up with each other.

The plot is just a vehicle...