Jeremy Brett's SherlockThink it would have been late 80’s/early 90’s when I first “got into” the Sherlock Holmes stories and it’s all thanks to an actor (sadly no longer with us) called Jeremy Brett.
There have been many actors over the years who have played in this role, obvious choices being 1940s quintessential Sherlock Holmes - Basil Rathbone, the wonderful Peter Cushing, charismatic Peter O’Toole, extraordinary Ian Richardson (who was beautifully evil in House of Cards!) but I thought Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes on TV was the spot on!
I watched this drama religiously until it came to an end (due in part to the declining health of the wonderful Mr Brett). He just captured Sherlock Holmes exactly how I pictured him in my own imagination; twitchy with quick hand movements, quirky, eccentric, high and low moods – Obsessive, rude, a genius and always adored and aided by his faithful Watson, played brilliantly by Edward Hardwicke.
It was my love of the series and fascination with the character as portrayed by Jeremy Brett that lead me into buying the books, then videos, then DVDS and now slap bang up-to-date, Sherlock Holmes has been the only book I have downloaded to Ipad from Ibooks store! I guess favourite stories that come straight to mind are: A Scandal in Bohemia, The Adventures of the Dancing Men, The Five Orange Pips and The Adventure of the Speckled Band but have to say, love them all. These are just some I’ve read “yet again” just recently…….!!
I will admit that I thought The Sherlock Holmes movie was very good with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. When friends suggested I go and see it, my initial reaction was, Yeah right, cos that’s going to be really good, Ha Ha! BUT, I was impressed with the improvised and modern approach and thought Robert Downey Jnr had done a brilliant job – modernising Sherlock but still keeping his eccentricity, giving him that petulant little boy charm (which would fit right in with Holmes’ moods) and loved that they emphasised the boxing element (after all, Holmes was a boxing champion). Guess Downey Jrn gave him a 21st roguish, if not glamourous charm, which in my humble opinion, worked very well. (Side note: Jude Law also excellent as Watson).
BUT, whenever I read or think of Sherlock Holmes, it is Brett’s lanky figure, staring out the window, puffing at his pipe and brooding on his latest adventure that always comes to mind.
I hope Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be pleased with the passion Mr Brett brought to his character.
For me, Jeremy Brett is the best and most authentic Sherlock Holmes and will always remain so.