Monday, 13 January 2014


Sherlock and Watson - from the BBC

Last night we watched an episode of Sherlock. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s a BBC version of Sherlock Holmes set in the bonkers world of TV drama and a magically deluded version of the present. Not a hansom cab to be seen.

Sherlock is played by Benedict Cumberbatch who makes a good Holmes at times, but is wasted here. Dr Watson is played a rather wooden chap I’ve seen somewhere before and Moriarty by a guy who comes across as a little boy pretending to be insane.

Last night’s plot was something to do with an all-powerful blackmailer who supposedly has the dirt on every important person in the country. Which rather confirms something we all know anyway, but that's by the by. The blackmailer was played by a neatly bearded chap with rimless spectacles and the subtle, spine-tingling menace of a meringue.

At one point, Dr Watson’s wife Mary is dressed in paramilitary black and about to shoot the blackmailing villain with her silenced pistol, but Sherlock intervenes so she shoots him instead. As you do. In a lucid moment she appears to know Holmes is the good guy but shoots him anyway.

The reason why Mary might make this superficially lamentable error was too boring and improbable to follow. She turns out to be some kind of ex-CIA assassin so my theory is this: Mary is very short-sighted and forgetful, so at the critical moment she simply loses her bearings and shoots the wrong fellow. Happens all the time.

At least it explains why the CIA might have wished to get rid of her. Judging by her performance last night, even St Obama would be in considerable danger with her around.

How Mary gains entrance to the blackmailer's almost impregnable hi-tech lair is a minor mystery too. Sherlock goes to all the trouble and incongruity of seducing the blackmailer's assistant, while Mary apparently uses the tradesman’s entrance which Sherlock overlooks in the sheer complexity of his thinking.

Sherlock’s delightfully aloof brother Mycroft appears, sneers and disappears throughout. He's rather good at sneering too – it's almost worth watching for that alone.

Mycroft Holmes - from the BBC
In my view, the BBC should go the whole hog and give Sherlock the ability to fly like Superman. Maybe a bionic eye and a bionic ear would add to the drama. The eye and ear could be designed and fitted by Dr Watson and Mary at a top secret MI5 research lab in Hinckley.

Mary would need a quick visit to Specsavers first though. Maybe the gun could be put in a safe place too.

This would bring Sherlock closer to his real mentors such as Batman and Superman. After all, right at the end we are told that boy wonder Moriarty has taken control of all electronic displays in order to broadcast his evil leer to the whole country. Petrifying stuff, but didn’t Lex Luthor try that?


Demetrius said...

We find we can watch less and less of ordinary TV. There are the crash bang wallops most of the time, with major lurches of bad sound. There is the manic cutting and intercutting with flashing lights hitting the neural system and thirdly the boring simplicity of the plot and dialogue. They make the cowboy serials of 1940's children's matinees look like literary masterpieces.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - much of the Sherlock dialogue is very rapid which tends to disguise a silly script.

The visual stuff seems to have a similar purpose - hide a plot which doesn't even make sense.

Anonymous said...

What a load of tripe that was. Overall TV seems very very poor stuff. If Ofcom was any use all the TV companies would get a good kicking.

A K Haart said...

Roger - it was tripe. We almost switched off, but I thought it might be worth a blog post.

Anonymous said...

Now look here, Haart, if you're going to publish photos of smug-looking smart-Alecs then at least label them correctly. That is obviously not Mycroft Holmes, that is 'The Kleggeron' - 'quelle horreure!

A K Haart said...

David - their sneering modes are similar aren't they?