Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Top 5: Sherlock Holmes TV and Film Adaptions - with a Twist

Its been very busy the last few weeks for me, hence the lack of posts. However, I do have a television review in mind, but as with series reviews it takes longer to watch all the content.

So in the meantime, I have decided to list my top five adaptions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, for television and film, with a twist. It is interesting to note that many of these adaptions are quite recent - the last decade or show - revealing that there has been a revival of interest in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. 

1] Sherlock (TV) - The Modern Take

The first Sherlock Holmes series to be set in modern day London, as far as I know, rather than the fog and fug of the Victorian era - but Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' adaption is still very much the traditional Sherlock Holmes. Their love and knowledge of the original stories shines though, whilst Benedict Cumberbatch's quirky, serious, well spoken Holmes could easily be placed in either the 1900's or 2000's. This series also stands out with its incredible editing techniques and use of text within the series, which really visualises Holme's thinking in a very unique and active way. 

2] Elementary (TV) - In America

Another modern retelling that sets Holmes and Watson in the present day, and in present day America to boot. Some people might find the removal of Holmes from his native London rather odd, but this series shows he can work perfectly well anywhere in the world. Some very smart changes bring Holmes addiction to the forefront and give Dr Watson, now a woman, a new reason to be there - he is a recovering addict, and she is his sober companion, there to help him through his transition from rehab to living independently again. This gives the Holmes and Watson a fresh new take, one which I think works nicely in the modern setting. 

3] Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (TV) - In The Future

A cartoon series that I watched as a child, this was what first introduced me to Sherlock Holmes - it succeed very well, in that I actually read a few of the stories. Set in a futuristic London of flying cars, this cartoon had a rather concept - that Sherlock Holmes was preserved in honey, and has had to be revived after someone clones Moriarty. He is teamed up with the female descendant of Lestrade and a police robot, that is given nickname, and basically becomes, Watson. Looking back at the episodes it seems a bit clunky now, but the stories were aimed at children and it is nonetheless,  still a great concept. 

4] Sherlock Holmes (Film) - The Action Blockbuster

The first Sherlock Holmes film in years, Guy Richie kept the traditional setting and set up, but altered the tone slightly by making everything faster and more obviously action packed. I think this drew some criticism at the time, making a few argue that Holmes and Watson do actually physically fight in the stories its just rather skimmed over. Nonetheless, these films are not only exciting and epic in the scale which London is portrayed, but despite all the big blockbuster looks Holmes brilliance is still at the centre of it all, with the man himself being played wonderfully by a hyper Robert Downy Jr. 

5] Without a Clue (Film) - Watson is Sherlock 

What you might be asking? Yes, this film may have the traditional Victorian setting, the pipe, the hat, the London cabbies - but then it goes and turns the whole formula upside time with one simple idea. What if Watson was actually the brains? What it creates is an excellent comedic twist on the Sherlock Holmes canon, with Ben Kingsley portraying Watson as the actual genius who has hired an actor, played by Michael Caine, to pretend to be the great detective Sherlock Holmes and draw the limelight away from himself. A light hearted comedy that worth is watch. 

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