Take Me Holmes: The Modern Sherlock

This week, we welcome Sheryll to the Rubies family! Kuwaiti by birth, Indian by passport, and nomad at heart, Sheryll is a firm believer in the healing powers of a great book, good music, and fabulous shoes. This week, she gives us a beginner’s guide to the fan-girl phenomenon swirling around the latest re-imagining of the world’s greatest detective: Sherlock Holmes. WARNING: Contains spoilers!

sherlock_uk-showSherlock Holmes’ most perplexing modern mystery is not The Hounds of Baskerville or A Scandal in Belgravia. It’s not even the latest ‘How did he fake his death?’ conundrum.

No, Sherlock’s greatest mystery is this: why hasn’t everyone heard about the BBC show already? Sure, it’s been nominated for a bunch of awards and has been mentioned in more than one top 10 list, but ask any regular person on the street if they’ve heard of Sherlock and you’ll get the horrifyingly disappointing response: “Oh! You mean the Robert Downey Jr. one?”

Or maybe it’s just my friends. Note to self: get new friends.

Sherlock, the BBC TV series, is one of the latest adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle famous detective, only this time he’s in the present and played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The series, written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, follows Holmes around modern day London, deciphering mysteries that bear little to no resemblance to the original stories. But not even the most hardened Doyle purist would really mind that. Not with the brilliant writing, spectacular acting, and yes, Cumberbatch.

Dr. John Watson is played by Martin Freeman, a truly fantastic performance which unfortunately is completely overshadowed by his co-star’s cheekbones. I had seen Martin Freeman before, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I can safely say that he does befuddled very well. Rupert Graves plays the modern day Inspector Lestrade, with Moriarty portrayed as a sexed-up psychotic by the very excellent Andrew Scott, who somehow manages to be both adorable and frightening simultaneously.

But let’s not kid ourselves, the star of the show, the very epicentre of the Sherlock galaxy is the detective himself. With his velvety rich baritone, Benedict Cumberbatch seduces the viewer and takes them into a world where nothing matters except the facts, logic, and that truly fabulous Belstaff coat. Spouting lines like “Try not to start a war before I get home, you know what it does for the traffic,” and “Bitterness is a paralytic; love is a much more vicious motivator”, it’s really not hard to imagine a cult fan following that has already developed after only two seasons.  Thanks to his newfound status as the ‘thinking woman’s crumpet’, Benedict Cumberbatch now has over a dozen fan-girl Tumblr sites devoted to him, his neck, his eyes, and his general awesomeness. Cumberbitches, as they call themselves, troll the Web for gifs of Cumberbatch smirking.  I’d roll my eyes, if I weren’t one of them.

Season three is due in August this year, but for Sherlock fans, that’s at least seven months too long. To quote Atonement, another Cumberbatch film: “Come back. Come back to me.”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Take Me Holmes: The Modern Sherlock

  1. Geoff

    Well the “Cumberbitches” will be happy as Ben is in quite a few things this year, movies (Startrek) and TV. Sherlock is a good show, and Ben’s Sherlock is certainly formidable. Martin is in cinema theatres now as Bilbo Baggins. Mark Gatiss plays Mycroft and he too does a great job.
    “Elementary” the newest Holmes version is a bit light on for me.

  2. Geoff

    Who prefers “Elementary” to “Sherlock”?
    Oh and Ben is also the voice of Smaug… (gonna have to wait for that).

  3. Geoff

    Star Trek Into Darkness coming to a cinema near you very very very soon

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