Monday, 21 November 2016

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Series 1- A Scandal in Bohemia

"It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data."

Yes, I know: I'm doing so many TV series at the minute, some of which are on a bit of an unfortunate hiatus (in the case of Buffy and Angel it's a missing disc in a DVD box set!). But this is being shown on ITV Encore, I have fond memories of it, and I couldn't resist. So, you know, soz and that.

And everything about it screams class. Jeremy Brett is peerless, of course. David Burke is an engaging, if traditionally bumbling and alarmingly reactionary, Watson. The way Victorian London is presented is visually sumptuous and wonderful; this programme was made in 1984, yet its depiction of the 1880s hasn't dated in the way that programmes from the 1970s often have. It all promises much. Except... A Scandal in Bohemia has always been one of the worst Sherlock Holmes stories and a well-polished turd is still a turd.

Yes, there's Irene Adler, but she isn't really any more than a plot device and the actress is pretty blah. So much for "The Woman". And what the story's really about is trying to make sure that a philandering European royal (a hypothetical "King of Bohemia"- Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary?) gets away with his awful behaviour simply because he's royal. Holmes and Watson even break the law to help him. No one seems to stop and think that the King is just some over-privileged laddish twonk. But, of course, it's the 1880's.

There are interesting titbits- Holmes cocaine addiction is mentioned from the start, Holmes as asexual (a bit of a thing with late Victorian men) is explored as an idea, and we see Holmes in disguise for the first time. But, I think, we'll have to wait a week before we see the series really start.

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