Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Series 1- The Dancing Men

"Sherlock Holmes is cheerful, so Sherlock Holmes must have a case."

At last a proper episode with a mystery to solve- and it's a bloody brilliant one. We have code breaking (shades of Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold-Bug here in Watson's explanation; Poe looms large with the Sherlock Holmes stories), some Derbyshire local character, some Chicago underworld intrigue, a truly engaging mystery, and a gripping story through out. Mind you, it doesn't look very impressive to me that Holmes manages to get his client killed by waiting too long for a telegram. Still, never mind.

The code breaking scenes are particular god fin, as is Holmes' extraordinary rudeness to poor Hilton Cubitt. The crime scene deductions are truly satisfying, and it's amusing to see a provincial inspector so enraptured by all that Holmes says and does. This is the first time and not the last that a professional will defer to this gentleman amateur.

This, of course, is a far more accurate example of what this series is going to be like than A Scandal in Bohemia, and it sets the bar high. And those things that haven't changed- the sumptuous Victorian visuals and Brett's sublime performance- are what truly sets these adaptations apart.

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