Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Series 1- The Crooked Man

"Whoever heard of a dog running up a curtain?"

Another excellent episode, and the debut of yet another Sherlock Holmes trope; the bitter and betrayed military man, back from India for revenge. It's a superbly done piece of telly, based on one of Conan Doyle's more memorable short stories; not strictly a whodunit, but making up for that with spectacle, a mongoose and dramatic pacing. There isn't even any real detective work from Holmes, but it's all so well done you don't notice.

It's also the debut of another trope, the extended flashback from the Indian Mutiny on a television budget, and somewhat startling to see a young Fiona Shaw so soon after her turn in Tru Blood. It's incredible to reflect at this point that we're only five episodes in. The format, the look of the series, and the performances of the two leads (Brett especially) feel as though they've been in place for years.

This is the first episode, though, that doesn't quite feel as though it's from a very different time, as it may have done in 1984. Wars in south Asia are, alas, a thing of recent memory to us too.

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