January 10th, 2012

Me with Red Ribbon

Sherlock Holmes exterminates Doctor Who: Why we're watching the detective

Photo credit: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-24025758-sherlock-holmes-exterminates-doctor-who-why-were-watching-the-detective.do

There was a very interesting article by Nick Curtis in the Evening Standard on Friday, comparing Sherlock and Doctor Who. Whilst I do NOT agree with the premise of the article, it is an excellent article and well worth a read.

Nick Curtis's contention was that the Time Lord had been eclipsed by a very modern Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

My personal highlights (I have limited the highlights to the sections I agree with!), cut and pasted from the Evening Standard website:

The characters

On paper, neither Sherlock nor the Doctor looks like a promising candidate for pan-generational primetime adulation, what with one starting out as a rude, cocaine-injecting Victorian chainsmoker, and the other a crotchety Edwardian geriatric who hid in a blue box with his "granddaughter". Both characters are unthreateningly attractive partly because they are sexually unreachable. Knights errant, they are denied the common joys of humanity, such as romance, by their intellect and moral heroism. And, in the Doctor's case, by biology.

The actors

It's not quite the class struggle in microcosm but still … Smith, now 29, had an ordinary upbringing in Northampton, his father the boss of a plastics business, his school a comprehensive. He turned to acting after that other great aspirational dream - of being a professional footballer - was ruined by injury. Cumberbatch is doubly silver-spooned, born into the business as the child of successful TV actors Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton, and educated at Harrow. Whatever: both men are immensely charming and have proved their talent outside their action-packed, star-making roles.

The chemistry

It's all about unrealised sexual tension. Things started promisingly for Smith's Doctor when he was paired with the leggy, characterful and apparently up-for-it Amy Pond, but he has found himself sidelined since she committed to husband Rory. Doctor Who can't get too raunchy in any case as its earlier time slot means it's still, at heart, a kid's show. Hence the predictable media "fury" over Amy's kissogram miniskirt, and her offering the Doctor a one-night stand. Such behaviour pales rather beside Lara Pulver's Irene Adler ripping through Sherlock's life like a jaguar on heat: parading naked in front of him, sleeping in his bed, teasing him with intellectual frottage, while all the while claiming to be gay. Now that's a woman.

The affectionate, exasperated pairing of Cumberbatch's Holmes with Martin Freeman's Dr Watson also makes for the most credible relationship on British TV right now. Cumberbatch also has a fine, mad, charismatic foil in Andrew Scott's Moriarty.

The writing

Here's the weird thing: the pen in charge of both shows belongs to Steven Moffat.

We can perhaps attribute the current superiority of Sherlock to Mark Gatiss. His novels featuring the sexually ambivalent Edwardian detective Lucifer Box show an acute understanding of the tropes of mystery fiction, and his work with the League was always strong on atmosphere and dark wit. His performance as Sherlock's brother Mycroft is hilarious.

Follow the link to read the full article:
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The Reichenbach Fall: The Return of Moriarty

Mr Andrew Scott not looking a very happy bunny!
Photo credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00n2bld

The return of Jim and Andrew Scott.
5 days and counting.

Cut and pasted from the BBC Sherlock website:

The Reichenbach Fall

The return of Moriarty. The crime of the century. Can Sherlock possibly survive?

James Moriarty possesses the greatest criminal mind that the world has ever seen. Sherlock and John knew he wouldn't stay hidden for long. But even they never guessed the sheer scale and audacity of the crime that would propel Moriarty back into the headlines. The crime of the century. The Tower of London, the Bank of England and Pentonville prison - all sprung open on the same day, as if by magic! But Moriarty's plans don't stop there...

Sherlock and John lock horns with their old enemy in one final problem that tests loyalty and courage to their very limits. Sherlock must fight for his reputation, his sanity and his life. But is he all he claims to be?