Recently the PR minions approached the editorial throne (think Iron Throne if it was made of red-inked manuscripts and crushed dreams) of David Thomas Moore with a small request:
"Oh great editor," we cried "in your divine wisdom please bestow upon us the definitive list of reinvented Sherlock Holmeses."
And from his great throne he looked on in silent contempt. Scared, we fled back in to the darkness, vowing never to ask Dave for a favour again. But we were foolish. We did not take in to account the power of The Omniscient Beard, and moments before the confirmation that Sherlock Holmes truly does belong to his public broke, the following transmission was delivered by the editorial flying monkeys.
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you Editor David Thomas Moore's all time favourite Holmeses:
So, since Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets is all about different takes on Sherlock Holmes, I’ve been asked for my favourite reinvented Holmeses to entertain and slightly mystify you. They are as follows:
5. Robert Downey, Jr. in the 2009 steampunkorama. So, okay, it’s steampunk, it’s stupid, it’s an action movie. Fuck it. Downey’s portrayal perfectly balances Holmes’s disdain and his wildness alike, Jude Law’s Watson captures the good doctor’s long-suffering devotion brilliantly, their chemistry is just right, and the film hits a note – lightly comic, serious when it needs to be – that makes it a ton of fun to watch. More than anything, though, it’s the fight scenes: that wonderful device where Holmes predicts the fight to come and plans out his moves. As a device on its own it’s brilliant, and the way the second movie turns it on its head in the final showdown at Reichenbach is brillianterer.
4. George C. Scott in the delightfully quirky 1971 comedy They Might Be Giants. To be fair, I may be biased by my slight obsession with the nerdrock band of the same name. Scott plays Justin Playfair, a former judge who somehow forms the delusion that he is the great detective, and that Dr. Mildred Watson, the psychiatrist sent to certify him insane, is the Dr. Watson of his adventures. It’s a wonderful little comedy, and I urge you to check it out.
3. Michael Caine in the 1988 comedy Without A Clue. Holmes is a struggling actor hired by John Watson (the true genius) to be the face of his detective business. Caine is wonderful by definition, and the denouement in which he (without Watson’s help) battles his way through the clues and works out how to rescue his genius partner using his acting experience (and gets it right entirely by accident) is lovely. The bit where you’re certain he’s about get skewered and he turns out to be a brilliant fencer (because Victorian actor, obvs) is also very cool.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series Sherlock. Because you’ve got to, haven’t you? A near-perfect modernisation of the stories, with one of the best Holmes/Watson pairings in Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, a tirelessly tactless Holmes (borderline autistic rather than “high-functioning sociopathic,” whatever he may claim), just about the creepiest Moriarty you could imagine and cheekbones any man or woman would die for. Mostly, though, it’s the way Moffat uses modern technology, with the text messaging and onscreen text effects that really sells it for me. Clever, slick, sexy and modern.
1. This. Because fuck you; I can’t stop watching this fucking thing.
Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets edited by David Thomas Moore releases October 2014.
Check out some of the nice things people have been saying and request a copy to review on netgalley
About the Editor:
Born in Australia, David Thomas Moore has lived and worked in the UK for the past twenty years, and has been writing for roleplaying magazines, fiction websites and short story anthologies for eight years. The Ultimate Secret is his first long work. He lives in Reading with his wife Tamsin and daughter Beatrix. You're glad you met him.
You can follow him on @abaddondave