Thereby hangs a tale…
Just what is it about Sherlock Holmes and the famous London street address that continues to fascinate so many of us? I’ve not done the research, and possess only my own adoration for the Holmes character and the milieu of London to guide me. Truth is I’ve been a passionate Sherlockian since I encountered Arthur Conan Doyle’s master detective somewhere around the seventh grade. After my parents purchased the complete adventures I spent an entire summer immersed in Victorian London, marveling over Holmes’ deductive skills.
One of the things I love about Holmes is that he remains indelible. We are blessed at the moment with two innovative television series that drop our hero and his able sidekick, Dr. John Watson, slam into the 21st century.
Holmes is portrayed in the British series Sherlock by Benedict Cumberbatch. Armed with a Smart Phone, a computerized brain, and perhaps just a touch of autistic savant, he is accompanied in the Watson role by actor Martin Freeman. In a nice twist, Watson is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after suffering wounds in the Afghan war.
On the American series Elementary the role of Sherlock goes to actor Jonny Lee Miller, trying to overcome an addiction to cocaine. In a lovely spin, actress Lucy Liu plays Dr. Joan Watson, Sherlock’s “Sober Companion.”
Part of the key to any good rendition of the Holmes/Watson ratio is the exploration of the friendship that evolves between the two characters. The friendship equation in both series is handled well, and in a fashion unique to any other versions of the stories.
And now I have just discovered a wonderful book series by author Michael Richardson, The Baker Street Letters. The premise involves two present day barrister brothers who take possession of a house on Baker Street. The provision is that they must answer any letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes. Imagine the fun! Imagine the mysteries they must unravel.
I recommend both television series, and if you love a good mystery get your hands on a copy of The Baker Street Letters. Pronto.
As Holmes might say, “The game is afoot.”