Who’s Done It?

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2011-04-17 095Much hailed, much praised, much awaited: the new and modernized adaptation of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson on BBC Television.

The adaptation sticks closely to the original, in the sense that Watson is clueless and Holmes arrogant and disagreeable, pulling solutions out of the hat, reluctantly providing retrospective explanations. Sex and jokes are added to the plot for increased viewing pleasure. However, the authors didn’t think we were capable of following a coherent plot, or that we were planning to work out who’s done it, so they didn’t bother providing us with a coherent plot, or any form of a story line such that we could play couch detectives.

No He’s done it! I recognize the pattern of his shoes for us, just an occasionally amusing mambo jambo of scattered plot fragments, interspersed with nudity, arrogance and conspiracy theory, in a video cut fit to make a sensitive viewer seasick. We should have been warned by the BBC’s tag line, describing the remake as fast-paced.

This being a modern tale, the Internet, email and text messages feature prominently. The film makers have found a nice way to visualize these through a screen overlay text display. Praise for that, and praise for the jokes. Not the worst in TV entertainment, but certainly far from the best, and disappointing as a mystery tale.

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