People sometimes ask me, as an aspiring writer, if there are things that I wish I had written. As I said before, there is that passage in ‘A Christmas Carol’.
And then there is ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’: the BBC production of ‘Sherlock’, shown this evening.
This was a masterpiece. It was marred by only one thing: Sherlock uses “and I” when he means “and me” at one point in the dialogue. I can ignore that in the interests of appreciating the whole work.
The character of Irene Adler will have attracted most of the attention, but it was Sherlock who was at his sparkling best this evening.
She is a very, very high-class dominatrix. He is still the same old boring consulting detective. But he was the more interesting and the more brilliant. My money is on him every time. He may have certain vulnerabilities, but – oh, boy – is he ruthless. He has, as far as I can see, nothing to live for, which makes him a very, very dangerous man.
Benedict Cumberbatch is the best TV or film Sherlock Holmes there has ever been: better than Jeremy Brett: much, much better than Basil Rathbone. The egocentrism, the facial outline, the relationship with Watson, Mrs Hudson, rest of world: everything is perfect: not just very, very good, but perfect. As stories, narratives, pieces of fiction, these BBC dramatisations are much better than the original stories. These dramatisations explode: they are very far beyond the original stories, but they travel their way by sure and faithful means.
The casting. The sets. The way they used time-shift. The acting the acting the acting the acting. It was magnificent.
I cannot wait for the next episode.