Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sherlock (BBC Series) - Cast and Crew

Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss in BBC Sherlock
Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss in BBC's 'Sherlock'

This is my second post about the BBC series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson respectively.

Please click here to read the first post.

Mark Gatiss, in addition to being the co-creator of the series, also plays Mycroft Holmes and he brings the requisite command and wisdom that Mycroft has always been associated with. In a significant deviation from the Canon, the Holmes brothers seem to have considerable hostility towards each other.

Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson BBC Sherlock
Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson

Una Stubbs makes a bland Mrs. Hudson. Her characterization seems to be little bit inconsistent as she is reluctant to be a housekeeper initially (in “A Study in Pink”) but does so in “The Blind Banker”. Though not miscast, she does not exactly bring to mind the humble and caring Mrs Hudson, I came across while reading the books.

Rupert Graves’s Lestrade retains most of the characteristic traits of the character. He constantly needs Sherlock’s help to solve cases and is humble enough to admit it. Graves hits all these notes correctly to deliver a likeable Lestrade.

Rupert Graves as Inspector Lestrade BBC Sherlock
Rupert Graves as Inspector Lestrade
But not everyone in the Scotland Yard is a fan of Sherlock. Anderson (Jonathan Aris) and Sally Donovan (Vinette Robinson) are openly contemptuous of Sherlock. There is no love lost on both sides as Sherlock takes every opportunity to insult Anderson and even deduces an affair between Anderson (who is married) and Donovan. Aris and Robinson play their parts nicely and make sure that these two characters are the most loathed recurring characters in the series.

Vinette Robinson and Jonathan Aris as Sally Donovan and Anderson BBC Sherlock
Vinette Robinson and Jonathan Aris as Sally Donovan and Anderson
Andrew Scott's version of Jim Moriarty is miles different from the Canonical version. I was initially not very keen on Andrew's portrayal but am slowly getting used to it.

Andrew Scott with BAFTA award for Professor Moriarty BBC Sherlock
Andrew Scott after winning the 2012 BAFTA award

For canonically accurate portrayals of Moriarty, I would recommend Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Mortal Fight. Both Jared Harris and Viktor Yevgrafov gave amazing performances that stayed loyal to their canonical roots.

Click on the link below to buy your copy of Season 2:

Lara Pulver portrays the highly modernized version of Irene Adler. Readers familiar with the original story A Scandal in Bohemia will recognize the changes made to the character as well as the story itself.

Lara Pulver as Irene Adler BBC Sherlock
Lara Pulver as Irene Adler
Russell Tovey gave a great performance as Henry Knight, the BBC version of Sir Henry Baskerville. Tovey's performance was one of the highlights of the episode, that happens to be my favorite in the second season.

Russell Tovey as Henry Knight BBC Sherlock
Russell Tovey as Henry Knight
Katherine Parkinson made her appearance in 'The Reichenbach Fall' as Kitty Riley, the reporter who unknowingly becomes a pawn in Moriarty's scheme to discredit Sherlock.

Katherine Parkinson with Benedict Cumberbatch BBC Sherlock
Katherine Parkinson with Benedict Cumberbatch
Last but not the least, the great Douglas Wilmer made a cameo appearance in 'The Reichenbach Fall' as an elderly gent in the Diogenes Club. He portrayed Holmes in the classic BBC series (1964-65). Wilmer is one of my all-time favorite actors to portray Sherlock and it was great to see him if only in a single scene.

Douglas Wilmer with Mark Gatiss BBC Sherlock
Douglas Wilmer with Mark Gatiss

The background score by David Arnold and Michael Price is as critically acclaimed as the series itself. Rest of the crew delivers topnotch work as well. The series co-creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are proclaimed fans of the Sherlock canon and have incorporated a lot of references to the original works. These easter eggs are by themselves a celebration of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Click here to read all my posts about BBC Sherlock.

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  1. I LOVE Lestrade here. I think he's well cast and makes Lestrade very likeable (more likeable than he is in the original stories, but I can live with that)

  2. Yes, Rupert Graves is indeed a fine Lestrade, with a good sense of humor.

    And you are spot on with your comment about Lestrade being more likable than in the canon :)

  3. Thank you for your comments on my blog. I LOVE the BBC's Sherlock. As far as my pastiches, I hope you will check into them. I can probably guarantee that you'll like the second one more than the first, but I hope you'll like the first as well. I just ask that the first doesn't turn you off from reading the second, because the writing and storytelling increased tenfold with the second. And, as I'm working on the third now, I find I have to raise the bar again. :)

  4. You are an amazing person. Seriously. I have been obsessed with Sherlock for a long time now, and you write amazing, you think amazing...you ARE amazing! I totally love this article, too :)

  5. I love how the creators work in so many references to the classic canon. I started reading the stories, and as I read "A Study in Scarlet", I couldn't help but go, "Oh my gosh! I remember when this happened in "A Study in Pink"! It's really inmpressive, and a great show.

  6. @Reena - Thanks for your kind words :)

    @Loveable Freak - Yes, the makers of the BBC series are definitely fans of the canon!

  7. Great post, Buddy. I've watched this BBC series several times and each time I find a reference I'd missed before.

    1. Thanks Kathleen. I agree with you about finding a new reference almost every time I watch these episodes.