Saturday, June 29, 2013
Watching Jeremy Brett
The last year or so I have been watching many of the episodes of the various Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series -- Adventures, Return, Memoirs, Case-Book, made by Granada Television in the 1980s and 1990s. I had originally seen a few episodes in the 1980s but missed a large number of others. With an episode such as the adaptation of The Final Problem, for example, we see the advantages of the Brett-starring series. With Brett, the doubled man -- both bipolar and bisexual (per Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Brett ) -- Holmes was rendered with depth and faithfulness. His face mutable as an Alpine sky, a tic-like smile or angered frown appearing and fading in an instant, his abruptness and eccentricities, Brett was the ultimate portrayer of the detective. With such adaptations as The Final Problem shot on location, with generous footage of the Alps, the soundtrack seasoned with cowbells and other local touches, the real life approach to production shows its superiority to today's fast editing and crappy CGI effects. While some of the 1990s productions sank in quality, with shows such as The Last Vampyre showing an ailing, barely moving Brett, the series at its best had a peerless blend of acting and restrained period detail.