Sherlock Holmes: Continued Treasure or Overdone


by Doug Bevins

Anybody who is or was an English student has likely heard of or at least read one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories that are available in various books. But has anybody stopped to consider that the great detective of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s day has been taken to such great lengths in how he is portrayed as to be overdone?  Personally, I am biased to the books and the television series where Jeremy Brett was the man chosen for the role of Holmes.

So should a great character such as Holmes be contained to the original stories told by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the show where Jeremy Brett was the lead? I think each of us who are fans of the great detective should maintain that loyalty without making later telling of the story (the modernized BBC series Sherlock as an example) seem like they are disrespectful to the original. When a character is a classic (seeing details out of minuscule details, devising answers where others had missed it all, making improbable conclusions, etc)  like Sherlock Holmes is, there will always be offshoots, spinoffs, etc, but we must always remember that creating versions of a great character is a sign of great respect to the original character. So in answer to the question of how to maintain loyalty,  one should always stay true to the version of this classic character to which they were introduced whether in school or through personal reading, but show respect to fans of all other versions of great characters ( I am a fan of Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes so I need to be loyal to that while being respectful of those who are fans of the BBC series Sherlock). All in all, Sherlock Holmes is a classic character who has many fans.


3 thoughts on “Sherlock Holmes: Continued Treasure or Overdone

  1. Dearest Doug: Have you lost your marbles completely? To say “versions of a great character is a sign of great respect to the original character (sic),” is an out and out failure of logic and an insult to many authors. While I prefer the original SH on film, Basil Rathbone, there’s a good reason: he’s appropriate to the era and to the actual writings. I would agree that Jeremy Brett’s a fine actor (and my #2 All Time Holmes), and that his characterization fills in the missing playfulness of Doyles’ subject, but he overdoes both that and the dramatics sometimes. So we stand in some agreement, but have you read the actual works and then seen some of the depictions, such as in the Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr? If they added a “Sherlockmobile” would you still consider that to be “respectful,” or mere pandering to the cineplex? Why can’t people who “modernize” Batman, et al, just come up with their own character? Expediency and greed, usually. They just don’t have the talent, nor the respect, capische?

    Think Bevins, think! 😉

    I’m finishing my fourth read-thru of the SH “canon” in my lifetime, and the most noticeable flaw I find in pieces like yours are the absence of actual references to Doyle’s work. It’s there to be read, and then comparisons can be made. But not via a Jr. High level paper like this, almost bereft of rationale but sopping in sentiment.

    Have you seen “They Might Be Giants” or “Without a Clue”? Brilliant use of a classic character under different circumstances, without the producers trying to milk a new SH “franchise.”

    So all that being said, yes, I agree we need extend respect to our brothers and sistren who have no clue themselves, and if you’d be so kind, would you join me down here on the floor. I’ll help you find your marbles and you help me find mine.

    Best wishes,



  2. My dear Sir,

    I am in complete agreement with you in regard to Jeremy Brett. His portrayal of Sherlock Holmes is among the best ever produced.
    I wish to announce to the public at large a newly discovered account of one of Sherlock Holmes’s most interesting cases. Much effort has been taken to prevent the release of this case concerning the unlawful actions of the notorious Maharajah of Shampur. This revealing account, written by my grandfather Dr. John Watson over one hundred years ago, is only now seeing the light of day. After much effort and ongoing difficulties I have finally been able to publish this account through the Amazon Kindle edition. It is titled, “The Watson Papers”, Edition I.

    Your Humble Servant,

    Sir William H. Watson


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