DATELINE: Brides and Dogs
Since 2010 the revamped and updated Holmes with Cumberbatch and Freeman has taken on the true mantle of the Conan Doyle knighted revisions. Put aside those terrible movies with what’s his name, and the worse TV show with the female Watson.
Benedict and Martin are the successors to Basil and Nigel, Jeremy and Edward. This time, to show their mettle, the case of The Abominable Bride is set in 1890 or so.
To take the characters back in time levels the playing field with the past great adaptations—and puts this tandem into the canon with accolades.
The Bride case is one of those originally mentioned by Doyle/Watson as too shocking for the contemporary audiences of Victorian England. It is all rather mundane for the 21st century, but keeps the newest fans in ecstasy. This case is really Five Pips.
Holmes is still disparaging to Watson—and even Mrs. Hudson joins in, knocking those Strand stories. She notes she is barely in them. Holmes adds he was barely in the dog story. Watson incredulously asks, “Do you mean The Hound?”
Oh, the new old story is juicy, if not ridiculous too. It is played broadly, cleverly, and wittily. Holmes and Watson’s modern meeting is re-enacted in gaslight fashion without missing a beat.
Holmes notes how he is a man out of time—and the opening credits are the same as the series, only substituting silent newsreel footage of Old London for the new skyline.
Fans of the British series will be thrilled. Newcomers probably need to watch the earlier episodes to enjoy the parallels and references totally.
Sherlock has made Cumberbatch and Freeman movie stars of the first order—but they seem enamored of these breakthrough roles. We too are smitten.