DATELINE: Lying Down on the Job
The middle episode movie for Sherlock 4 features Toby Jones, our favorite diminutive character actor, in rare form as evil. Moriarty receives a particularly snide stand-in named Culverton Smith in a ditty called “The Lying Detective.”
After the death of Mary, Watson’s wife, Holmes seemed crushed with guilt over failing to save her—and Watson seemed overwhelmed with mourning. Doyle skipped dealing with such issues for good reason.
Into this vulnerable mode, Sherlock has come face to face with a billionaire businessman/humanitarian who happens to be a serial killer. It’s a year when billionaires do not fare well in film and television.
Having fallen back into his worst scenario of addiction, Holmes finds little sympathy from the man who writes the blog on their cases.
If there is a departure from the original stories, among so many departures, it is the importance of the women in the lives of Holmes and Watson. Irene Adler and Mary Marston Watson have become revisionist feminists. And Mrs. Hudson is the widow of a drug dealer.
If creative force Mark Gatsiss has his way, there may be other powerful women lurking between the lines of the original stories. Oh, no, not a Holmes sister??
Matching wits with a billionaire with unlimited resources may be a risky business for Holmes, but he has his reasons to leave himself so likely to be a murder victim.
Prodigious displays of his logical insights continue to be thrown away by Holmes, even in his most despondent, hallucinatory situations, induced by drug abuse.
Of course, the mainstay of the Gatsiss version of Holmes is that it always returns to canon, no worse for wear. We understand the need to avoid looking like Holmes picks his deerstalker wardrobe off the rack, but there’s no reason to put the stories on the rack.