The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984-1985)
Created: Sat Mar 20 21:46:09 2010 | Last modified: Sun Jun 20 14:57:19 2010
Starring: Jeremy Brett, David Burke, Rosalie Williams
Produced by: Granada Television
External Link: IMDb
This is a classical series following the adventures of the legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes and is probably the closest you get to the original stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Jeremy Brett is the ideal Holmes on screen. His physical features and his behaviour closely identify with the character of Holmes and he does full justice to the role. And David Burke as Dr. Watson is probably the ideal companion. The characterization is excellent and he is neither a buffoonish, foolish sidekick nor an impassive observer. That is some achievement considering that Dr. Watson's role in many of the short stories is hard to translate on screen.
The directors of this series did well in finding the right balance between action and deduction. While the majority of the episodes closely follow the original stories, purists would find some discrepancies in certain stories. But creative license is sparingly used and only when absolutely necessary like when the original story has a tame ending - for instance, the original story version of "The Greek Interpreter" is that the villains do manage to make a getaway before the police arrive on the spot and their ultimate fate is speculation on Dr. Watson's part. The screen version has a more action packed ending. However, no story has been changed so much that it becomes unidentifiable with the original. And to be fair, most of them are preserved right down to the original dialogues. To me this is a great feature of this series because it brings out the spirit of the era in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived and wrote. Even the sets reflect the meticulous effort put into preserving this authenticity.
All in all, a true classic and a collectors' edition. I wish I could tape these episodes (currently airing on the History Channel), but I do not have a VCR. I would rate it 5/5 because it is simply the best (and the most authentic) Sherlock Holmes you can watch on TV to date.