He’s always (always, always, always) just too lovely for words…
*FIST, PUNCHING AIR*
I haven’t seen a series with a “bad” Holmes yet to be honest—-
I love Vasily Livanov’s Holmes. He was a bit more approachable, a little more bohemian and interesting. He was pretty friendly too, unless someone pissed him off, or they confronted the author of the episode’s heinous crime…then the gloves came off. The Soviet series’ Watson was very thoughtful and a critical thinker…I think the impression I had was that the two respected one another (and could rock houndstooth like no one’s business. No, seriously.) and were on equal ground. His Holmes never set out to prove he was better than Watson or mocked him for it. I think in the subtitles he kindly nudges Watson’s thinking in the right direction in order to understand the meaning of a clue. Livanov even got an OBE from the Queen for goodness sake, so the Soviets’ series struck a chord for sure.
(Plus, they had to make various towns look more British, but sometimes were lucky enough to find places in the USSR that had a good resemblance sans British architecture. Given it’s a Soviet series, it’s not like they were going to be allowed into the UK to film)
Basil’s my aunt’s absolute favorite but she liked the Grenada series’ Holmes with Jeremy Brett. Actually, Brett’s Holmes’ take on the Hounds of Baskerville tale survives a re-watch whereas I don’t find the Sherlock take on Baskerville as shocking, or scary upon a second viewing. It’s still good to watch though. Peter Cushing (?) was my grandma’s favorite. She enjoyed some of the radio dramas too I’m told.
Johnny Lee Miller’s is an absolute joy to watch and Cumberbatch’s is an interesting interpretation in a scarily accurate, almost parallel, modern setting although Cumberbatch’s has a greater sense of “alienation” within his own world. Miller’s is a post-series take, in a way, but he’s quirky and re-adjusting to a new setting and life. Elementary’s Watson makes me roll around on the ground with joy. She. Is. Amazing. Enough said.
RDJ’s is fun to watch and before Elementary and Sherlock came on, I was so happy to have a non-bumbling Watson who occasionally got mad enough at Holmes to knock him in the face and even gets to partake in the action.
What I’m getting at is that each and every one of the many people who have interpreted Sherlock Holmes have been great in their own way. Some of their interpretations are better for classrooms (ie. Jeremy Brett), some are better for execution, their subtle quirks, or for their reinterpretation of the classic character. Frankly, I don’t think one actor has been better than the others in all the years of adaptations—-they all stand out in their own way. Same could be said for Watson.
(I am also fighting a cold, so sense-making isn’t too high. Sorry D:)