There are a lot of Sherlocks about at the moment. I must say that I quite like the modern one. There are a myriad of Sherlock quotes and memorabilia brought up to date in this series – nice to see the periodic table on his bedroom wall!
I am less keen on the newest movie version (I admit to only seeing the first one). Unfortunately Robert Downey Jr. is far from my conception of Holmes, as good an actor as he doubtless is. They have done well to bring out the physicality of the character – the boxing, his use of “baritsu” – which is sometimes lost in other versions (see below). I also like the Lestrade in these films and the Watson is OK too.
But, really, what we need are new period adaptations of the original stories. Of course, they will always be measured against Jeremy Brett. If that means only looking at the first few series – up to the “The Six Napoleons” – then I agree. These are peerless, helped by two actors – David Burke and then Edward Hardwicke – who take Watson seriously, not the abomination seen in the Basil Rathbone films. Brett’s looks, his voice – all are perfect for the part. Unfortunately, Brett, poor man, suffered ill health latterly and it shows on screen.
Many a Sherlockian will also be aware of the Clive Merrison\Michael Williams radio dramas of the entire works. In terms of characterisation I would say he gets it dead right. Curiously, I think that he looks like the Holmes pictures by Sidney Paget in The Strand magazine. Perhaps if he were a younger man he would fit the bill for the screen. Otherwise, my choice right now – Michael Fassbender.
Anyway, somebody somewhere has to do a decent film of The Hound of the Baskervilles, as it hasn’t been done yet.