It's 1914, the beginning of WWI. In White River, Ontario, en route to a training camp in Valcartier, Québec, with the Winnipeg section of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, Army Lieutenant... See full summary »
John Kent Harrison
Greed, betrayal and vengeance set the stage for this Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic. Mary Morstan, a young governess, has been receiving a rare and lustrous pearl annually from an anonymous... See full summary »
The mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville is blamed on a longstanding curse that has followed the Baskerville family for two hundred years. Enigmatic sleuth Sherlock Holmes is on the ... See full summary »
At the Ball, Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were introduced as "Their Royal Majesties". Such a style was never used by British Monarchs. Edward VI simply used the style "His Majesty" even though, as Emperor of India, he was entitled to be styled His Imperial and Royal Majesty. See more »
Rupert Everett has the aquiline profile and world-weary vocal delivery that are necessities for a screen Holmes, but he (and the excellent actors around him) are hamstrung by a cliché- ridden script. Sherlock Holmes, telling Watson to "keep your breath to cool your porridge"?? The last two times I heard that expression on screen were both in adaptations of Pride and Prejudice--and I certainly mean no disrespect to either of them. Holmes is also made to deploy a Mary Poppins aphorism about pie crusts and promises--perhaps you remember it from your childhood Disney viewing.
This is a good-looking production (apart from the occasional wobble from the annoyingly popular unsteadicam), though I have it on good authority that London fog did not swirl rapidly around the lampposts and chimneypots. Beautifully designed interiors include a Duchess' drawing room, a Victorian graveyard, an underground lair of the villain (he always has a lair, doesn't he), and a ceramic-tiled morgue. Costumes are in a muted color palette of cream, black, olive green, and brown, and the girls in their costumes for a classical tableau look as if they have stepped out of a Alma-Tadema painting.
In addition to Everett as Holmes, the production is graced with a uniformly strong cast. Ian Hart brings an acerbic vigor to the role of Dr. Watson, and Neil Dudgeon injects Lestrade with some humor. The superb Helen McCrory, as Watson's American fiancée, initially appears brash and pushy (she calls Holmes "Sherlock" throughout, even though his best friend Watson invariably calls him by his last name), an often-observed trait of American women in British film/TV productions, but she is too good an actress to keep to that one-note character. Guy Henry is disgracefully underused--give him a bigger role!
The story is a new one, which is not in itself a criticism; it is creepy and intriguing. The most glaring problem of the show is with the script; I hope that director Simon Cellan Jones continues to make more Holmes stories--but that writer Allan Cubitt will not.
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