It is well known that Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes was based in part on Dr. Joseph Bell, whom he clerked for. When I heard that there was a series based on the relationship between Doyle and Bell I was quite curious, hoping to learn what Bell was like, how he used his remarkable powers of observation to diagnose patients, and in what ways he inspired Doyle.
That's not what I got.
Instead, this completely fictionalized series simply turns Dr. Bell into an elderly Sherlock Holmes to Doyle's young Dr. Watson. The result is Sherlock Holmes minus Sherlock Holmes, and the blander character of Bell is far less engaging that the quirky Sherlock.
I only watched the first episode, which was poorly designed. The plot was a ramshackle construct, the pieces fit together poorly, and the show dragged inexcusably; at two hours it was twice as long as it needed to be.
I feel certain that the story of a brilliant, original physician teaching medicine would be far more interesting than this fanciful concoction. Perhaps someday that show will be made. For now the closest thing, I suppose, is House, a series about a brilliant doctor with fine deductive reasoning. As different as House is from Sherlock Holmes, he is far closer to the spirit of the Holmes books than Murder Rooms.
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