Nerd Caliber
Nerd Lifestyle Magazine


February 8, 2012

Sherlock Homes On Screen

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Written by: E. Ortiz
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Sherlock Holmes On Screen, 3rd Edition, written by Alan Barnes, whose work includes books on Tarantino, Bond, and Hammer Horror, as well as the animated Doctor Who adventure, The Infinite Quest; with a foreword by Steven Moffat, co-creator of the BBC’s Sherlock.

Sherlock Holmes On Screen is an comprehensive overview of film and television representations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s eponymous detective. From the silent films (measured in film footage, rather than time) and the various animated appearances opposite Scooby-Doo, Batman, Tom and Jerry, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as Disney’s Great Mouse Detective, starring Basil of Baker Street, to the BBC’s modern day Sherlock and Guy Ritchie’s films starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law – here is an up-to-date survey of the adventures (not to say Adventures) of Sherlock Holmes.

If you are not a Holmes fan (Holmesian?), you may not be aware of the reach and scope of Holmes’ exploits on screen, nor his multitude of faces. Did you know that Rupert Everett has done a turn as the Great Detective? Larry Hagman? Jonathan Pryce? How do you feel about over 20 separate adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles, including two German series, three German films, an Indian film, a UK production starring Tom Baker (also known as the Fourth Doctor), and episodes of BBC’s Sherlock and PBS’s Wishbone?

Sherlock Holmes On Screen dazzles with rare archival photos, as well as plot summaries and film critiques. Barnes also notes where plot points from the original 60 Holmes stories (‘the canon’) are begged, borrowed and stolen for use in other stories, or in fact taken apart and Frankensteined back together into completely “new” adventures. In the best cases, (in my humble opinion,) writers lend Doyle’s corroborative details to their own unconvincing narrative.

A must for Holmes fans, Sherlock Holmes On Screen is the go-to book for your next Holmes marathon, with a frank explanation of each piece and cast and production staff lists. Where available, Barnes includes trivia and gossip from productions, or in some cases, rather scathing commentary. I have added several items to my must-see list, and a few to the must-not-see, of course.

Don’t be misled, however. Barnes, while clearly a Holmes fan, is not a Holmes purist. In these pages you will meet parodies and pastiches galore. Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother suggests himself, as do the bumbling Holmes and rapier-wit Watson of Without a Clue. 1994 Baker Street and BraveStarr: Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century present a time-displaced Holmes. The Strange Case of The End of Civilization as We Know It beleaguers Holmes’ grandson (John Cleese) with a nemesis’ descendant. Young Sherlocks abound. Sometimes Holmes is a mouse, and sometimes he is Buster Keaton, who has suddenly found himself inside the movie he’s showing. Sometimes, Holmes is Roger Moore. (Although, to be fair, perhaps Moore did better with Holmes than he did with Bond.)

With apologies to Roger Moore and W.S. Gilbert. All others may take their lumps. GO BUY THIS BOOK NOW!

About the Author

E. Ortiz
E. Ortiz has been working as a freelance journalist, videographer and editor for almost ten years for many different organizations: from MoCCA to FUSE Music Television. Nowadays Mr. Ortiz is the brains behind Nerd Caliber and sometimes you can see him leading his team at conventions.



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