TV EYE: HolmesWatch (part 1)

Sometimes I think that it’s the same as with Doctor Who – that the first Sherlock Holmes you see is the one that sticks with you. Then, of course, I remember that the first Sherlock Holmes adaptation I ever saw was The Hound of the Baskervilles with Tom Baker as the Great Detective, and while I love Mad Uncle Tom to bits, he really wasn’t a Sherlock there (weirdly enough, he was far more Holmesian in Who story The Talons of Weng Chiang). No, when it comes to screen versions of Holmes, it’s the Granada TV adaptations, and Jeremy Brett or nothing. He’s lodged in my brain as Holmes, and- particularly in his first few series – perfectly captures the mix of brilliance and antisocial nuttiness of the character, riding the line between outrageous and controlled with severe aplomb. As a result of this, I couldn’t resist picking up, as part of my recent exchange-voucher-empowered DVD acquisitions, a 9-Disc set of the ‘Adventures’ and ‘Return’ series of the Granada adaptations – I’m not so worried about the later ones, as once they’d burned through all the classic stories, they did their best with some of the lesser Conan Doyle examples, but it was never quite the same. So, I’ve got them, and I’ve started working my way through the set, and I thought it’d be fun to record my reactions. We start today with a six part catch-up section, including one repeat caught on ITV3. For anyone who hasn’t read the stories, fear the spoilers…

‘Always travel armed while East of Aldgate, Watson…’