It’s seldom wise to draw too many assumptions from trailers let alone glimpses in ‘coming soon’ showreels, but something about the brief clips from Sherlock – Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s contemporary retelling of Sherlock Holmes – has me rather excited.
I’m normally wary of remakes, reimaginings and ‘contemporary updates’ of classic shows, films and books on the grounds that few tend to be any good.
Holmes himself has been the subject of at least two rather iffy movie attempts to bring him into the modern world (1993’s Sherlock Holmes Returns and 1987’s The Return of Sherlock Holmes) and TV’s recent history in revisiting classic characters isn’t all that great – ITV’s superficial Marple series, BBC One’s lamentably poor Robin Hood and truly awful 2006 Dracula – serve as handy examples of this.
On the other hand Moffat’s own Jekyll was a truly inspired updating of a classic novel and hopefully an indication of the quality of Sherlock.
Casting of course plays a big part in the believability of any series and the vibe I get from Benedict Cumberbatch’s brief appearance in the showreel is that his is likely to be one of TV’s least cheesy, most believable portrayals of Holmes.
Whether the series lives up to expectations remains to be seen but Gatiss and Moffat are seriously talented writers and if anyone can successfully bring Holmes and Watson (played in the series by Martin Freeman) into the modern world it’s probably them.