Thursday, December 30, 2010

TV Series Review: The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Just FYI there are two more Granada Sherlock Holmes series after this (one that's nine episodes and one that's six) so expect to see a few more of these since I do blog tv shows by season (and since these were filmed over eight or ten years I think that's really the best thing to do here).
So, this covers the season called The Return of Sherlock Holmes as well as the two full length episodes Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles (both of which were longer short stories and wikipedia listed them along with this season).

The Return of Sherlock Holmes
 Summary: Sherlock Holmes, against all odds, has managed to return to his abode in Baker Street and is again dealing with crimes that baffle everyone else.

The Good: Good place to start up for the series and, given the episodic nature of the stories, it really could end anywhere in the series and feel completed. But that's not to say all the episodes feel totally disjointed, there's one or two cases where Holmes will do something to Watson (like, wake him up early) and you see Watson do the same thing back an episode or two later which I thought was a nice touch.

The Bad: The stories chosen from the series come from all over the books, so I haven't read many of them recently, but I found myself much more interested in the stories I hadn't read before. The show can be a bit slow moving at times and I'm finding that part of the reason I pay closer attention to anime is because of reading subtitles so take that out and I'm likely to do all sorts of other stuff while I'm watching.

The Music: I noticed here, and I suspect that was the case in the first season too, there isn't much background music in this series but there's almost always background noise of some sort. And whenever it goes quiet that certainly a sign to sit up and pay close attention. So it's a rather subtle approach but I think it works very well.

The Visuals: You know, there are times when I watch this series (this section was made in '86 I think) and I honestly think that the film looks better than Buffy does at parts (which was made a good ten years later). Possibly not the best comparison (SH has fewer episodes and I don't know how the budgets compare) but since I watch both of these on Netflix at the same size it's interesting to notice. Even in the dark scenes there isn't tons and tons of grain obscuring the scene (which does happen a few times in Buffy which is why I noticed) and again, the setting fits the time period very well. It's not the most colorful or different setting to look at but it works very well.

So, it's a solid show but maybe a bit too slow paced for me these days (more likely I just need to stop multi-tasking). But I still look forward to seeing the rest of the series, I'll just try to be less distracted and see if that makes a difference.