I was really looking forward to this Sherlock Holmes production after the Hound of the Baskervilles was so finely adapted and characterised. Ian Hart returning as Watson was one very good sign, and with Rupert Everett interestingly cast as Sherlock Holmes in a newly written mystery it had amazing potential to be both an excellent but also refreshing take on Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, just as the Hound of the Baskervilles was. If only the writing had lived up to that promise.
Certainly, the production was stylish and efficient. Rupert Everett's Sherlock was different from Conan Doyle's, but at first this came across more as a different interpretation rather than the shoddy characterisation that became apparent later on. Despite a few irksome character moments, this was quite a handsome and intriguing Holmes, but really. Taking cocaine in the middle of a case, when a life could be at stake? That's not Sherlock Holmes by any stretch of the imagination. Character gripes aside though (and of those I have none with Watson, who was delightful) it was the new case itself that was the greatest let down. It just screamed trashy American crime show. Sherlock Holmes: SVU. Plotless titillation as opposed to a mystery that should have been a challenge Holmes' vast mental capacities - isn't it that element of his personality, coupled with his equally large flaws, the reason why his character still fascinates us after over a century?
Instead, this story was simplistic, predictable, and not quite long enough to last the show's time span. And the twist at the end, on which it seemed hinged the lasting interest and credibility of the show as a whole, was an obvious, almost crude cliché - one that imploded any chances Silk Stocking has of surpassing, or even matching the last adaptation. To make Holmes' intellect to conform to such a weak storyline was ridiculous to the point where it seemed insulting to the original work.