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Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series.,
This review is from: Sherlock Holmes: Complete Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Although less well known today than either Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett; I have always regarded Ronald Howard's film portrayal of Sherlock Holmes as the closest to Conan Doyle's original writings, and it was a great pleasure to watch these classic productions once more. Howard Marion-Crawford also gives an excellent depiction of Doctor Watson, medically discharged from the British Army due to wounds received in Afganistan; he's at once intelligent, a trusted friend, and a force to be reckoned with when needed.
Made in the 1950's for American audiences, most of the filming had to be done in Paris, as much of London was still a bomb-site at the time; but the locations were carefully chosen, and give a better suggestion of Victorian London than some more recent productions I could name. Archie Duncan, who also played Little John in the 1950's Robin Hood series, is perfect as Scotland Yard's Inspector Lestrade; representing the type of tall powerfull but not particularly intellectual policeman still common in my youth. A few of the thirty nine episodes are based on Conan-Doyles storylines but most were completely new, having been written by Charles Early for the series. As with many 1950's productions, they are relatively simple stories, with frequently humorous sub-plots, such as Doctor Watson's irritation at Holmes boiling poison in the kettle whilst doing 'forensic' research; which add to the charm of the programmes immensely.
To conclude this review, I recommend this series wholeheartedly to anyone who has enjoyed either the original Sherlock Holmes books or Basil Rathbone's films. It provides a window into a gentler England that is now gone for ever; but much missed by those of us who still remember her.Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]