With a scheduled release on Christmas Day, the movie Sherlock Holmes conjures up memories of the definitive Sherlock Holmes for not only fans of public television, but fans of Sherlock Holmes. That would be Jeremy Brett. Sorry, Basil Rathbone fans. Just no comparison. There will be arguments from the camps of Rupert Everett, Peter Cushing, Basil Rathbone, Christopher Plummer, Peter O’Toole, Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Lee, Michael Caine and, even, Tom Baker and John Cleese. I have to say absolutely none compare to the ten years that were were fortunate at PBS to have Jeremy Brett bring his talents to the role of the greatest detective of all time.
As one of only three actors that have played both Holmes and Watson (Brett actually played Dr. Watson opposite Charleton Heston’s Holmes in the Los Angeles stage production of The Crucifer of Blood, Brett brought an amazing presence and talent to the role at a time like no other for television mysteries. Imagine the likes of Holmes, Poirot and Agatha Christie. Every week!
Now, enter Robert Downey Jr. as the newest incarnation of the greatest detective of all-time.
FYI, Jeremy Brett returns to KERA Channel 13 as Sherlock Holmes beginning Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 8:00pm. If you’re outside the North Texas area, other PBS stations are airing Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett. Check it out if you haven’t seen them and then compare to the movie that opens Christmas Day with Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. Would love to know who you think the all-time Holmes is.