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Sherlock - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Well, I have to admit I didn't have an awful lot of enthusiasm for this ahead of time, but on the whole I did enjoy the series. The first episode was full of references to its origins, and quick-witted tricks - spelling out Sherlock's thought processes for the audience as we went along was a clever idea. I couldn't immediately decide whether Mark Gatiss was Mycroft or Moriarty, and I rather liked strange_complex's idea that they might turn out to be one and the same. The second episode was definitely the best of the three, I thought: a plot with definite links back to the underworld of Conan Doyle. Last night's episode was, like the first, a collage of clever touches, but overall, a bit patchy, and a bit drawn out.

The trouble is, it's all a bit gritty and macabre for my tastes. I suppose that's what you'd expect if you mixed The League of Gentlemen with the cryptic crossword plots of Steve Moffat - like Torchwood, only well-written (so, ahem, not like Torchwood at all then). It's not Morse or Lewis, with their dreaming spires. Jonathan Creek elucidates the "science" of deduction in a contemporary way, I think, that has no ambition to be anything more than light entertainment. The period element of Holmes, or Poirot, puts the criminal classes a sufficient distance away. (The preponderance of 60s/70s wallpaper does not score it on this point.) Victoria Wood had something when she said of Dad's Army: If you don't want something to date, then set it in the past, because it's already dated.

But I'd probably watch if they do another series.


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mraltariel From: mraltariel Date: August 10th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with almost all of that, except for the "period" thing.

They seem quite careful not to show us too many contemporary cars, and nothing about contemporary police methods; the housekeeper seems completely out-of-time, the decor anything from the 50s to the 00s. Even the offices conspicuously don't betray any particularly "current" trends. They're all slightly "fantastic".

In fact, the only give-away is the 3G iPhone.

(Also, I liked the 2nd one least, but that may just have been because I wasn't in the mood, so it didn't grip me.)
qatsi From: qatsi Date: August 10th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see what you mean about the period, and in a lot of ways you're right. As you say, the escapist or "fantastic" atmosphere does break out of any particular time to some extent (I'm thinking Randall and Hopkirk Deceased for example, or maybe something I'm even less familiar with, I think I read somewhere a nod to The Avengers). On the other hand, the technology, the Afghan war references, and the metrosexuality in the first two episodes seemed to tie it down quite closely to the present day.
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