The first of the great detectives

I’ve been continuing with my reading mission for 2013, though it was somewhat distracted in amid all the cold weather by getting snuggled down in my duvet on the sofa and watching a couple of films and series. The first one I watched was Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch (full marks for spelling, please) and partly written by the great – and decidedly creepy – Mark Gatiss, oh he of The League of Gentlemen. 

If you haven’t seen The League of Gentlemen, you really should, but only if you like the weird and the creepy. I still have nightmares about Papa Lazarou. If anyone could ever creep me out, it would be Papa Lazarou muttering “you’re my wife now!” in my ear.

One of my ex boyfriends, Pete, and I would go through whole epic lines of the conversations between Tubbs and Edward, the weird brother-sister, husband-wife team. “Can I help you at all?” is so engrained in my psyche that it’s almost like I invented it.

I confess at this point that Pete and I went to Hadfield and took pictures of the roundabout and bought a tin of spam in a local shop. The town must have been sick of its weird alter-ego what with people turning up and asking if they were local.

If pressed, I’d say Tubbs was my favourite character, though I loved Pauline and Mickey too. Barbara, the pre-op transsexual was also a favourite too. It would be fair to say the characters were as creepy as they were amusing. Herr Lipp, the pedophile German teacher is just such an example. Harvey and Val, the toad-keeping eccentrics with a toilent-and-masturbation habit, are also totally freaky. “If you don’t understand any of my sayings, come to me in private and I shall take you in my German mouth” is just about the scariest thing a man could say to a child if you ask me.

So I expected good things of Mark Gatiss’s Sherlock and it truly delivered. The series are only three episodes long, but each one is a good hour and a half. The only thing wrong with it was Moriarty, who sounded as camp and non-dangerous as Graham Norton.

So I started reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes again – I’ve read them maybe a couple of times before, and a few of the stories I taught at GCSE. I love them all. I love them that much that I managed to put aside my distaste for the weak-sauce Jude Law and watch the recent films with Robert Downey Jr as the lead. Surprisingly, Jude Law didn’t ruin it. He’s the male version of Keira Knightley – a bit of an emotionless dish rag. In fact, him starring alongside Miss Knightley in Anna Karenina just about gave me all the reasons I needed not to watch it. He, however, is not awful. He’s just ‘blah’. Just as I can’t imagine a man (or woman) finding Keira attractive, I can’t imagine anyone finding Jude Law attractive either.

So, I can add the two volumes of Sherlock Holmes to my list. No idea what I’m starting on next, though.

  • Freakonomics
  • Dude, Where’s My Country
  • On Chesil Beach
  • Follow the Money
  • Hija de la Fortuna
  • Cold Case
  • My Family and Other Animals
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Collected Stories of Sherlock Holmes

I better get more speedy. I’ve only read nine and I aim to get to 52!


3 thoughts on “The first of the great detectives

  1. Same type, lot less generic – Rufus Sewell 😉 I loved him with Katherine Henderson in the Taming of the Shrew, utterly epic. (Mind you, he was more than a little weird in Parade’s End, along with Benedict – no, that did not grip me, perhaps I’m too mainstream, after all?!!)

  2. I think you will love the Taming of the Shrew – it’s on DVD called “Shakespeare Retold” with three others that are good but not quite up to TofS, all modern versions…

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