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Holmes had dozen of faces, he has been a comic book character, a animated character, he was the heroes of numerous pastiches (Even Conan Doyle’s son gave it a try)… From the first silent movie with the detective to the BBC show which series 3 just finished airing, Sherlock has know many adventures, canonical or not.
Among all the prolongations or re-creations of the character, it’s true my favorite remains The Private life of Sherlock Holmes by Billy Wilder, but I am very fond of a little movie, realized by Rachel Goldenberg in fifteen days in Wales. In this Asylum production from 2010, Sherlock Holmes has to hunt a dinosaur in Victorian London as one of these lovely animals has devoured the client of a prostitute in Whitechapel…
I hear already the Sherlockians grind teeth… Indeed, when I heard about dinosaur, I told myself that Jules Verne and conan Doyle weren’t on the same team (and suddently I remembered The Lost World and the good Professor Challenger… well…). However, don’t worry, Holmes isn’t in the middle of 20 000 leagues under the Sea (except a giant octopus has its tentacles in the adventure)… Without any spoilers on the plot and its resolution, I could tell you not to trust appearances, and that it’s low budget Holmes has some assets which make it dear to me.
First, the Holmes-Watson relationship is really here : the friendship, the teasings, Watson’s deductions pillory by Holmes’ observation skills. Garreth David Lloyd is really pleasant in Watson part, and it’s very different from the one which make him famous un the Science-fiction area (Torchwood). Ben Syder doesn’t have the shoulders to be Holmes (I really talk about his physical aspect… he misses some inches… some tens of inches), the actor is a theatre man but deserves credit fro the part. Of course, the production didn’t have the means of the Guy Ritchie’s movies, but the spirit is here, with a pinch of Steampunk, some honest FX and a plot which is quite correct, an nicely cruel foe; it’s a pleasant unpretentious entertainment, which doesn’t betray Conan Doyle’s heroe.