Monday, April 23, 2012

Jeremy Brett rewatch

Lately I also have started rewatching the Granada Holmes series on Netflix. The episodes with David Burke have altered the stories to make no references to Watson being married, even in cases that take place after his marriage, like SCAN and BLUE. I don't remember David Burke well, as I started with Edward Hardwicke the first time around. I also notice several references to Holmes's cocaine being locked in his drawer, and the show implying that Holmes has injected during some cases.

I'd forgotten that Gayle Hunnicut as Irene Adler was a redhead; clearly the thought of Holmes with a red-haired woman seems to have a long history. Even though I don't like that they imply that Holmes is in love with her, it's clear that Irene doesn't love him back, and is happy with Godfrey Norton. I also enjoy seeing her as an actual opera singer instead of a slut and criminal. The scenes of her romance with the King of Bohemia (when he was a crown prince) have her going horseback riding with him and dressing as man while they attended some show with can-can dancers. She's a liberated woman. That's what makes her disreputable, not her being a supposed blackmailer. (That's not her profession! That's her private revenge against the King!) We also see that the scandalous photo in question was not sexually explicit (how could it be, requiring such bulky equipment and a photographer in the room?), but was scandalous merely because she was there with him, while he posed in his royal garb. I think I remember that the Carole Nelson Douglas books said that the photo was of Irene wearing some royal crown jewels. I also like that that they made Irene suspicious of the crowd of people outside her house, and seeing her doubt Holmes-as-priest's story about a conspiracy to rob her and then set fire to her house in revenge. Holmes clearly underestimates her intelligence, and doesn't even question why someone would address him as Sherlock Holmes while he's still in disguise at his front door. I find it interesting that Holmes locks Irene's photo in his drawer rather than keeping it on display.

I hate that BBC Sherlock legitimised the trend of pooh-poohing Irene as not being clever or feminist, just because she chose to get married! Feminists can get married too. Feminists just want women to have equal rights, with or without marriage. But I should not say more about BBC Sherlock until season 2 airs on PBS in May, and we can freely discuss the spoilers.

Back to the Jeremy Brett series: I do appreciate that many women characters besides Irene are made to be very strong and intelligent, such as Violet Hunter, Annie Harrison, and Helen Stoner. (They retained her line about "I believe it was an excuse to move me from my room" in SPEC. But I don't like that she doesn't really have grey in her hair, and her sister is made five years older instead of her twin.) I don't understand making Sophie Kratides so cold about her brother's murder in Greek Interpreter, though. Where did that come from? I'm also puzzled by the needless scene of an Italian woman bathing herself at the beginning of the Six Napoleons. She wasn't even a speaking character!

No comments: