Jul 27, 2006

DVD Review: Murder Room: The dark beginnings of Sherlock Holmes

Murder Room: The dark beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
MPI Home Video

Ian Richardson as Dr. Joseph Bell, Sherlock Holmes prototype, in Murder Rooms The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes (BBC series), made clear to me while I'd like to be Holmes, I'm not at all sure I'd like to hang out with him. Bell is Holmes with feet of clay and I found him hugely appealing because of it.

The two disc set holds four ninety minute stories all of which are quite good, and nothing else. While nothing else is required, I would have liked some extra something. The final two, 'The Kingdom of Bones' and 'The White Knight Stratagem' are the strongest in my estimation, although this may be because the characters are well established by then.

Charles Edwards as Arthur Conan Doyle is perhaps a bit too muted at times, conveying a wounded quality consistent with his intendeds murder and his fathers illness but bordering on flat. Still this does not seem to get in the way of the tales and presents a likable enough sort (what sort that is I've never been sure. Ah, the English).

The tales are populated with Circus folk, Spiritualists. syphilitics, grasping Physicians, Damsels in distress who may or may not be mad, Mummies, Terrorists, walking wounded, drunken fools, damn fools, and of course, murders. May be thin gruel for the hard core Holmes fan but I doubt it. Great fare for those who find Holmes' perfection a touch tedious.

Lee Crawford

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