Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I am always interested in your... choice of titles."

There is no Holmes but Jeremy Brett, to my eye.  The later episodes are enjoyable to watch, though his performance is slightly, then increasingly, fogged by his illness, thus making them also difficult to watch, at least in comparison to the magic of the Adventures series portrayal.

In The Resident Patient, Brett is without misstep.  His investigation at the crime scene is remarkable in general, but most noteworthy is his examination of the room.  With Watson, Inspector Lanner, and his client watching along with the viewer, Holmes surveys the room for evidence of whatever events transpired in total silence, for a full two and one-half minutes (with angle changes and brief cutaways).  The scene is perfectly performed and paced, especially given that 150 seconds onscreen is an eternity by conventional television standards.  (The celebrated unbroken opening shot of Touch of Evil is only one minute longer.)

A beautiful touch, as the scene breaks, Watson asks if there is nothing Holmes can divulge about the mystery, and a brief moment of bashful bemusement flashes across his face as he remembers that the meanings of his actions are not automatically evident to all conscious beings.

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