He (Jeremy Brett) literally took that show on his
shoulders – it was extraordinary watching him work.
To say that it ultimately killed him is probably too strong
a judgement, but it certainly took an enormous toll out
of him. He is, undoubtedly, the definitive Holmes, and I
think it will be very difficult for anybody to top him. The
series was geared to being accurate as far as the original
stories were concerned, and his portrayal of Holmes had
all the nuances you find in the books – the manic bits, the
quiet bits and the drug-taking.
Jeremy Brett added something to the character of Holmes
that no one else whom I have seen has done: He brought a
sense of humor to the part. And he and David Burke and
Edward Hardwicke let us know that this Holmes was very
good friends with John Watson. I think that Sherlock Holmes
badly needed this sort of treatment. Conan Doyle never
intended Holmes to be taken as seriously as some
Sherlockians take him.
May 22nd is the birth anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
the man who introduced the most popular inhabitant of
Baker Street in London–Sherlock Holmes. And, the biggest
tribute one could pay him is to remember’Sherlock Holmes’
and the man who played him the best–Jeremy Brett.
In a lot of ways, Jeremy Brett was a departure from the rest
who played it on stage.
The medium of television brought in several new dimensions
to Doyle’s work, almost impossible in theatre. When it was
Jeremy Brett’s time on TV, the medium evolved, and producers
had all the crafts of film making at their disposal, to make the
canvass richer and the story telling even more exciting. And
Jeremy Brett knew how to exploit all of it to his advantage.
He gave his best to the camere. Let it be his brooding when
the case is in progress, or his frustration when he is idle, or
his impishness when he is on a trail, he pulls it off like no
other. And just when you thought Holmes is too good to be
real, he brings to the fore his eccentric and probably a tad
darker side of Holmes.
Jeremy Brett though starred in several movies, could not
match his potrayal of Holmes.
Interestingly, Mr.Holmes loomed large on his writer and the
actor who played his role. They could never come out of their
engagement with Mr.Holmes, much to the delight of their fans.