This is the big drawback for me with the 30's-40's Sherlock Holmes series. I very much admire Basil Rathbone's portrayal (although Brett bested him later, IMO), but Nigel Bruce I find insufferable. I was reminded of this when I viewed the first box set from MPI. He is the weak link, if there ever was one. That massive head of his, and a mouth that spews forth the stupidest dialog on Earth... one can't help but wonder why Holmes tolerated such a clown as an assistant. It doesn't make sense, unless this was a Holmes so egotistical that he had to have a moron beside him at all times so that he could look infinitely superior (and he does, of course). And Lestrade is also a dolt. The deck was certainly stacked in Rathbone's favor throughout the series, no? I prefer an intelligent and resourceful Watson and a police detective who isn't a total retard. Holmes deserves to be surrounded by smart helpers and adversaries. My vote for the best Watson (excepting the Granada TV series): James Mason in MURDER BY DECREE.