Hound of the Baskervilles on PBS 1/19/03

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Guy Martin, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Did anyone else catch this rather intriguing new take on Sherlock Holmes? I was bored by the Golden Globes and Alias was a rerun so I surfed over to PBS and happened upon it by accident. Boy am I glad as it was a very gripping hour and a half!

    Directed by David Attwood (who also made the excellent "Fidel") from a fine script by Allan Cubit ("Prime Suspect 2") this version was aided immensly by having three terrific actors in the leads. Strangely enough our two heros were played by two actors known mainly as villains here in the US: As Holmes, Richard Roxburgh (the Duke from Moulin Rouge) and as Watson, Ian Hart (Enemy of the State and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philospher's Stone
    ). Both were excellent and really captured the uneasy relationship between the two (and for once Watson is treated as an equal half of the partnership). Praise must also be given to Attwood and Cubit's decision to avoid the iconographic cap and pipe, which as I learned in the small making-of featurette that aired after the show are not in the original stories, but come from subsequent stage adapatations. Moreover this adaptation has the most frank and open depiction of Holmes' drug abuse I've ever scene (to be fair the terrific late-80s/early-90s PBS Mystery adaptations with the late, great Jeremy Brett in the lead dealt with the drug abuse, but it was generally implied more than shown).

    The fine acting isn't limited just to our heros. The villain was played to perfection by Richard E. Grant
    in a performance that rises well above the cliches normally assigned to the role. The supporting cast was fine in general, although I thought that Matt Day was a bit off as Sir Henry.

    Production values were excellent for a TV movie and benefitted from a great deal of location work (the Liverpool street and house used for Baker Street is a real find on the part of the location scouts). And there was a smattering of very effective CGI, especially in the portrayal of the title creature.

    Overall this was a terrifc adapation that reminded me quite a bit of From Hell in its mood and atmosphere. It arrives on DVD this week for the low price of $15 or so and I highly recommend giving it a spin if you missed it tonight. I certainly hope Roxburgh and Hart reteam for future mysteries as Holmes and Watson.
    - Guy
     
  2. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I agree. It was one of the best (if not the best) of the 18+ film adaptations of HOUND.
     
  3. RobertW

    RobertW Supporting Actor

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    i thought it was excellent as well. the filming on the moors that were actual location shots and not a stage set were really beautiful, and lent a great air of authenticity and mystery. the cgi hound was more effective than the model head used for the close-ups, and i didn't really care for the whole creature design, but it was suitably scary. as you said, baker street was superb atmosphere.

    not having seen it, i would assume The Seven Percent Solution dealt with holmes' drug use in even more depth, but i was surprised to see it so extensively here.

    and didn't ian hart play john lennon in Backbeat?
     
  4. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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  5. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  6. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Yes, 7 Percent Solution deals with the addiction. It is actually a very clever movie, using the known Holmes legend and mixing in other historical figures. A neat take that only sort of re-imagines the great detective. Speaking of Holmes, did anyone see the recent Holmes with Vincent Donofrio in the lead role? I heard it was nifty, but missed out on it.

    Phil
     
  7. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I heard good things about it, too, and that USA was considering doing a series of them, but the IMDB entry has D'onofrio playing Moriarty, not Holmes. Interestingly enough, Richard E. Grant plays Mycroft in this one.

    I must admit, I'm morbidly curious about the Matt Frewer TV-movies done for the Hallmark Channel. Frewer's a guy who could work as Holmes, but the man needs a strong director or else he just goes off in his own direction.
     
  8. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Dang, you are right. He WAS Moriarty. Either way, hope they air it again. Or release it.

    As for the new "Baskerville," how does it compare to Brett's version? He was a bit sickly in that version, but his Holmes cast a long shadow, in my book.

    Phil
     
  9. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I haven't seen the Brett Hound in quite a while, but just working from (foggy) memory, this new one did the monster-story elements better, but wasn't nearly as good in the Holmes-and-Watson area.
     
  10. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    The new BBC hound is on DVD. I picked it up at Best Buy. However, the Brett Granada version is also due out soon, along with some of the other feature length stories.
     
  11. Philip Brandes

    Philip Brandes Stunt Coordinator

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    Any word on the release of the next season of 1-hour eps ("Return of Sherlock Holmes")? I think some of the best episodes were in that period, when Brett really mastered the character and before his health began to fail.

    Cheers,
    Philip Brandes
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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    The film was shown on Brit TV at Christmas. There's talk here of a set of films of other classic Holmes and Watson stories with the same actors. I'd be interested to see how these turn out. I've got to confess that Hound of the Baskervilles has never been my favourite Holmes story, but this was as good an adaptation as any I've seen.
     

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