- Title: The Complete Granada Television Series
- Number of Discs: 12
- Number of Episodes per Disc: 2-4
- Original Network: ITV
- Production Company: Granada
- Cast: Jeremy Brett, David Burke (first season), Edward Hardwicke (subsequent seasons)
This is my original review for The Complete Granada Television Series of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes and, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke as Watson. I’ve edited it a bit to clean it up and fix some typos, but it’s pretty much the same as my Live Journal entry from 12 November 2008.
First, this is the BEST traditional version of Sherlock Holmes ever. Jeremy Brett is THE perfect Holmes and I just love him. Both David Burke and Edward Hardwicke play Doctor Watson as an intelligent man with a deep, caring, (non-romantic) love for his best friend, Holmes. Brett plays Holmes as a brilliant man, with little to no social graces (He even attacks Watson when he must) – true to the books. Holmes is the original geek.
One of the interesting things about the Granada series is that they did adaptations of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, rather than thrusting Holmes into the modern day or at least “modern” stories. Holmes is a Victorian and Edwardian hero – and he’s at his best in the original stories as written by Conan Doyle. I also love both Watsons – quietly supporting Holmes, because he is the Doctor’s friend.
Both of the Watsons are intelligent, smart – and the handover, from David Burke in “The Final Problem” to Hardwicke in “The Empty House” and all subsequent episodes, is handled well. Holmesian lore remarks it’s like 2-3 years from Holmes “death” to his resurrection – an older Watson fits. I can’t even say one or the other actor’s my favorite since Burke fits the early Holmes stories and Hardwicke fits the latter ones.
The set is gorgeously packaged in a double slip-case, green with gold embossing, with Holmes’s sayings embossed on the inner case. The DVDs are packaged in two foldout cases, but at least the discs don’t overlap. Also, the set is digitally remastered. The episodes look fantastic, much, much better than the original “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” box set release of the first 13 episodes (only). If you do have the original box sets of: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and the Feature Film collection – then you already have the material in this set (there are only a couple of extra features unfortunately) – but the gorgeous, book-like case and digital re-mastering might make you want to pick this up as well.