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Douglas Wilmer RIP (But Actually All About Me) - Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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Douglas Wilmer RIP (But Actually All About Me) [Apr. 2nd, 2016|12:54 pm]
Tony Grist
The obits come thick and fast these days. Actually that's not really the case- people aren't dying any quicker- it's just that I'm noticing them more- and taking it more personally. It's what happens. My generation is now at the age when the people who were making the world when we were nippers are signing off in droves.

Today it is Douglas Wilmer- who was my very first Sherlock Holmes. Did I read the stories before I saw Wilmer on TV- or is it the other way round? I don't remember, but Wilmer was very good and it's entirely possible that it was he who fired my enthusiasm for Holmes and Doyle and everything to do with the two of them. I remember him as energetic and  impish, with a Watson-bamboozling twinkle in his eye. Later he was rather put in the shade by Jeremy Brett- but there's no shame in that because Brett puts everyone- including Rathbone and Cumberbatch- in the shade.  In between Wilmer and Brett came Peter Cushing- a bigger name than either- who inherited Wilmer's Watson- the delightful Nigel Stock- but was simply- sadly- too old for the role and didn't really do a great deal with it.

A lot of early TV got wiped but I've just been online to check and it seems Wilmer's Holmes survives and can be accessed on DVD. That's good news. I doubt if I'll access him myself because sometimes it's sweeter to leave one's memories as they are- unrefreshed- with their sweet, dusty, nostril-tickling aroma. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: basefinder
2016-04-02 01:35 pm (UTC)
I'm in agreement on Jeremy Brett. I'll watch and enjoy any of the Holmes iterations, but Brett is the most authentic Holmes, to my mind. He's who I picture when I read the books.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-04-02 02:05 pm (UTC)
It was a big performance- theatrical, physical, pushing things to the edge- because that's where Holmes himself lived. No-one else has taken such risks with the character.

BTW. I think David Burke- who retired after a season (or was it two?) was the best ever Watson.
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[User Picture]From: basefinder
2016-04-02 11:25 pm (UTC)
They are the iconic pairing!
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-04-02 01:59 pm (UTC)
Refreshing to see someone else say that. I like Cumberbatch, and I enjoyed where they went with Holmes and Watson, but Jeremy Brett's character will remain the definitive Sherlock, for me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-04-02 02:09 pm (UTC)
Cumberbatch is excellent, but I can't see anyone matching
Brett. Besides, Brett did all the stories, in beautifully detailed period productions- and with two first rate Watsons at his side. Everything about the Granada series shouts "Definitive!"
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2016-04-02 05:04 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I hadn't seen his Holmes in about twenty years and, if anything, it was actually better than I remembered. That's so very seldom the case.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-04-02 05:11 pm (UTC)
The show was based in what was then my home city of Manchester. Most of the locations were local- and there was a permanent Baker Street set on the Granada back lot in the city centre- which was a thing of beauty.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2016-04-02 08:32 pm (UTC)
Interestingly, Tom Baker was my first Holmes - the BBC did a rather good Hound of the Baskervilles with him and Terence Rigby shortly after he quit Doctor Who.

But I'm with everyone else here: Brett is definitive, like Hickson and Suchet for their respective characters.

Edited at 2016-04-02 08:33 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-04-03 08:36 am (UTC)
All sorts of unlikely people have had a stab at Holmes. I remember a film with Roger Moore...

I agree about Suchet and Hickson. There will be other Poirots and Marples that those two will remain the gold standard.
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