Friday, 16 October 2015

Conan Doyle v. Cumberbatch: A Comparison (Part Two)

The second part of Michaela Clancy's comparison of the original Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch's interpretation. 

The original
representation of
Professor James Moriarty
Secondly, Sherlock’s emotions are a key attribute to both the books and the series, as they offer an insight into his own secretive mind, which reminds the audience that he is still human. One aspect that Holmes displays in both is his ability to disguise his true emotions and himself, as he uses this to collect information without giving himself away. One which features in both is when Sherlock proposes to the receptionist of Augustus Magnussen in order to gain access into his property; this shows that, although Sherlock seems to be uncaring, he does have emotions which he chooses not to use. However, further on in the series Sherlock becomes more caring towards John and when he thinks that he is going to die he manage to speak kind and moving words that everyone thinks are beneath him. Also, in the book ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,’ when one of his clients, John Openshaw dies, he becomes deeply upset and blames himself as he feels like he has failed because he was too late to realise the danger his client was in, which shows that Holmes has compassion. Also, there is innocence to Holmes’s behaviour and the outside world; this is shown in small childlike displays. In ‘The Speckled Band’, he is recovering from exhaustion and when he is trying to solve the case he makes a pile of cushions on the floor and sits amongst them. This is a childish gesture and reveals he is in need of comfort so that his brain operates at its prime. At first in the series he appears to be insensitive and incapable of emotional acts but in series three his brother, Mycroft, calls him a child in a number of conversations. The most significant case is in ‘His Last Vow,’ when Sherlock is depicted as a child throughout the episode. This could reflect how Sherlock truly feels internally and that he has created a shell to disguise this. When he is shot, he comforts himself with the memories of his old dog Redbeard, and his friends, these are his true feelings towards the people he knows and loves. Although Sherlock pretends not to like Mycroft, he only says it in a half-hearted manner; he actually relies on Mycroft to look after and to care for him. One of the most significant emotional journeys for Sherlock, especially in the series, is when Irene Adler is introduced. In the series Sherlock calls her ‘The Woman’, this is a sign of respect, as he admires her cunning abilities; he also develops feelings for her which he soon denies. However, in the books Irene Adler does not play such an important role, although she does outwit him on one occasion Holmes never displays strong feeling towards her, but there is a lady named Miss Hunter, who Watson thinks would have been a good match for Holmes, as he admired her bravery and treated her with more care than his other female clients. The other noticeable point from the books is that Holmes is often kind to women and sometimes even the convicted; this could be that he understands the need for crime, or the need for an active mind. In the books he works for justice but does not always abide by the law, as he allows some of the criminals head starts in their escapes, as he feels sorry for them. However, he does not appreciate it when people lie to him and he will relish in presenting the evidence that condemns them to their maximum sentence.
"Sherlock's" Jim Moriarty
One of Sherlock’s passions is crime solving, which he goes about in an uncommon and curious way. The most noticeable thing about Sherlock is that he will take any case, regardless of the person’s financial situation or class in society; this could explain why Sherlock is so popular. He only cares for cases that are interesting and promise to keep his mind active. Sherlock uses many methods to solve the crimes that are presented to him, one been the power of deduction. This is the process which he often uses and says is the easiest to learn.  Another of his favourite methods is the use of newspapers which he relies on most noticeably in the books; he also uses the local homeless as his undercover spies. This is because he considers them to be more reliable than the police, as they are not obliged to follow the law. Although the homeless are used in the books, he requires them more in the series. The most noticeable difference between the books and the series is Sherlock’s reaction to Moriarty. In the series Moriarty plays a much larger role which allows the viewers to see a development in how Sherlock’s behaviour changes towards him. At first he is excited by Moriarty’s presence, but when he begins to realise the danger that he has put himself into he begins to withdraw from his friends. Whereas, in the books Moriarty only features for a short while in ‘The Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes’, in this Holmes’s reaction are cautious but he isn’t like the character played in the series who becomes more excited as Moriarty pursues to kill him. Eventually, Sherlock in the series soon realises the trouble that he has plunged himself, and everyone he cares for into. He soon notices people no longer believe that he is a great detective, this is why he eventually ‘kills’ himself.  Holmes’s death is different in the books and is possibly less dramatic than what occurs in the series. Another noticeable feature of Holmes is his relentlessness for solving crimes. In the books he is described to have a ‘purely animal lust for the chase’, this animal imagery helps the reader to understand that he will stop at nothing until the crime has been solved, even if he has to make himself ill. This is also shown in the series, as he proposes to the receptionist of Magnussen’s apartment so that he can gain access, this also shows that he can be careless with other people’s emotions and that he might negatively affect them without knowing or caring. Lastly, Holmes doesn’t appreciate people who are sly or who lie to him, like the professor in the ‘Golden Pince-Nez’; this tests Sherlock’s compassion

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