The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Twelve stories, approx. 94,000 words
Kenneth Welsh, left, as Watson and Matt Frewer as Holmes star in four films it's hard to take seriously.
Sherlock Holmes as smart-aleck
The Hound of the Baskervilles (2000): Director Rodney Gibbons; writer Joe Wiesenfeld; featuring Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh, Jason London
The Sign of Four (2001): Director Rodney Gibbons; writer Joe Wiesenfeld; featuring Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen McAuliffe, Michel Perron
The Royal Scandal (2001): Director Rodney Gibbons; writer Joe Wiesenfeld; featuring Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh, Liliana Komorowska, R.H. Thomson
The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire (2002): Director Rodney Gibbons; writer Gibbons; featuring Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen McAuliffe, Michel Perron
On into the twenty-first century, Sherlockmania showed no signs of letting up. Perhaps even accelerating, with several new franchises launched in the first decade.
But the take-offs also continue, as the first Sherlock Holmes series of the era is another spoof. Or maybe not. The Canadian-made series of television movies may be a serious effort to emulate earlier Sherlockian film series but is led astray by comic acting.
They star Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), he of the perpetual tongue in the cheek and smirk on the face, as Holmes and the esteemed Canadian actor of stage and screen, Kenneth Welsh, as his Watson.
Frewer's Holmes is wrong in so many ways—zany and mean-spirited by turns and with an obviously fake Brit accent—although Welsh makes a believable Watson.
But the production is quite good and some may find Frewer's smart-alecky detective refreshing, as a sort of anti-Brett Holmes.
In 2000, the series follows the lead of several previous film series by starting with an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The following year it moves on to adapting another novel, The Sign of Four. Each is feature lenghth, about 90 minutes long.
Then it's on to the short stories, sort of., A Royal Scandal, also in 2001, is a very loose and unbelievable adaptation of the story "A Scandal in Bohemia" in which Holmes is up against his feminine nemesis Irene Adler. The plot also incorporates elements from Doyle's "The Bruce-Partington Plans".
In 2002 the series closes with The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire, which you might think is based on "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire". But it is really a new story, involving some mysterious deaths on Jack the Ripper's previous killing grounds by a seemingly supernatural force.
It's probably the low point in a so-so, if offbeat, chapter in the never-ending adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
But it's still not as radical a departure as the new century's next adaptations of the Victorian-era classics.
— Eric McMillan