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Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking

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Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking
updated 2.7.2006

Warning! Plot points may be revealed below!

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
What a refreshing adaptation of Holmes! Amazing! Truly inspiring! Everett is by far my favorite so far to play Holmes!

I would also ask if anyone has information on what classical music suites are used in this show? I love them!

Lesley Nielsen
Fergus Falls, MN

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
What was the music used at the end of Sherlock Holmes and the Case Of The Silk Stocking?

Dave Lee
Seattle, WA

Adrian Johnson was the composer for the original music heard in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking.

Other music included After the Ball, composed by Charles K. Harris, and Johann Strauss' Indigo March and the Fruhlingsstimmen Waltz.

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Rupert Everett was a cerebral, yet sexy, Sherlock Holmes in a most riveting tale. He is truly a worthy successor to the marvelous Jeremy Brett. I certainly hope that we'll see more of Everett's Holmes in the future!

Susie Bazin
Houston, TX

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I am a huge Jeremy Brett fan but am excited about Rupert Everett taking on the role of Mr. Holmes. I enjoyed last Sunday's production of The Case of the Silk Stocking and hope there will be many more Holmes adventures with Mr. Everett.

D. Crossland
Washington, DC

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I loved this Masterpiece Theatre production of Sherlock Holmes. It was fantastic and riveting. I hope there will be more. It should be a series -- there can't just be one!

Allison Bushnell
Seattle, WA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking was a terrific production. Casting Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Hart as Dr. Watson was terrific. Please continue this as the beginning of a new Sherlock Holmes series with many stories to follow. Thank you!!!

Lavon Sutherland
Modesto, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I have enjoyed everything about PBS for the past 45 years. A comment on the new Sherlock Holmes: I think it is still too close to the Brett era for a new Sherlock. Mr. Everett is a fine actor -- but not for this role. Keep up the great work. There wouldn't be much to watch on TV if it weren't for you.

Elise Berhinig
Cary, NC

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Hubby and I loved the new Sherlock and we want more episodes. How could there only be one?

Michelle Hewitt
Clifton, NJ

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
This was fantastic! Rupert Everett is in a close race for the perfect Holmes, along with Jeremy Brett. Please make more! This was the first time I tuned into Masterpiece Theatre, but it won't be the last. I am a huge Holmes fan and an admirer of Rupert Everett and I was not disappointed. This production exceeded my expectations! Thank you for such a good program.

Ginette Bracke
Cranford, NJ

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Thank you for having the courage to create yet another incarnation of Sherlock Holmes and congratulations on getting so much right. You made me care enough to take the time to tell you what I think you got wrong. Some of my criticisms involve key elements of what Sherlock Holmes is all about. I'm sure that I am not the only Holmes fan who thought that the Jeremy Brett series couldn't be topped. Now that I have seen Rupert Everett I believe it can be done, but The Case of the Silk Stocking wasn't it. I found much to love, but feel it was lacking in several important ways.

My only complaint about Everett's portrayal was that his behavior towards Watson sometimes seemed coldly mean. True, in Doyle's stories Holmes often made derogatory comments to Watson, but we saw that Watson was an intelligent, educated and confident man. He was no fawning toady and he was much more to Holmes than his Boswell. The only logical explanation for Watson's continued admiration of and affection for Holmes is that Holmes barbs were teasing banter.

There were a couple of weak elements in the plot. One was that a cabby in a city with news of serial murders splashed all over the papers wouldn't notice a man getting into and out of his cab carrying a chloroformed girl. Chloroform reeks. Also, the secret room lacked credibility. Such a room would have long since been put to use, well known to the Lord and Lady, the butler, and the housekeeper, all of whom would have had keys, and never very private in a household of perhaps twenty servants. As lowly a servant as a footman would surely have gone elsewhere to carry out his evil deeds.

I adamantly dislike that, in spite of the inclusion of Watson's nagging, this show focused too much attention on and, I believe, glorified Holmes drug use, especially the "dream scenes" when he envisioned elements of the crimes as though the drugs opened some supernatural pathway. I dislike the glorification of mind-altering drugs in general, but especially oppose giving them a spiritual aspect in a Sherlock Holmes story. Many people know that in Conan Doyle's later years he became enthralled with spiritualism, but his Sherlock Holmes adamantly denied any such beliefs, always insisting that all events had logical explanations and that all knowledge was derived from the application of logic and reason to observable facts. There is a place for mysticism in literature, but Sherlock Holmes is not that place. The very reason for Doyle's stories' place in literary history is their glorification of clear-headed logic. When they were written, these books were a new voice in an age of romantic fiction. They reflected society's increasing confidence in science.

A new generation needs to know and love these stories, as has each generation for well over a century. You and Rupert Everett could be the means to that -- if you get it right. Drop the druggy reveries. Insist that the writing produces plots as clear, logical and concise as the best of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Carefully reasoned logic based on careful observation is the message and legacy of Sherlock Holmes.

Louanne Crisp
Grand Prairie, TX

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
WOW. Mr. Everett turns in a superb performance as our favorite detective. I hope he continues. Every nuance, every glance seemed perfect. Never have we seen Sherlock such an addict, yet clever and sexy to boot. He pulls off an air of arrogance, but we like him anyway due to his obvious respect and brotherly affection for Dr. Watson (also finely played). Cheers to Masterpiece theatre once again!

William Flood
Louisville, KY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes. I thought Jeremy Brett was the absolute best Holmes until I saw Rupert Everett. He was wonderful! I would like to see him in more. I miss having Holmes to watch.

Scituate MA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
What a program! Rupert Everett is amazing. Please, please, please, try to convince him to do more. The Case of the Silk Stocking was so very well done.

T. Fish

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes for the past 50 years. This Sherlock Holmes is one of the best. Jeremy Brett was also great. Please continue to keep Sherlock Holmes alive.

Raul Herrera
Farmington Hills, MI

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
We loved the new Sherlock Holmes story with Rupert Everett -- no wonder Bill Petersen borrowed from the Conan Doyle stories to develop CSI. You can readily see the relationship between the two. Hope you'll produce more. Bravo!

MJ Moore
Detroit, MI

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
After the death of Jeremy Brett, I hoped no one would make any more Sherlock Holmes because no one could duplicate his magnificent performances. Boy, was I wrong. Rupert Everett is absolutely perfect as Sherlock Holmes. I sincerely hope he will make many more episodes.

Sharon Campbell
Columbus, OH

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I thoroughly enjoyed Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking. However, there was one bit of dialog in which I believe Holmes misuses a Latin phrase: he asks the young lady to attach her sister's dance shoes to the funeral wreath as a memento mori.

According to several sources I consulted, a memento mori is something, which reminds us that death is inevitable -- the most quoted example is a human skull. From the context, it sounded like Holmes used the expression as if it meant something like "a memento of her death."

Was this a mistake on the writer's part, or was it, somehow, an intentional malapropism?

Mark Schneider
Cambridge, MA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I was terribly excited to see the new Holmes on the schedule. Mr. Everett is a great talent and his work is always interesting to watch. But this script let him and the audience down. I look forward to PBS as a respite from the trash on the other networks.

A recent article in The Washington Post detailed the shocking abuse of female characters in the fall TV season. It was surprising to see the same formulaic "terrified woman in the hands of a psychopath" rubbish that the CSI shows attempt to pass off as entertainment. As a student of history, I am well aware of the seamier side of the Victorian era. But a better writer could have told the tale without pandering to the demands of the FX audience. It is possible to shock, frighten, mystify and entertain without graphic violence and degradation of women. And Mr. Everett deserves better scripts to show off his mastery of the Holmes character.

Natalie Zanin
Silver Spring, MD

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Your presentation of The Case of the Silk Stocking, about a pair of twisted, murderous predators, marks a downturn in televised film. Fine dialogue, acting, lighting and camera work are all compromised by the arrogance of producers who are out of touch with viewers.

When I worked in pre-production for a network reality-based crime show, I was taken aback by the producers' sordid interest and fascination with criminal minds. It seems logical that if one wants to depict the story, one must understand the criminal motive. Holmes studied the criminal mind and was fascinated insofar as it challenged his powers, powers which themselves stemmed from a belief that good conquers evil; that good is by definition superior to evil; that evil must be defeated for the good of all men and women.

But your show is an exploration of evil with unabashed voyeurism. Allan Cubitt's concoction is a lurid and despicable jump off the edge of propriety. I can imagine the writers and producers exploring the inner workings of the twin minds with unbridled fascination; I can imagine the director pre-visualizing the attack of the victims intercut with Holmes' description to Lestrade's horrified officers. A production staff stooping to depict such vile details betrays a limp and lifeless sense of judgment. Such treatment is not fit for the general population. This show of yours would shock and disturb a prison population. Or, is that what you intended in the first place?

Richard Matthews
Bellows Falls, VT

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I am an avid Holmes aficionado. I have read the entire works and can identify most stories within several minutes. I was excited when I saw that Masterpiece Theatre was doing a Holmes. However, I would have thought that such an illustrious program would have at least used an original Holmes story. Even more distressing was the character of Holmes himself, which I found very far from Conan Doyle's character in attitude and action. It seemed that the writers had heard several good Holmes quotes and structured the story around them, with little regard for authenticity. I was sorely disappointed.

Vittoria Curl
New York, NY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
My wife and I were disappointed by The Case of the Silk Stocking. We and our children greatly enjoyed the series with Jeremy Brett, which was true to the original works. We own DVDs of some episodes. The Silk Stocking attempt was too gritty and even vulgar in comparison. We quickly decided it was not appropriate for our teenage daughter and younger son. It was a CSI episode with a 19th century facade. PBS would serve its audience better with movies based on the original works.

Ken Long
Silver Spring, MD

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I thought that Jeremy Brett was the quintessential Holmes and none could ever compare -- but I was, thankfully, wrong and Everett has surpassed even Brett in his wonderful interpretation of a complex and cynical character. I hope we will see much more of such a talented actor. It would be wonderful to see another Masterpiece production of Holmes with Rupert Everett.

Jean Quinlan
Owasco, NY

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