I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard the phrase “You never forget your first Sherlock Holmes.” It seems that no discussion of the various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes on the screen is complete without a mention of that particular viewpoint. But it’s true; the first actor you see portraying the Master Detective, on stage or screen, tends to shape your perception of him for the rest of your days. That’s not to say that there will not be other actors that you enjoy in the role; performers who capture the unique brand of indifferent elegance that you like to see in Sherlock Holmes or that portrayed Dr. John H. Watson with the perfect combination of loyalty and military hard-headedness (or whatever characteristics you personally like to see). But the first Sherlock Holmes inevitably colors how you view all other portrayals, and even how you read the Sherlock Holmes canon and pastiches.
Whatever your preferred pairing, and however you may personally define a successful Sherlock Holmes actor, there is certainly no shortage of options from which to choose. So in that spirit, over the next month I’ll be hosting a new blog contest, and all you have to do to win is share a little bit about your favorite Sherlock Holmes actor. Here are the details:
THE PRIZE PACKAGE:
A new copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 (A CSA World Classic), unabridged on audiobook CD: Read by the incomparable Edward Hardwicke, who played Dr. John Watson in the Granada Television series from 1986-1994. This collection contains audio versions of the following classic stories from the Sherlock Holmes canon: “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot,” “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box,” “The Man with the Twisted Lip,” and “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans.”
A new copy of Sherlock Holmes: Three Tales of Avarice, unabridged on audiobook CD: Part of a series of “thematic” audiobooks, this volume contains three stories from the canon centering on the subject of “avarice,” Edward Hardwicke expertly and vividly renders the following three tales: “The Adventure of the Priory School,” “The Red-Headed League,” and “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.”
HOW TO WIN:
Tell me about your favorite Holmes and Watson pairing, on stage or screen. For example, do you prefer Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce? Jeremy Brett and either of his Watsons? Or is it Lieutenant Commander Data and Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Elementary, My Dear Data”? Or would you like to mix up things a bit and pair up Benedict Cumberbatch with Ian Hart? Rupert Everett with Jude Law? If the actor has taken up the mantle of the world’s first consulting detective and his doctor, then tell me who your favorites are, and a one sentence reason as to why. Leave the entry providing the pair of actors and explanation in the comments below. Entries can also be submitted via e-mail at betterholmesandgardens[at]gmail[dot]com, by direct message on Twitter, or by Facebook comment. Feel free to enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must be unique.
The contest is open from now until 11:59p.m. EST on Saturday, September 24, 2011. At that time, a random entry will be chosen from the correct entries using Random.org. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 26, 2011 via blog post, Twitter, and Facebook.Best of luck, and have fun!