Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Something About Making a Better Watson

Now you know such individuals exist out of stories.

There’s a scene in The House with a Clock in its Walls where Lewis is trying his best to snoop around undetected by his uncle. He hasn’t quite got the art of keeping quiet to a science yet:
"...by the time [Lewis] had bumped his head against a heavy, gilt picture frame for about the third time, Jonathan called to him for one of the distant rooms. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Lewis! Stop playing Sherlock Holmes! You make a better Dr. Watson.”
Jonathan refers to Sherlock Holmes’s long-time friend and biographer, Dr. John H. Watson, who chronicled the master detective’s exploits. We wondered who – other than Lewis – made a good Watson.  Here's a partial list of Watsons, whether they were good at it is another matter.  What is the collective name for a group of two or more Watsons, anyway?
  • There was Nigel Bruce’s Watson alongside Basil Rathbone’s Holmes, probably one of the more successful and popular portrayals of the literary duo. Bruce starred as Watson in 14 films from 1939 to 1946 and over 200 radio programs.
  • During the 1920s, Hubert Willis’s Watson accompanied Eille Norwood’s Holmes.
  • In the late 1960s another Nigel - Nigel Stock – was Watson in a BBC series of Holmes adaptations alongside side actor Peter Cushing.
  • Laurie Main and Keith McConnell played Watson and Holmes, respectively, in the 1980 children’s special, The Clue According to Sherlock Holmes.  More on this program is available on Bellairsia....
  • And two actors, David Burke and Edward Hardwicke, portrayed the good doctor opposite Jeremy Brett’s interpretation of Holmes during the late-1980s and early-1990s.
  • Martin Freeman was Watson in Sherlock from the 2010s, set in contemporary times with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes.

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