Friday, November 8, 2019

James Lovegrove's "Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon"

James Lovegrove is the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Odin. He was short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1998 and for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 2004, and also reviews fiction for the Financial Times. He is the author of Firefly: Big Damn Hero with Nancy Holder and Firefly: The Magnificent Nine. He lives in south-east England.

Here Lovegrove dreamcasts an adaptation of his latest Sherlock Holmes novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon:
The best screen Holmes is undoubtedly Jeremy Brett, who played the role in the 1980s Granada series and nailed the character completely. Most of the time he was accompanied by Edward Hardwicke, who was likewise excellent as Watson – tolerant and reliable. If these two were still alive and in their prime, I would gladly have them star in a movie of any of my Holmes books. In fact, when writing Holmes’s dialogue, I tend to hear Brett’s voice.

I also think that Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, back when they were a comedy duo, would have made a fine Holmes and Watson. Each could have played either role.

Specifically for The Christmas Demon, the other main parts would offer present-day British thespians plenty to get their teeth into. Most of the action takes place at Fellscar Keep, a Yorkshire castle in the depths of a freezing winter, and the large family who live there form the bulk of the supporting cast. Roger Allam would make a convincing Thaddeus Allerthope, the crusty patriarch, and Anton Lesser would be good as his somewhat weaker-willed, more sensitive younger brother Shadrach. Both actors play major roles in the 1960s-set detective series Endeavour.

Our leading lady, Eve Allerthorpe, would be well portrayed by someone like Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones or Maisie Williams, and her tearaway brother by Taron Egerton from Rocketman and the Kingsman movies. Husband and wife Fitzhugh and Kitty Danningbury Boyd – the one louche and lecherous, the other somewhat highly-strung – could be played by Eddie Redmayne (or Andrew Garfield) and perhaps Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

A stylish director such as Sam Mendes or Christopher Nolan would be great – although the latter would probably not be interested in the job, given that the story’s narrative is purely linear, with no time jumps or flashbacks or other tricksy malarkey.
Visit James Lovegrove's website.

--Marshal Zeringue