Sherlock Holmes

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Sherlock Holmes

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Mar 9, 2012, 9:28am

We have been watching reruns of Jeremy Brett as Holmes and I found him compelling so I looked him up. Shows how a part can take over your life but he will live for ever in the great TV series.

Editado: Mar 11, 2012, 8:31am

Just looked up Jeremy Brett online. IMDb says he died of 'iatrogenic congestive cardiac failure'. Apart from obviously being heart failure, it meant nothing to me - but Wikipedia mentions that, "His heart valves had been scarred by rheumatic fever contracted as a child ...", clearly implying that this caused his heart failure.

I looked up 'iatrogenic congestive cardiac failure' anyway, being an inquisitive kind of person, and it turns out that the definition of 'iatrogenic' is, "... resulting from the activity of physicians; said of any adverse condition in a patient resulting from treatment by a physician or surgeon". But there doesn't seem to be any hint of this anywhere except IMDb. Was there any controversy over his death - or have IMDb simply got it wrong?

On a different note, I actually find his TV series more absorbing, these days, than the books.

I loved Sherlock Holmes as a teenager, then didn't read any for decades, then bought the Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes a few years back. A bit of a disappointment - the stories just didn't grip me the same way as they had when I was young and I didn't really find Holmes that believable.

On the other hand, I occasionally watch an episode of the Brett-Holmes series and I find them much more entertaining than most stuff on these days - one of the few things to get me to watch telly, in fact.

Mar 12, 2012, 10:09am

There was quite a bit about the way the part took over his life. He doesn't seem a very contented person. I didn't even know he was dead, which was why I looked him up. They really aren't the sort of books I read but we are watching all the Sherlock Holmes and Poirot TV programmes when there is only rubbish on, these days.

Mar 13, 2012, 11:27am

I know no more about Brett's medical history than is mentioned on Wikipedia. It looks as if the 'iatrogenic' label is related to his treatment with lithium for his bipolar affective disorder. Lithium is an effective drug but has a narrow therapeutic/toxic ratio - in other words the dose needed for effective treatment is near to a toxic dose. Lithium can have a lot of troublesome side-effects including fluid retention: this would increase strain on a heart that was already damaged.

If the heart failure that carried him off was related to the lithium treatment it would be correct to call it iatrogenic without there being necessarily any implication of controversy or negligence by his doctors.

His 60/day cigarette habit couldn't have helped him, either!

Mar 15, 2012, 11:33am

Poor Jeremy Brett, so sad : (

Mar 15, 2012, 1:26pm

#4 - ... it would be correct to call it iatrogenic without there being necessarily any implication of controversy or negligence by his doctors. - Oddly enough (or, perhaps, not), I'm quite pleased to read that. His death was sad enough as it was.

That 'a little learning' thing was in operation there, of course - I shouldn't look for definitions online and out of context.

Mar 15, 2012, 2:16pm

I'll never forget when I heard he'd died. It was like losing a family member. I have the entire DVD collection and still watch it often. I like the books as well but also prefer the TV show.

Abr 20, 2012, 6:48am

say Sherlock and I now think Benedict Cumberbatch

Abr 21, 2012, 10:24am


Abr 22, 2012, 5:12am

Benedict is so sososo gorgeous and an awesome actor too
what more can you want?

Abr 22, 2012, 6:30am

Doctor Watson, Better looking and a better actor.

Abr 22, 2012, 10:58am

I'll leave it to the girls to decide on the gorgeousness or otherwise of these two. Martin Freeman is, indeed, a good actor - I'm looking forward to seeing him as Bilbo Baggins - but don't cast no nasturtiums on Cumberbatch's thespian abilities. I saw him playing Frankenstein's monster at the National Theatre and thought he was brilliamt.

Abr 23, 2012, 6:59am

you actually saw him? Jesus Sherlock in the flesh, that would be awesome

Oct 24, 2012, 10:10am

Jeremy Brett, David Burke, Edward Hardwicke & Eric Porter as a definitive Moriarty, great scripts, great acting.

Considering how short the short stories are the screenwriters did a great job in fleshing out the narrative while staying true to character. In this respect i believe the screen adaptation is better that the book although of course without Conan Doyle there would not have been the man "who never lived and will never die".

If you can get the complete box set and you will probably find yourself a repeat viewer just to enjoy the quality of the acting. (No I am not being paid commission by Amazon but would still thoroughly recommend this series).

Ene 20, 2019, 3:53am

It's now 20th January 2019 - and I arrived at this site the same way one or two of you did - being very impressed with Jeremy Brett's acting ability - and then being shocked at finding out he died in 1995 at the age of 61 years. Astounding to read the attitude of his father to his desire to become an actor. Brett played the part of Sherlock with an intensity and credibility that will be hard to better.
Thank you Jeremy Brett for a superlative job.

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