Cut to Baker Street

There are a ton of Sherlock Holmes film and TV projects briefly described in Cut to Baker Street. With the book’s inclusion of web series, video games, and other short pieces, any reader will discover something they weren’t previously aware of. However, the information given for any project is very brief. Most titles have mere plot descriptions, without much information about history, style, quality, or importance. Particularly with those items that weren’t commercial full-length films or TV shows, it’s frustrating to not know where or if they are available or if they’re worth seeking out.

The arrangement of titles alphabetically means jumping among centuries, formats, and approaches, giving the whole thing the feel of a junk box. (There is a list in the back of titles in chronological order which includes at least one item not in the main section of the book.) There are films from a wide variety of countries noted, as well as related documentaries. As a reader, I felt overcome by the quantity of titles with little detail about them. The best addition was the occasional note about which actors had appeared in other Holmes-related productions.

Cut to Baker Street

The layout could have been improved. There are no illustrations from the films or TV shows themselves, only generic line drawings of random elements (such as a pipe or jewelry or a bat). The only actors noted in most cases, even when other characters are mentioned, are those who played Holmes and Watson. (How can you write even a short entry for The Great Mouse Detective without noting that Ratigan was voiced by Vincent Price?!?)

Some films that were part of a series are only noted individually, with no overall list of the series, making cross-referencing difficult. Some TV shows that featured one Holmesian episode get entries; others do not. Sometimes studios and airdates are mentioned; sometimes not. More editing (to trim run-on sentences) and proofreading (to correct typos, particularly the inconsistent capitalization) passes were needed.

I can see looking something up here in future, perhaps, to remember which film was which, but I had hoped for a book that was much more pleasurable to read. This one would have been better as a website.



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