Poll The Best Holmes?

The Best Holmes?

  • Basil Rathbone

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Peter Cushing

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jeremy Brett

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Robert Downey Junior

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Benedict Cumberbatch

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jonny Lee Miller

    Votes: 1 25.0%

  • Total voters

Doctor Omega

So, who was/is the best then....?

And why?

Basil Rathbone


Peter Cushing


Jeremy Brett


Robert Downey Junior


Benedict Cumberbatch


Jonny Lee Miller


Some also-rans who didn't quite make the poll....

Tom Baker ("My spectacular failure!" as he put it.)
Gene Wilder (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Younger Brother)
Michael Caine (Without a Clue)
Dinsdale Landen (Radio)

and many others!
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Doctor Omega

I am gonna be really awkward and say Jonny Lee Miller.

His nervous and fidgety take on the character is, to my mind, totally original and slightly more believable in a way.

Oh well, that's my choice - and I am stuck with it now! :emoji_disappointed:


Member: Rank 8
For me, having read the stories, Brett hits all the notes in his performance. Honestly, I like all of these actors in the role for various reasons (not as keen on Miller as you are, mate, but that's all opinions, right?). But when I read Holmes, Brett is the one that I can visualize the best in the stories.


Member: Rank 2
If I were trying to establish an objective “best,” based on fidelity to the source material and acting caliber, I’d have to go with Jeremy Brett. An amazing performance in an amazing show. The pilot episode, adapted from “A Scandal in Bohemia,” is one of my favorite Holmes-related things of all.

With that said, my favorite is Basil Rathbone. I grew up with his Holmes movies, and he’s warmer and more likeable than Brett without sacrificing the hard edge. (The great Arthur Wontner, who inexcusably did not make this poll :emoji_wink:, was warm and avuncular, but didn’t have that cold rational side that’s necessary to Holmes [which is, however, overdone with moderns like Cumberbatch].)

Peter Cushing is one of my absolute favorite actors—I even loved him in Star Wars, which I just recently saw for the first time (I know, I know!)—but I’ve never been a fan of his Holmes. Oddly enough, as much as he was a fan of the character, I always thought the performance was more stilted than his Van Helsing or Frankenstein (or Grand Moff Tarkin, for that matter). And I’ve never been a fan of his Hound, though André Morrell was one of the very best Watsons.

Robert Stephens isn’t my favorite Holmes, but he did star in my favorite Holmes movie, Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

My favorite Holmeses would probably go like this:

1. Basil Rathbone

2. Jeremy Brett

3. Arthur Wontner

4. Ian Richardson

5. Robert Stephens

6. Christopher Plummer

7. Douglas Wilmer

8. Nicol Williamson

9. Peter Cushing

10. Benedict Cumberbatch

11. John Barrymore

12. Robert Downey, Jr.

13. Clive Brook

14. Reginald Owen

15. Richard Roxburgh

16. Roger Moore

17. Rupert Everett

18. Ben Syder

19. Matt Frewer
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Member: Rank 3
I have to go with Jeremy Brett. He's the closest to what I pictured when I read the books (though the others do a very good job as well).

My only nitpick would be that the costume designers didn't ditch that ridiculous deerstalker cap. That hat is never explicitly mention in the books, and even if Holmes had one, he would only have worn it in the country, as he followed the clothing conventions of the time.