The Brettish Empire
Vol. I #8

May 21, 1995

Here it is--Issue Eight of The Brettish Empire. The "Empire" is expanding, BTW. Four new subscribers are joining us this issue--"Welcome" Susan, Bonnie, Rick, and Stephany! 


In "TBE #7", I asked readers what kinds of new roles you'd like to see Jeremy Brett in, now that it appears the Granada series has ceased production for good. I received several interesting responses:

>From Kim Robarts--"Well, one thing I would love to see him do that he hasn't gotten much opportunity to lately is comedy. I would to see him do a British sitcom, maybe a romantic comedy. Only as far as a plot, I would have to think for a bit. I would also like him to make a move towards more American productions--I would love to see him over here more."

>From MizPat--"I think the best role for Brett would be one in which he could dress as he seems to look best, in those well-fitting three-piece suits of the latter 1800's. He's so s'wave (pardon my California colloquialism)."

>From Trikywu--"Nice idea...I've thought of various things myself. Personally, I would love to have seen Jeremy in The Madness of King George, Howard's End, or Remains of the Day, in some sort of role. [He would have been good in Shadowlands, too--llo] He would be perfect in a lush, Merchant-Ivory type film. Jeremy once said [actor and close friend] Robert Stephens proposed that he was all 'champagne, Perrier water, and dance', so he seems best in that upper-class type of role. Another idea...perhaps he'd make a good Uncle Vanya? Or a sinister low-life in a Dickensian production? I would also love to see Jeremy in another prime-time mystery such as Inspector Morse or Prime Suspect. The list could be endless!"

Indeed! Incidentally, I (llo) thought of another role for Jeremy. In early 1994, I read a wonderful novel by Gail Godwin called Father Melancholy's Daughter. It told the story of a young woman remembering her late father, a kind, devoted pastor who had struggled with depression and the loss of his wife. I had just seen the melancholy Granada episode The Eligible Bachelor, and as I read this novel, I couldn't help seeing Jeremy as the pastor. Father Melancholy Daughter has no Holmesian content whatsoever, but I highly recommend it--it's a thoughtful, well-written character study. It will probably never be made into a film; however, it's well worth reading.


Eric Porter, who played Professor Moriarty opposite Jeremy Brett's Holmes, died of colon cancer on May 15. Mr. Porter appeared in a number of distinguished British productions such as The Forsythe Saga and The Jewel in the Crown, but perhaps he made his most vivid impression as "The Napoleon of Crime".

After filming the spectacular Reichenbach Falls sequence for The Final Problem, Mr. Porter said, "[Moriarty] is such an incredibly complex figure--in his way every bit as obsessed and driven as Holmes--that even on the brief canvas of his appearance in The Final Problem there are still endless opportunities for an actor to pursue. I have always felt some of the performances of the earlier Moriartys lacked any real depth. He was just played as an unregenerate villain without any attempt to show the real motivations of ego and pride that drove him to the confrontation with Holmes to prove which of them was the better man. I found acting with Jeremy Brett a splendid challenge, too, for he was so deeply involved with Holmes that he understood every nerve and fibre of the man. I like to think I gave a good account of Moriarty--though like Jeremy I could hardly bear to watch the two stunt men going over the cliffs." (Quote from The Television Sherlock Holmes by Peter Haining.)

Yes, Mr. Porter--you did give a good account of Moriarty...R.I.P.


Sometimes in the hullabaloo over Holmes and Jeremy, Watson and Edward Hardwicke get overlooked. Mr. Hardwicke makes a fine Watson. His warm, intelligent Doctor is the perfect counterbalance to the eccentric genius of Holmes. The ever-helpful MizPat reports that she found a "lovely" article on Edward Hardwicke in the latest issue of British Heritage magazine. She says it provides more background on Mr. Hardwicke's addition to the cast of the Granada series, and that it also features pictures of him and Jeremy from The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Devil's Foot. Check your local newsstand or library. (Thanks again, Pat! :->)


Jeff Wolfe has added Kathy Li's Granada Episode Guide to his homepage. Thanks, Jeff! 
Whew! Looks like I beat the time limit. Hope you enjoyed Issue Eight of "TBE". Remember, I welcome your "views, news, and reviews" on all things Brett. Just "ring me up" via e-mail.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care, and I'll see you next time.

--Lisa :-)

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