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Jude Law or Martin Freeman; Who's Sherlock Holmes' Better Sidekick?

Doyle readers know John Watson to be a bright and handsome gent who his way around women and the world, a battlefield surgeon and a former rugby player, just shy of his 30th birthday. And yet the parlor nitwit aka Boobus Britannicus, Nigel "Watson" Bruce is what fans had to live with - till the dapper Jude Law or the equally fantastic Martin Freeman arrived on scene. While purists jeered Bruce's avuncular and idiotic act that perpetually had Homes pulling him out of trouble, moviegoers adored the simplicity of the character. And Nigel Bruce remained the good ol'doctor while Sherlocks kept changing through 259 episodes. To the non-Doyle acclimatized Sherlock Holmes fan, that's what Watson became- plump, older than Sherlock and with a penchant of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and saying the wrong thing.

Enter Jude Law

Sherlockians would bemoan as to why a genius like Sherlock Holmes would prefer to stay with a nitwit like Bruce's Watson. In the 1980s and 1990s, first David Burke and then Edward Hardwicke played Watson with distinction in the highly regarded Granada productions for British television. In 2009 when Law took on the role of the so-called secondary sidekick, many Sherlockians felt that Hollywood had finally delivered a Watson who was more buff than buffoon. A fitting sentiment for the not-so-shiny celluloid career of Watson is whey Stephen Fry who plays Mycroft Holmes turns to his brother and points out that Watson is not nearly "as slow-witted as you've led me to believe", after meeting and being impressed by Law's Watson. Jude plays more colleague than sidekick to Downey's Sherlock, and seems to be quite the action man too!

Seconded by Martin Freeman

And yet another stalwart Watson is Freeman's rendition of an army doctor invalided out of Afghanistan. The flat mate and "friend" of the rather arrogant genius Holmes, a "consulting detective" who helps the police when they're out of their depth - Freeman's Watson is what keeps Holmes grounded and human. Fans feel that Watson lends a moral framework to Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who's more interested in the chase than in what's right or wrong. For Holmes it is often the end and the game that's prime, for Watson the means are equally under spotlight. As Martin Freeman himself confesses that he gets more fan mail for "Sherlock" than for "The Hobbit".

So while Martin's Watson was birthed a year later than Law's, by no means can his portrayal be considered second best! While Jude Law's Watson is a charismatic ladies man who looks and dresses the part, Freeman's rendition is that of a more endearing man, the very heart of Sherlock!

Read more:

( Sherlock's Season 3 Episode Spoilers

( Benedict's on a Dating Roll

( The better Sherlock: Robert Downey Jr or Benedict Cumberbatch
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Aug 2, 2013
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