Is Stanley Tucci a better Sherlock Holmes than Benedict Cumberbatch?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for: Inside man.Steven Moffat’s New Thriller Inside man stars Stanley Tucci as a Sherlock Holmes-esque character who could be better than Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. The four-part thriller explores how the lives of a journalist, a teacher, a convicted murderer and a pastor intersect. At the center of the story is convicted murderer Jefferson Grieff (Tucci), a brilliant criminologist who is on death row for the violent murder of his wife. In an effort to do some good before his execution, Grieff uses his considerable skills to consult on investigations into “moral valueReviews have likened Tucci’s character to Anthony Hopkins’ infamous serial killer Hannibal Lecter, who also gave advice on mysteries. However, Tucci’s character feels more like Arthur Conan Doyle’s advisory detective, Sherlock Holmes.

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Benedict Cumberbatch played Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ modernization of Conan Doyle’s works over four seasons and a Christmas special. The show was a combination of classic Holmes mysteries such as: The Hound of the Baskervilles and A study in Scarlet with original mysteries written by Moffat, Gatiss and Steven Thompson. The show was a huge success for Steven Moffat, earning a fan in Stanley Tucci who accepted Inside man because of his love for Sherlock. Despite the show ending in 2017, it’s clearly out Inside man that Moffat still has some affection for the character.

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Cumberbatch’s Sherlock was often more abrasive than Conan Doyle’s Holmes novels. Where Conan Doyle’s Holmes led Watson through his affairs and persuaded his partner to help with the deductions, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock was much more contemptuous of those he considered less intelligent. Oddly enough, being a convicted murderer, Grieff is actually more charming than Sherlock, being more open about his deductive prowess, encouraging others to follow his mindset. In many ways, therefore, Tucci’s portrayal of Grieff is a better interpretation of the original, classic Sherlock Holmes character than Benedict Cumberbatch’s.


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In Inside man Episode 1, Grieff is presented with the strange case of a suspected rapist who receives $253.55 every time he has sex with his wife. Grieff quickly solves the mystery and refuses to accept it because it doesn’t fit his criteria. Where Sherlock would have condescended the apparently less intelligent Watson, Grieff instead relies on the intelligence of his own partner, convicted serial killer and cannibal Dillon Kempton (Atkins Estimond) to find the solution himself, which he does towards the end of the episode. . Stanley Tucci’s criminology professor could easily see Dillon as someone of lower status, but he lovingly treats him as an equal, not least because of his belief that everyone is “a bad day“away from being a murderer.

As convicted criminals, Grieff and Kempton’s more clearly supportive partnership is turning the public’s expectations. It also looks more like Holmes and Watson than Sherlock and John from Moffat. Martin Freeman’s John Watson wasn’t a million miles away from his role as Tim in The office, an everyman surrounded by frustrating and impossible characters. The friendship between Sherlock and John was much more suppressed than ever in Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books, where Holmes’s affection for Watson shone through his benign ribs.

In Sherlock, Steven Moffat presented Holmes’ skills for deduction as a kind of cold calculation that reduced humans to creatures of habit. In Inside manGrieff also sees humans as creatures of habit, but they also have a fascination, illustrated by how he takes up the case of the missing teacher. This fascination was at the heart of Conan Doyle’s iconic character, and Tucci brilliantly continues the Holmesian tradition as Jefferson Grieff.

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