GB / US
Dir: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law
Holmes and Watson travel across Europe with a Gypsy adventuress to foil an intricate plot by Professor Moriarty to instigate a war
This lavish and typically elaborate Warner Brothers remake of the classic Sherlock tale features much CGI and could not be further from the original stories if it tried. However, it was largely a commercial success leaving its best scenes to one-on-ones between Holmes and Moriarty. The film features two railway sequences, but both are not what they seem. There are a number of scenes filmed in the engine shed at the Didcot Railway Centre which doubles up as the German armaments factory. Several GWR locos are present and though the only one readily identifiable is 6100 Class 2-6-2T No.6106, others including 5700-series 0-6-0PT No.3738 and 5600 Class 0-6-2T No.6697 can be made out. Many railway wagons and other items of stock are outside in the yard, hidden amongst all the military hardware. The film also features a railway journey sequence during which Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) pushes Dr. Watson’s (Jude Law) new wife Mary (Kelly Reilly) from a steam train as it crosses the Severn Valley Railway’s Victoria Bridge. No steam train, or actors, were at the location, nor was a dummy thrown into the River Severn. All filming took place on the Bluebell Railway, using a camera on a crane jib mounted on a flat wagon pushed by a diesel shunter. This was all that was needed to create the series of shots needed, and everything else, including the highly authentic looking train and the ‘lady plunging into the river’, was created digitally in the studio and was then added to the footage of the bridge. In fact, the railway journey starts at the expansive ‘London’ terminus of the ‘South England Railway’ with several steam-hauled trains present, but again this is all a computer-generated image, and a highly authentic one at that.