Top 5 Watson Actors

1) Martin Freeman


2) Martin Freeman


3) Martin Freeman


4) Martin Freeman


5) Martin Freeman


I think that about covers it. (Honorable mention to Jude Law.)

How to get my newest book:

(Book 3) The Detective The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including   Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide from Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.

How to get the previous two books in the series:

(Book 1) The Detective and the Woman: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

(Book 2) The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes is available from all good bookstores and e-bookstores worldwide including in the USA Amazon,Barnes and Noble and Classic Specialities – and in all electronic formats including Amazon Kindle , iTunes(iPad/iPhone) and Kobo.

16 thoughts on “Top 5 Watson Actors

  1. I thought this was about Dr. Watson. Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes’ companion and chronicler. They lived in London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I don’t know who this character is. Is he related to the hirsute young man with the genetically attached oversized scarf? Or to the Chinese woman physician? Or the unshaven drunk who collapses on the floor of his flat? None of these people are Dr. Watson: nor are any of them Sherlock Holmes.

      • How can we take a character completely out of their historical and geographical and personal context – pin the same moniker on him or her – and pretend it’s the same character? Was Joan of Ark a 20th century suffragette? Martin Luther King a cloistered nun? George Washington a medieval knight? A rose, by any other name, might smell as sweet: but a pomegranate doesn’t become a rose by calling it a rose.

      • Have you watched Martin’s portrayal? As an ardent fan of the Doyle canon, I find him closest in spirit to the original Watson of anyone I’ve seen.

  2. Amy, I agree with all five of your choices. Dr. Watson, just like Sherlock, have stayed the same AND have changed and evolved over the years. I love them all. It doesn’t matter to me whether whether Dr. Watson is a female, is unshaven, or what.

    • For my part: I’ll stick with the Canon.

      What’s next, I wonder? Robin Hood as a hit man for the Chinese Tongs and Friar Tuck as a Buddhist nun? Nero Wolfe as an aerobics instructor and Archie Goodwin as his elderly mother? . . . .

      • Well, in Sherlock, Martin plays a wounded Army doctor, recently returned from Afghanistan, who moves into a flat with an eccentric detective. I guess that’s a canonical enough Watson for me.

      • Which Afghanistan war are we talking about, though?

        The Canon consists of the stories of Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective, of Baker Street in London: as chronicled by his good friend, Dr. John H. Watson: as told to Watson’s literary agent, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

        Copyright having expired on these stories – on most of them, anyone – anyone can write stories, and pin the names Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on two of the characters. The stories can be set in any area or era. The characters can be male, female, gay, Asian, or bunny rabbits. The leading characters can interact with the Apostle Paul, Robin Goodfellow, or Count Dracula.

        But, none save those mentioned in the first full paragraph above are about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

        If I decide to write a story about Jesus Christ appearing to the headhunters of the Amazon rain forest in the year 1920: it may or not be an entertaining tale. It surely is not part of the Scriptural Canon.

    • When did anybody say any of these adaptations were part of the canon?

      Reinterpretations of characters are not a new thing, and are well-established and accepted. There is a “core” to the characters of Holmes and Watson, an essence, or, to use a technical term borrowed from another discipline, a mytheme that needs to be kept in order for us to properly identify characters as the same characters as from the original stories, just interpreted in a different light.

      Freeman keeps to the mytheme, keeping the truly essential aspects of Watson’s character, the things necessary for him to be identified as Watson. In my opinion Lucy Liu does not, which is why “Elementary” bugs the crap out of me.

  3. Exact same list as mine.

    Nigel Bruce gets a bad rap – he made the role comedic, but in “Hound” he portrayed a very respectable, capable Watson. It’s a shame they changed it.

  4. Martin Freeman in the final scene of “The Reichenbach Fall” puts on one of the greatest performances by an actor I’ve ever seen. If your heart isn’t breaking, you are inhuman.

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