Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Inspector LestradeInspector Lestrade
Inspector Lestrade is a fictional character, a Scotland Yard detective appearing in several of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle used the name (originally pronounced in the French way: l'estrade "less-TRAHD") of an acquaintance from his days at the University of Edinburgh, a St.Lucian whom Doyle disliked. In The Cardboard Box, his first initial is revealed to be G.
It is observed by Holmes in A Study in Scarlet that Lestrade and another detective, Tobias Gregson, have an ongoing rivalry. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes comments to Dr. Watson that Lestrade "is the best of the professionals, I think," meaning the professional detectives employed by Scotland Yard as opposed to himself.
Lestrade is frequently exasperated by Holmes's unconventional methods. "I am a practical man," he says in The Boscombe Valley Mystery. However, in time he does come to appreciate and respect the unofficial detective's record of success. "We're not jealous of you down at Scotland Yard," he says in The Six Napoleons. "No, sir, we are damned proud of you." Watson notes in passing that this little comment is one of the few instances where Holmes is visibly moved.
In the popular London media, Lestrade is depicted as one of the best detectives at Scotland Yard. Holmes once remarked in The Adventure of the Cardboard Box that although Lestrade had almost no skill at actual crime-solving, his tenacity and determination are what brought him to the highest ranks in the official police force.
The author M. J. Trow wrote a series of sixteen books using Lestrade as the central character, beginning with The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade in 1985. In these stories, Trow shows Lestrade to be a more than capable detective. He is given a first name, Sholto, a young daughter whom he seldom sees, and a series of adventures set against an historical backdrop. In one book Lestrade meets G.K. Chesterton and in another he suffers a broken leg in a fall from the gangplank of the RMS Titanic.
Lestrade's lack of intelligence is frequently exaggerated in adaptations, often characterizing him as a congenial idiot.
Colin Jeavons played Lestrade in the Granada Television adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with the character played as a capable, if slightly vain, career policeman prone with a prickly but affectionate relationship with Holmes. Dennis Hoey played Lestrade in several of the Sherlock Holmes films from Universal Pictures which starred Basil Rathbone as Holmes.

Other Fictional Portrayals

Archie Duncan played Lestrade in the 1954-55 French-made series Sherlock Holmes.
Borislav Brondukov played him in all of the Russian Sherlock Holmes TV series starring Vasily Livanov
Frank Finlay played him twice in A Study in Terror and Murder by Decree.
Jeffrey Jones was Lestrade in Without a Clue
Kenaway Baker made a quick appearance as Lestrade in Incident at Victoria Falls

No comments: