Every Sherlockian I have met (and I tend to "work a room" pretty effectively at events) has his or her personal favorite Holmes and Watson pairing from the silver screen or small screen. And invariably, I find that the emotional attachment is linked to a first exposure to Holmes.
For example, there are many Sherlockians - of varying generations - who first discovered the Holmes of the screen through Basil Rathbone and will not be swayed from thinking that he is the best Holmes to occupy celluloid. There are equally staunch supporters in the Jeremy Brett camp.
The more dedicated and studied Sherlockians who follow one-time appearances, rarely-seen footage, or actors of less acclaim may have other favorites such as Arthur Wontner,Douglas Wilmer, Robert Stephensor Peter Cushing.
By way of reference, Sherlockian Bob Byrne runs a site called Sherlock Holmes on Oxford Lane, in which he has two pages of note related to the topic here:
- A comprehensive listing of actors that have portrayed Holmes on the SH Actor's Gallery
- And an article called The Definitive Holmes