I just found out today that Edward Hardwick died in May. Edward Hardwick is the best Watson ever. Was the best Watson ever. I do not know how I would ever decide what my favorite moment in the series would be. He was always wonderful. David Burke was Watson to Brett's Holmes first. He was a jovial Watson but smart as a tack unlike earlier versions. I found Hardwick to be most authentic to the role. Kind, astute, quick to err on the side of human goodness and the best friend that Holmes could ever have asked for. He cared for Holmes in his illnesses, self induced & otherwise, and tended his soul's passage in this life with reproachful tenderness. His disappointment in Holmes' habits came through but did not prevent his continued friendship.
Hardwick's Watson was not mirthless by any means. I think of all characters in literature brought to cinema that his was the most realistically human of all of them. I can think of no one more genuine.
It will be hard to watch the shows knowing both Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwick are gone.