Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I’d heard of the new Sherlock series released by the Masterpiece Theater in October 2010, and I’d been really interested. I’d grown up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and imagining the Great Detective and Dr. John Watson plunging through the fog shrouded streets of 19th century London, and I’d enjoyed Jeremy Brett’s interpretation of the character. I also love Robert Downey, Jr’s, portrayal of Holmes and am anxiously waiting for the second movie in that series.

This Sherlock is a bit different, though.  It is set in present day London, and Watson is a survivor of the Afghanistan War (it’s interesting to note that back in 1887 when the first Holmes novel came out – A Study in Scarlet – Watson was a veteran of the Afghan wars then too).  As a kid, I’d seen Sherlock Holmes transported to the future in The Return of Sherlock Holmes and in Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (an animated series).  I wasn’t sure how this series would work out.

Benedict Cumberbatch (as Sherlock Holmes) and Martin Freeman (as Dr. Watson) totally won me over, though.  They’ve got chemistry between them that lights up the screen.  The murder is loosely based on the first Sherlock Holmes novel but it plays out quite nicely in this 90-minute movie.

Watson, always the more human of the duo, is an intriguing character and I can’t wait to see what they do with him.  Martin Freeman is excellent in this role.  However, Freeman is also on tap to play Bilbo Baggins in the two Hobbit movies, so his time is undoubtedly going to be precious.  Thankfully there are six episodes of this series (three haven’t yet aired) that will be available.

Cumberbatch is a wonderful Holmes.  Quirky and energetic and a pleasure to watch even while he’s lying on a couch pondering problem (the pipes have been replaced with nicotine patches), Cumberbatch delivers the Holmes fans expect, but he gives them something extra.

I loved the sequence of Holmes and Watson racing across the rooftops as they tried to intercept a suspicious taxi.  I’m glad that the series seems to be equally adept outside a flat as it is inside one.  I’d wondered if we were going to be stuck on sound stages.

The series also builds on the Holmes myth.  We get to see Holmes’s brother, Mycroft, and there’s mention of Moriarty, so that bad boy is coming.

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