I was skeptical that a re-imagining of the great Conan-Doyle characters would stand up. Sherlock Holmes as a modern day detective? It’s not cricket!
There’s so many elements lifted from the period Holmes & Watson lived in that transplant so well into modern London – the windy streets; the general grime; people murdering people. The dialog is current and the faces are younger than the central characters have been delivered previously in movies & television (perhaps with the exception of Downey Jr & Law), however the morbid undertones of an ever-present nemesis haunt this asperger-ish incarnation of the (now ex) pipe-smoking detective. And he’s gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Benedict Cumberbatch is strikingly intelligent as the misfit of crime fighting Holmes, while Martin Freeman brings a dark, sinister yet eager edge as the sidekick & confidante Dr John Watson. The back story is developed quickly, the characters gel instantly yet maintain a healthy relational distance (after all, in episode 1 we’re seeing them meet for the first time) – but it’s an obvious bond and Watson’s awe of Holmes is well justified. I’d be drawn to him like that too.
The saddest part is – to date, only 3 episodes have been made and aired (there is a pilot, but nobody likes to talk about that). I can see the attraction to this form of establishing the series: the episodes are all 90 minutes long (without ads), & intricately woven together so that the viewer pieces the puzzle together with Sherlock. The writing is brilliant, and it would be extremely difficult to create a standard series of 8-13 episodes at that quality. 3 eps has our taste whetted, panting for more demented brilliance. The best part is – the BBC have confirmed other episodes will come.
If you missed the first two episodes when they aired in Australia, then either catch them on GEM – E01 Thursday 9:35pm & E02 Friday 9:40pm or go straight to Channel 9’s catch-up service FixPlay & watch them there. Pronto.
Sherlock, 9 Network, Episode 3 – Sunday 8:30pm
Image Sources: 9 Network, BBC