Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The New Sherlock Holmes

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in the new BBC series "Sherlock"
Photo via here

Have you been watching the delicious new Sherlock Holmes series "Sherlock" on Masterpiece Mystery?  This fabulous British update of the Sherlock Holme stories is fun, witty and oh so smart.  How clever to transpose the adventures of the famous sleuth to modern day London with all the current technology of today's world.  There are smart phones and texting.  Dr. Watson chronicles Sherlock's adventures on his blog!  Everything happens quickly, mirroring the razor-sharp mind of Holmes as well as the rush of modern day life.  The dialogue is quick and witty and the slow-motion fight sequences are dazzling.   The creative graphics allow us to see how Holmes picks up his clues in quick fire succession as they point him to the solution of each case.

Sherlock Holmes is played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Dr. John Watson by Martin Freeman.  These two actors do such a good job portraying their characters.  There have been many different actors who have played Sherlock Holmes, but it is hard to think of any that have given as enjoyable a performance as Benedict Cumberbatch.   Martin Freeman is also excellent as Dr. Watson and, in fact, it is the unexpected warmth of the relationship between the two men that makes this new series so appealing.

The first two episodes of season two are "Scandal in Belgravia" and "The Hounds of the Baskervilles." The main plot lines are still in place, but they have been reimagined for this new production in a sparkling and fast-paced way.  The boys still live at 221B  Baker street and Mrs. Hudson is their housekeeper.  But now there is a depth to their personalities as well as their relationship with Mrs. Hudson that I never noticed in any of the other other Sherlock Holmes productions.

And it is the layered relationship of the two men that adds the greatest appeal to this new series.  It is obvious that they care for each other and know each other very well.  Many of their lines, though clever and witty as they attempt to conceal feelings, betray this caring as well as the deep knowledge of each other's characters which comes from spending so much time together.

And this new series is funny.  There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour here.  My favorite line from Sunday's episode was when Dr. Watson says to Holmes (and I am loosely quoting here):

 "Don't do that thing you always do, going all mysterious on me with those cheekbones and pulling up your collar."

I laughed out loud, and at the end of the episode marveled at the fact that something as old as Conan Doyle's stories of Sherlock Holmes can be given a fresh spin that makes them entertaining in a new way, but also highlights the eternal appeal of really good characters, stories and writing!

It seems "elementary, my dear Watson" but this show is obviously the result of some very clever, original and creative minds -- the writers and directors who put this new series together.  Bravo!


  1. Just loved it Sunday! It gets better and better with each episode. The last one is a real kicker. Enjoy!
    Jeanne xx

  2. Yes, have always had a thing for SherLock. I was not so sure about this when it emerged last year, however it is as you say the smartest thing going-have not seen its likes on tv. pgt

  3. We've been watching and it's a delicious romp of good natured fun!

  4. Thank you for the tip...I had not seen it, will have to go and see if there are podcasts.
    Have a great week Senday!

  5. As a devoted Jeremy Brett fan, I was a decided snob about this new version.
    That is, before I saw the first episode!
    Now I am utterly besotted!!
    We take the phone off the hook when it's on.

  6. Sunday, I'm so glad you gave us this entertaining review. I just caught wind of this new series and am hoping to make it my summer watch. I plan on catching up on the ones I've missed. Thanks for reminding me.

  7. I was so hoping that you would write about Sherlock, Sunday. I loved last season, and this season has proved to be even better. I wondered how "The Hounds of the Baskervilles" would play out in this edgy, modern telling. It still had me on the edge of my seat. Tom came in, wondering what I was up to, and next I knew he was as mesmerized as I was.

    "Don't do that thing you always do, going all mysterious on me with those cheekbones and pulling up your collar." - and Sherlock says, no, he doesn't as he proceed to pull up his collar.

    Love it. Loved this post.

  8. Isn't it fantastic? I also think it is interesting that in the original books Dr Watson had served with the army in Afghanistan - as has the Dr Watson in the new series. So despite the modern twist some things sadly stay the same. Joanne

  9. OK - going to watch. I can't believe I didn't watch Downton Abbey until you reviewed it! My first response to TV is always skepticism, I really should be more open to it. Will have to catch up on it as usual, but will try. Thanks!

  10. I have loved this series and agree with those above who say it just gets better. The Hound of the Baskervilles was amazing.The only disappointment to me, strangely, are the interior shots of Holmes' apartment. Any decorators out there care to slice and dice this? My only tip about this series is that I record it while I watch in real time so I can go back and rewatch all/or parts of this lovely conversation.

  11. I too like BBC Sherlock.

    Check out my review .