Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has to be one of the most recognizable characters in the entertainment world. Seen in anything from Basil the Great Mouse Detective to Young Sherlock Holmes, through to countless remakes in the tv and movie verse. As well as spawning spin-off books by greats such as Laurie King, exploring the time after his retirement. Even gifting us two blockbuster modern movie starring RDJ, well the less we say about those the better. Sherlock (released 2010) isn't the first show, and more than likely, not the last to try and bring Sherlock Holmes into the modern day, but it is one of the better versions.
Sherlock himself is still a consulting detective to the police and Watson still an army medic back from the war trying to find a place for himself after he has been shot. They are introduced, ending up in renting Baker Street together. Well, rather Sherlock rented in and moved in fully expecting that John would as well. Still performing his lavish deductions, surprising Watson with how much he has already learned about the man. A phone is used in place of the classic fob watch. Nice twist that 'Harry' is actually Harriet, John's sister, not brother.
When Sherlock needs a doctor to help him with a case, he asks John to come with him. Taking him miles around London just to prove to his new 'friend' that actually yes, the pain from his war wound is in his head. As well as how to overcome it. Showing you a glimpse of the relationship that will come in later seasons.
We have three episodes this season: A Study in Pink. A series of suicides, which may not be quite what they seem. People who shouldn't want to kill themselves, found in random locations they had no reason to be in. Taking pills that they had no access to. Suicide or murder? Well, Holmes always likes a good case. Nice piece at the end of Sherlock listing who the 'shooter' must be, realizing who it was and very quickly shutting up.
Then we have The Blind Banker, where John is struggling with normal life and bills. So Sherlock takes on a new case to get them some cash. Hired by an old friend to explore an impossible break-in at a bank. Not a great episode, rather messy with all the subplots and items being stolen. Not my favourite of the series.
Lastly, we have The Great Game, and our proper first meeting of Sherlock's arch-nemesis, Moriarty. This episode, Sherlock is playing along with a dangerous series of games. If he wins he gets the location of the person being held so the police can save them. if he loses, the person is blown up by the bomb rigged to their body. As the games go on, they start hitting closer and closer to home. Risking someone Holmes cares a great deal for.
Although at first, I spent years refusing to watch the show, knowing they would ruin it. When I am a huge Holmes fan. I have to say, I am glad a friend of mine forced me to watch it. Yes, I have to suspend what I know about the franchise and just take it as a detective show. otherwise, I would get very annoyed at certain changes in the roles. If you can do that, the storylines are actually surprisingly good and well acted by all those involved. I have to say overall, that this is my favourite and creepiest Moriarty played by the talented Andrew Scott. Mark Gatiss as Mycroft also needs to get his own special mention for his John Steed inspired portrayal of the character. This show would be nothing however without the chemistry between Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch. They may not be the most traditional Holmes and Watson team, but they just work so well together it is a joy to see.
Give it a try.
Sarah Beth James