Three-part BBC mini-series offering a fast-paced modernised adaptation of the classic detective novels by Arthur Conan Doyle. Laptops, mobile phones and the internet are the new tools for crime in a modern London under threat from serial killers, bombings and gang warfare. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), the most brilliant intellect of his generation, has a unique analytical brain unlike anyone else's, and staves off the ever-present threat of boredom by solving crimes, the more intricate and baffling the better. Meanwhile, his friend and flatmate John Watson (Martin Freeman) is an army doctor invalided home from the battlefields of Afghanistan. Rupert Graves, Una Stubbs and Zoe Telford co-star. Episodes are: 'A Study in Pink', 'The Blind Banker' and 'The Great Game'.
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I think the BBC have tapped into a rich source of talent in casting these two fine actors to deliver Sherlock - Series 1. It's well acted, with a real translation into the 21st century, which, for me, works a treat. I am sure that the purists amongst you will decry this attempt to bring a modern day touch, but for me it will be a series that I will return to several times in the coming years.
Modernising classic literature and cultural icons such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, carries a heavy weight of both expectation and justification. Often enough such projects fail spectacularly, or, even worse- bring nothing new to the table at all. We feel so familiar with these public domains that we take such failures very personally, and react more emotively that to most 'new' material. Gatiss' and Moffat's Sherlock is as far from these disappointments as it is possible to be. Within the framework of Conan Doyle's characters and tales, they have managed to not only do justice, but indeed enhanced Holmes for our generation. Undoubtedly we will be talking of this incarnation in the same breath as that of the iconic Jeremy Brett. In many ways it is more faithful to the source texts than Brett's, but revitalising at the same time. The casting, as one would expect from Dr Who's Moffat and League of Gentlemen's Gatiss, is supreme. Benedict Cumberpatch (Dickensian-Character-Name of the Century winner) is magnetic as Holmes. Otherworldly and intense, he carries the presumption that he actually is one of the world's most intelligent men. He embodies all that a youthful Holmes would be. He is perfectly foiled by (new Bilbo) Martin Freeman as our long-suffering, and highly capable observer, the hardly-bumbling-at-all Watson. Supporting cast are more than capable, but of the others populating Holmes' world, special mention must be made of co-creator Mark Gatiss himself, playing Sherlock's omnipotent elder brother Mycroft. Spine tingling. Extras are great- watching with commentary tracks is fun and insightful, but only after you've enjoyed it properly first. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, watch this. f you are unlucky enough not to be a fan, watch it anyway and consider it your gateway to a life affair. Series 2 simply cannot come soon enough.
Top marks for an excellent 3-part series on the famous detective, brought to the present day. All the hallmarks of the traditional Sherlock Holmes we all know, with his trusty friend & assistant Dr Watson by his side. Lets hope this is just the start of a renewed friendship, & more episodes/series of this stunning, up to date version of the well-known detective are planned. A definite must buy for your collection.