Sherlock is the latest incarnation of the world’s most famous super sleuth. The three-part series which aired on the BBC is a modern update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dynamic duo starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson.
Re-imaginings aren’t always successful; for every Battlestar Galactica, there’s a Knight Rider or Bionic Woman. However, with Stephen Moffat (Jekyl, Doctor Who) as executive producer/co-creator of this version, I thought it would be in capable hands. I was correct; Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent as the great detective. Holmes can seem a bit arrogant as one detective said, but he uses everything around him to deduce what happened and find the answer. I wasn’t familiar with Cumberbatch before Holmes, but I will be on the lookout for his past and future endeavors.
I was familiar with Martin Freeman. The newly cast Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit films has been seen in Love Actually, the original UK Office and Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy. Freeman plays Watson, Holmes' partner very well. In this adaptation, Watson is still a military man; however, in a more modern take, he’s returning from Afghanistan.
Watson is having trouble adapting to a non-combat life when a mutual friend introduces the two men. Holmes offers him the action he’s missing, and in turn Watson smoothes out Holmes impersonal way of dealing with people while also providing commentary to the viewer. The series also shows how clues are seen through Sherlock’s eyes; the use of modern technology is incorporated (like texting) into solving the crimes.
The first Sherlock Holmes story was “A Study in Scarlet,” so it’s very fitting that the first story of the new adapation is a variation of that story entitled “A Study in Pink.” Over the course of the three stories we see great interaction between Holmes and Watson, and are shown that there is a method to Holmes behavior. We learn that he probably is as smart as he thinks he is, even if his interactions with other people can be seen as rude or standoffish. Towards the end of the series we finally meet Moriarty (Holmes' nemesis), and the series ends on quite a cliffhanger: something rarely seen on UK TV.