I am Sherlocked


Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
as Holmes and Watson

I have fallen, and I can’t get up.  On top of that, my deeply geeky slip is showing.  What’s got me showing my fan-panties is the BBC’s current incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock.


Rupert Graves as DI Lestrad

I’ve always been a Holmesian—loved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, faithfully watched every Mystery! presentation in the ’80s and 90’s with Jeremy Brett, enjoyed the new movies with Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law.  But, my Pinterest boards kept exploding with news and images of this new Sherlock.  The amount of drool over Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman rivaled the rabid foam of the Baskerville hound.  Also, both actors cross over into my other fannish delights—Cumberbatch playing the evil Kahn in Star Trek Into Darkness, and Freeman bringing Bilbo Baggins alive in The Hobbit.  I could not get away from these guys, so decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Sherlock, Lara Pulver, Benedict Cumberbatch

The Seductress Irene Adler

Conceived by Holmesian geeks themselves, the old stories get a complete reboot into present day.  Mark Gatiss (who plays Mycroft in the series) and Steven Moffat give us a Holmes who knows everything about cell phones, terrorist cells, and cellular biology.  Their Watson is a thoughtful veteran of the Afghanistan war who blogs about his adventures with Holmes.  Instead of being smelly and incompetent, Scotland Yard’s Detective Lestrade is earnest, smart, and considers Holmes an asset.  There’s a sweet little coroner with a hopeless crush on Holmes.  Irene Adler is a professional dominatrix, Mrs. Hudson a dear, and Moriarty just bug-shit scary.  Mycroft is still a pompous twit, but in a good way.

Sherlock, Moriarty, Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott as Moriarty

My fannish heart committed itself fifteen minutes into the first episode as Watson struggles to re-enter civilian life and Holmes shows off as all genius, high-functioning sociopaths are wont to do.  Dorky, gangly, and socially offensive, Cumberbatch’s young Holmes can’t make ends meet as a consulting detective.  He meets Freeman’s Watson, whose delight and amazement in Holmes’ abilities comes as a shock as most react with repulsion, disbelief or defensiveness.  Of course, Holmes usually displays his ability dripping with smarty-pants insults, which win him no friends.  Watson becomes a buffer, which makes Sherlock easier to swallow, and provides grounding in the real world.  Together, the business and their friendship flourishes.

Martin Freeman’s performance as Watson won him a BAFTA award (the British equivalent of an Emmy) in the series first season.  Andrew Scott’s portrayal of Moriarty garnered another BAFTA in season two.  And then there are the dulcet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice (described by one fan as a jaguar inside a cello) as he speed-deduces like a velvet gatling gun.  The stories are crisp, surprising and witty.  The fact that Steven Moffat is prone to killing off his characters adds another layer of delicious tension.

Molly Hooper, Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

Molly the Coroner, Fan-girling

Cast and crew are currently at work, with delays to accommodate Freeman’s Hobbit shoots in New Zealand.  But eventually, season three will come to PBS.  Until then, there are always the DVDs of seasons one and two.  (A word of warning:  A “season” consists of three, 90 minute episodes.  I know.)

Read between the lines of my fan-girling gush, and you’ll find a show worthy of Sir Arthur’s approval.  The game, as this Sherlock says, is on.

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. beeseeker
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 01:41:06

    Love this review.
    And I’ve always had great respect for the writing of Conan Doyle: the Holmes stories are marvellous imho.
    But there are so many allusions – in this series – to the original – that, as you suggest, devotees could indeed disappear up their own Mycrofts.


    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 20, 2013 @ 15:21:59

      Ha! So true! I love the montage of John’s blog posts in one episode: “The Speckled Blond” about a poxy dead girl, “The Naval Incident” which had something to do with a belly button. Cracked me up!


  2. Kylie
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 03:40:54

    Oooohhhh, this sounds delightful. I loved him as Kahn, and I read the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes stories during the summer I was 14. I hadn’t heard about this new show. Thanks for flagging it!


  3. jackspratt823
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 07:22:11

    Brit TV at its best. Clever, witty, fast moving and original. Best thing since ” Life on Mars”


  4. Snoring Dog Studio
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 07:57:38

    Love, love the very short seasons of this show and can’t wait for the next one. Yes, this is good, great TV.


    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 20, 2013 @ 15:18:42

      Of course the withdrawal is long and painful. But since I came to the series late, I haven’t suffered as much as folks who latched on from the beginning (“Latched-on.” That has breast-feeding connotations, doesn’t it?)


  5. minlit
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 14:00:56

    It’s pretty much a 100% experience. Even withstands multiple viewings, which is a rare thing. Roll on season three!


  6. marieastra8
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 14:49:23

    Sandy Sue, we are twinsies! ;D I love Sherlock too! I watched it first because of Steven Moffat, who is in charge of one of my favorite fictional characters, Doctor Who. He is a brilliant writer. And his Sherlock didn’t disappoint. Also a fan of Mark Gatiss, who also has done Doctor Who duty. Love Cumberbatch as Sherlock. Sherlock is another of my favorite fictional characters. Or he would be, if he didn’t actually exist. ;D Can’t wait for the new season!


  7. pegoleg
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:18:23

    I didn’t know it was a series. I saw one episode and liked it – I’ll go looking for it now.


  8. stevebetz
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 13:32:56

    Easily my favorite show of the past several years. I love the smartness and chemistry between all the characters. The writers assume the viewer has a brain and might occasionally use it. The takes on traditional Holmes tales and habits has been inspired.


  9. LindaNoel
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 19:09:54

    I loved it, also. FYI An Amazon Prime (TV & Movies) yearly subscription is $79 which works out to $6.58/month (least expensive of Netflix, etc). I have enjoyed several fav movies/TV shows AND thanks to your alert re Season 3, see that I can watch Seasons 1 and 2 free….. 😉


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