Sherlock: The Latest Incarnation of Sherlock Holmes is Delighting Viewers Around the World

by on November 19th, 2010
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I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes all of my life. I can say that because my father used to read me the stories long before I was able to read them myself. Both he and my mother loved the detective and never missed the latest incarnation of movies and television shows.

When I was old enough, I reread the stories to myself. Through the years, thanks largely to their availability on the Internet, I have seen every form of Sherlock that has ever been put on film. I’ve also played every video game featuring the fictional detective and his intrepid sidekick, Dr. Watson. So it’s no great surprise that when the BBC decided to produce yet another version of Sherlock Homes I was ready to see it.

Keep in mind that over the years I have critiqued the movie and television versions harshly. I always compare them to the books. I think by now it’s clear that the books are going to be better than the movie and certainly better than the television show. Well the new version of Sherlock has withstood my criticism very well.

The show was initially conceived as a regular television series. However the adventures of Holmes and Watson do not easily lend themselves to a 50 minute series format. So after the initial pilot was filmed the entire show was retooled and the pilot reshot. It’s now a series of miniseries. That is instead of the usual 22-25 episodes of a series, its shot as 3-4 episodes per season with each episode lasting around 90 minutes.

For starters, Sherlock Holmes is played by Benedict Cumberbatch and he is played to perfection. Cumberbatch captures the essence of arrogance, smugness and overall persona of the Holmes from the novels. Dr. John Watson, played by Martin Freeman, is the perfect foil. He has backbone but is in awe of the abilities of his friend. Often he goes along with what Sherlock doing more out of a sense of curiosity than duty. It’s obvious the he is as interested in what is going to happen next as the audience is and he isn’t about to miss out.

The setting of the novels is Victorian London. Well Sherlock is still at 221B Baker St. in London. It’s just the London of the present day. I thought at first that this would be a problem for me as I greatly prefer the previous movies and television shows that kept the setting in the 1880’s. It turns out that I rather enjoy watching Sherlock work his magic in the modern era. His brand of observation and deduction fits well with the modern world.

The show hooked me quickly. Holmes has taken Watson back to see the flat at Baker Street when a new case comes up. Watson, a veteran of the Afghan war (history repeats itself. The Watson of the novels was also a veteran of the Afghan war…some things never change), is left sitting alone in the flat as Holmes rushes out. A moment later Holmes returns and talks to the doctor, asking him if he’s a good doctor. When Watson replies that he is a very good doctor, Holmes comments that he has probably seen enough horror and death and destruction to last a lifetime. Watson affirms that he has seen enough for two lifetimes. Sherlock asks is he would like to see some more to which Watson replies “Oh, God yes!” There is well placed humor in this show as well as nail-biting action and drama. This show is a real treat for any Holmes fan.

While it is viewable on BBC ONE in the U.K. it is also available on the BBC channels as well as on PBS in the U.S. Of course you can always watch it online as well.


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