TV Series Review #4: Sherlock (Season 1)

 

Sherlock promo
BBC Sherlock (source: atlantablackstar.com)

Title: Sherlock (IMDb)
Season/Episode: Season 1, Episode 1-3
Created by: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Directed by: Paul McGuigan (Ep. 1 & 3), Euros Lyn (Ep. 2)
Written by: Steven Moffat (Ep. 1), Steve Thompson (Ep. 2), Mark Gatiss (Ep. 3)
Year: 2010
Length: ~90 min.
Rating: 12
My IMDb rating: 10/10 (Ep. 1), 6/10 (Ep. 2), 9/10 (Ep. 3)

After re-watching the first season* of Sherlock for what feels like the 100th time, and still loving it more than any other TV show I am watching, I decided to write a review and share my love with all of you. Let’s take a spoiler-free look at season one.

This BBC version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories is very popular – not only in the UK or even just Europe but world-wide. Fans in China made the news when they asked Prime Minister Cameron if he had any news regarding the third Sherlock series (he didn’t). To no small part responsible for Sherlock‘s success are Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch and John Watson actor Martin Freeman. Perfect casting isn’t the only reason why Sherlock has found so many fans all over the world.

The game is on!
The game is on! (source: bbcsherlockgifs.tumblr.com)

A Study in Pink is a wonderful first episode and a great introduction to a modern-age Sherlock Holmes. Not only does it reference the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, but it also takes a whole new approach to our favourite sleuth and his doctor friend John Watson. Set in today’s London, BBC’s Sherlock is only one of many theatre, film, television, and other adaptations which were inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing.

Another version to bring Sherlock Holmes into today’s time (New York City, not London) is CBS’ show Elementary (2012), featuring Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson.

CBS' Elementary
Elementary (source: wikimedia.org)

What makes Sherlock superior to Elementary, in my humble opinion, is not necessarily just the above mentioned wonderful acting (Miller and Liu are fabulous in their roles, too!) but the love with which the stories are adapted and yet stay true to their original form in respect to the atmosphere and energy that make Sherlock Holmes and John Watson the favourite detective duo world-wide. In addition to that, Sherlock‘s unique cinematography combined with David Arnold and Michael Price’s intoxicating soundtrack provide the viewer with a very pleasurable experience.

Visualisation of text messages and thought processes is one of BBC Sherlock's trade marks.
The visualisation of text messages and thought processes is one of BBC Sherlock‘s trade marks. (source: bbcsherlockgifs.tumblr.com)

If you are a fan of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories but are disappointed with most of the film or TV adaptations out there but haven’t seen Sherlock yet, I suggest you give it a go. This series combines the feeling of the Victorian Sherlock Holmes stories with our modern world technologies and innovations in a way that makes it all believable. After all, Doyle was always keen to include all new developments in science and technology of his age into his writing. I think he would’ve liked the way in which Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat envisioned a modern-day Sherlock Holmes just as much as I and many other Sherlockians do.

*I’ll be using the more widely preferred term “season” instead of the British term “series” so as to not confuse readers.

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