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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 June 2014
Once Breaking Bad had finished, I was looking to find another show on TV that I could immerse myself into whilst waiting for the fourth season of Game of Thrones. My friend then introduced me to Sherlock, a modern day TV show adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective novels. When I heard that Mark Gatiss of The League of Gentleman and Dr Who writer Steven Moffat were behind the show, I was intrigued and I started watching the first and second seasons in only three days and then caught season 3 on BBC1 earlier this year. All I can say is that this show is absolutely amazing.

I at first found the concept of modernising Conan Doyle's books to be a bit flimsy. Updating classic stories to fit a certain time period can be a risky move, especially when the source material is so acclaimed. However, setting Sherlock in 2010s London has been done to perfection. The characters and situations blend seamlessly and makes for compelling viewing. I never read Conan Doyle's books myself so I'm unaware of how much the show follows them aside from the setting.

Benedict Cumberbatch is excellently cast as Sherlock, creating a character that is witty, deadpan and clever as well as arrogant and snobby yet displays moments of genuine compassion to those closest to him. The character displays some symptoms of Asperger's syndrome which is even suggested in one episode and as an Aspie myself, this characterisation allows me to identify with Sherlock's character brought on by Cumberbatch's amazing portrayal. There are also hints that Sherlock is asexual which displays his general apathetic attitude to normal human behaviour. Martin Freeman also does great work as John Watson, who is the yang to Sherlock's yin. Relatively more calm and rational, he acts as the emotional angle to Sherlock's scientific persona. the supporting cast are also strong. Una Stubbs and Mark Gatiss in particular both provide excellent warm performances as Sherlock's landlady Mrs Hudson and older brother and semi-rival Mycroft respectively.

Each season of Sherlock is divided into three episodes which at first glance appears to be insultingly short yet they all run at around 80 minutes each, which gives each episode more of a mini short film feel than an episode of a show. Each episode is thrilling and watching Sherlock and Watson investigate the different cases and playing off one another really makes for great viewing especially in scenes where Sherlock arrogantly professes his genius or talks down to others. Even the weaker episodes ('The Blind Banker' and 'The Hounds of Baskerville'), which tend to go a bit over-the-top are still exciting to watch and I always have a great time watching them.

If I had to pick my favourite season, I'd probably have to go with the second season as 'A Scandal in Belgravia' and 'The Reichenbach Fall' are definitely the most compelling episodes and show a deeper side to Sherlock's character than in other episodes. Season 3 starts off a bit slow but the finale is tremendous and jaw dropping. Season 1 does what it needs to do by introducing us to the principal cast and offering some exciting mysteries with the reveal of main villain Jim Moriarty played excellently over-the-top by Andrew Scott who also represents what Sherlock would be without his close group of friends.

My only real criticism of Sherlock is the fact that each season ends with a cliffhanger. I generally don't mind cliffhanger endings but considering that there is a two year gap between seasons, it's a bit of an annoyance and feels too much of a tease when fans have to wait so long for the next episode to see what will happen after something shocking has occurred. It's not a detriment to the show itself because the cliffhangers are still incredibly effective. It's just a bit of a nuisance to have to wait a couple years for them to be resolved.

Sherlock is essential British TV that is both entertaining and deep viewing. It's quite possibly my favourite TV show at the moment and definitely worth watching if you enjoy character-driven thrillers with some comedy to them. This show is funny, thrilling, compelling and bloody brilliant.
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on 14 April 2014
I must admit - I stayed well clear of Sherlock for the first two series for several reasons. I wasn't a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, and I was beyond infatuated with the RDJ and Jude Law film series; I didn't think I'd enjoy the BBC series at all. However, just before the start of the third series I decided to take the plunge and watch the pilot episode - I was hooked in the first five minutes. The series is so clever and funny without any feeling of forced humour, and still manages to carry the serious tone of the show without turning it into a real drama along the lines of NCIS. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are a serious dream team, with a totally unique take on Sherlock and Dr Watson and such fantastic chemistry that they draw you in from the moment you see them meet on screen. The cinematography is beyond incredible and the writing some of the best on television - the scene of Sherlock's 'mind palace' in the third episode of the third series being one of my favourites. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have done a phenomenal job on this interpretation of the book series, and I highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2014
When the BBC declared they were going to take on the greatest of all detectives, there was great excitement, and from the very beginning of the first episode, Study in Pink, the British public was hooked. Sherlock takes on an almost superhero quality, being able to see everything in minute detail, while struggling to understand how "normal" people get by with their boring existences.

The appearance of a legendary adversary's name in episode one suggests that the writers were never sure they would get another series, but it's not until the end of series 2 that it reaches its conclusion (or does it?). Inbetween, there is smuggling, infatuation and, of course, giant hounds.

Series 3 begins with an almighty cliffhanger from the previous series, but is less "procedural" than even the previous two series. Plots are wrapped inside everyday tales of dealing with loss, marriage and everything besides. It ends with typical head scratching "But... but...?" leaving the audience clamouring for more.

For the completist, the additional material will no doubt offer insight and interest, as BBC DVDs always do. For the newcomer, having all the episodes so far is the perfect gift.
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on 12 January 2014
Over the last 70 years there has been countless versions of the Sherlock Holmes made, and many of them fail to live up to Arthur Conan Doyle's original series - although some did. However what Sherlock does is place the eccentric charecter in a settting we know and we can relate too - and the conclusion works amazingly well. This boxset, which includes the first three series (comprising nine feature-length television films) alongside a nice selection of special features, is great for anyone who has seen the series, or likes the charecter from previous versions made before.

Series 1 introduces Cumberbatch as the eccentric detective, alongside Dr Watson (and all credit to Martin Freeman for an excellent portrayal). The first series focuses on the relationship between these two charecters and the cases that they face together. This series, unlike the two to follw, is much more linear - their is a case they solve througout. The conclusion to the series, 'The Great Game' is far the best from the first set of three, and introduces Moriarty, portrayed here by Andrew Scott. The plotline, with Sherlock solving a series of mini-cases, is genius and really allows the audience to connect with the idea of a 21st century sherlock. In fact the first series is great for this as Sherlock uses taxi's, the homeless and modern technology to solve the crimes. The writers have cleverly adapted the original stories to fit the new context.

Series 2 introduces Irene Adler, played by the brilliant Laura Pulver. One thing about this series is that the cases are less linear; there are several events going on and they all link together at the end (some things can seem of no impotance earlier on and then there is a realisation of their importance). I think this method is better as we are experiencing Sherlock like the mind of Sherlock - very chaotic but everything connects in the end. I loved the adaption of the Hound of the Baskervilles within this series - it's such a classic Sherlock story, and the adaption works well with joining the original with the modern day. Of course, the most famous part of this series is the cliffhanger, very cleverly written: "How did Sherlock survive the fall".

Series 3 continues on in the same style as the third series, which I think is great. The first episode, I musst admit, does feel a little confused but by the second episode this has improved. The idea of Sherlock giving John's best man speech and then solving a murder at his wedding is genius - and it creates for a great mix of tension and humour. Furthermore, the introduction of Mary - Dr Watson's wife - introduces a great new dynamic to the show which is great, and insures the show does not run dry. The final story is reminiscient of the end of the first series, as Sherlock chases Augustes Magnussen. This episode is my favourite from this series, and rounds of the serise nicely.

This series works on every level, and the only one yet to mention is Benedict Cumberbatch. His portrayal of Sherlock is nothing short of genius - and he thoroughly deserves the multiple awards he has won for the role. No doubt, the show would not have worked so well with other actors - the show is very lucky to have Cumerbatch. There are rumours of a fourth series, and I really hope this is true. The series is most certainly 'Elementary, my Dear Watson'.
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I was prepared not to like this; the actors are miscast (Moriarty has a silly voice) and the writers have plundered the sacred texts. But my boxing trainer kept singing their praises and (by cracky) he was right. The team pulled it off to make something that was both its own story and yet true to the original. All three series benefited from the longer than usual screening times that allowed for stronger plot development, as well as some very amusing rethinking of the original stories. This means that while we may recognise the general story-line from our Brett Series and the novels we can be sure it will take an inventive detour.
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on 16 February 2014
An excellent, original and innovative adaptation of Conan Doyle's characters and their lives which leaves nothing wanting. Following on from the superlative series with Jeremy Brett, I anticipated some disappointment in the acting, but the entire cast, particularly Benedict Cumberbatch, is top-notch. Absolutely first-grade acting, direction and. above all writing/screenplay. I whole-heartedly recommend this to all fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works. This is a modern interpretation bearing the original soul of the Holmes Adventures and even if you have all or several of previous Sherlock Holmes editions, this one is a must.

G.Sibbritt / (Raff)
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on 18 August 2014
What did we do before Benedict Cumberbatch?! He is absolutely terrific in this role and Martin Freeman is a delight as Dr Watson. These first three series of Sherlock are very enjoyable, with well constructed and developed stories, nicely drawn characters, excellent dialogues and satisfying crime solutions that still leave tingling threads yet to play out. More please!
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on 1 May 2016
3 Series of Sherlock for under £14. This is not the best British series, but the best series out there. The thing I love about this is after a great debut, the series just kept getting better and better. The first series is a modernisation of the original Sherlock Holmes, the second is bit more and the third is where Benedict Comberbatch really made the role his own, that is not any easy thing to do with such an iconic character. In fact the whole cast are great. Martin Freeman is great as Watson. Again in the first series. I was not sure I liked him as Watson, the in series 2 I though he was ok, then series 3 I thought yep he is good. In fact the chemistry between the whole cast is great. I think the do classics justice. This series is serious, dramatic, and even funny in the right places. All i can say this series is perfect.
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on 24 May 2014
As usual, I only got into this series after everyone else had been raving about it for at leas 2 years! Love the whole series and Mr Cumberbatch plays Sherlock brilliantly accompanied by Martin Feeman playing Holmes. A brilliant modern take on the old characters and stories we all know and love. And if you don't know them then you'll enjoy discovering them. Would love to get Sherlock and Sheldon from Big Bang Theory in the same room and be a fly on the wall, the conversation would be thrilling!
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on 7 March 2014
The best detective series ever made, the reimagining of Sherlock is genius and it looks fantastic in glorious in HD. Stop reading this and buy it already
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