Have you ever sat through an hour or so of really rubbish television program and thought, "why isnt anything good on TV these days?"
Then the answer is, there is you - but you've missed it!!! If you like crime stories, detective stories, thrillers, are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, sleauth type, mystery solving stories - or say you dont like any of those and yet want to watch something VERY cleverly written and executed, then the SHERLOCK series is a must watch!!
You will ask and beg for more once you start on this series!!
Series 1, Episode 1 "A Study in Pink" takes us through the meeting of 2 odd characters, Sherlock Holmes (a sociopathic, genius whose only obsession is to solve crimes) and John Watson (a war hero who has been invalidated home from Afghanistan), played by a perfectly cast, masterful Benedict Cumberbatch and a subtley understated Martin Freeman. An unlikely friendship begins when Sherlock asks John's help in solving a crime. The soldier who was bored back in civilian life is suddenly thrown back into the realities of death - and sees the city in a different way - like a battle ground. What is striking about this episode is its wonderful honesty to the original work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles "A Study in Scarlet". Watson's wonderment at Holme's abilities, his efforts to make his new friend more "human" and trying to understand the strange genius he is in company of, is potrayed so wonderfully that the original writer, 122 years later, would be proud!!
Sherlock and John solve more crimes in Episode 2 involving a Chinese smuggler gang and mysterious murders and we get some great comic moments such as when Sherlock fails to understand why a date is more important than an oppurtunity to gather evidence. Episode 3 "The Great Game" is the one you'll watch again - not one, not two but 5 cases one after the other - someone is challenging Sherlock - solve this case within this deadline - who else but his arch enemy, Moriarty ? Without giving anything away, this episode is a masterpiece of crime solving fiction. It ends at a cliff hanger that will make you scramble for the next episode!!
Now the all important point of dragging Sherlock Holmes out of Victorian London and into the 21st century. The premise of a lot of original stories was that the police were not very good at the time. These days however the police have all kinds of scientific / forensic assistance and how would the producers keep the story fresh and the audience interested and still manage to make Holmes the person cleverer than the police? Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss do a remarkable job handling this utterly brilliantly. So homeless network of 2010 replaces the street urchins of 1888, black cabs replace hansoms, texts replace telegrams and nicotine patches replace smoking pipes.
The writers know their stuff, and the honesty they have displayed to the characters is worthy of an applause. Original lines such as "it is a three-pipe problem", becames a dialogue now as a "three patch problem". Sherlock disliking John's blog about his methods of reasoning is so reminiscent of the opening of the Sign of four, it is adorable to watch such work of art.
Series 2 surpasses all expectations that series 1 forms. Every episode is made with such flair, detail and clever twist. Here the producers tackle the three biggest stories, The Woman, The Hound and The Final Problem. It is ambitious and it is a big ask and everyone involved delivers. Andrew Scott returns as creepily brilliant Moriary. Episode 3 of Series 2 again ends on a cliff hanger, it certainly brought a tear to my eye and got thousands of fans speculating and theorising on "how it was done"
Benedict Cumberbatch has to get a special mention here, he is unbelievably convincing as a genius, yet a man with very few social skills, always seemingly unattached to human emotions. The friendship between the two men is fabulously potrayed and the modern twist totally works! Mark Gatiss is fantastic as Mycroft Holmes and Martin Freeman has played his part so well that at all times, he manages to show on screen what we, the audience are feeling.
I also love the way the producers show that characters in the show often think Holmes and Watson are a gay couple, and that is so reflecting of our society of today - 2 men simply cannot be friends without being gay!! Why is our society become like this?? The series also manages to poke fun at this notion of society, and how the 2 men ignore the talks and carry on regardless.
Another highlight of both the series is the music, which seems to bring every scene to life in a remarkably apt way.
A big pat on the back for the entire cast, crew and team... thank you for bringing credulity back to TV, which is getting more and more dire with over dose of reality and shabbily written characters!!!
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