Monday, 23 January 2012

Review: "Sherlock" BBC TV Series

I first thought this was going to be rubbish because I just couldn't see how you would get past the "snigger" factor when hearing a modern day character saying "Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson" or "Inspector Lastrade."
And given the Downey/Law movies, I was reticent to watch the series for fear of either being polluted.

Boy was I wrong.
Having Moffat and Gattis as producers and writers makes it all worthwhile.
Far from overlapping with the Downey/Law movies, they can be viewed completely separately.

Each episode is like an individual movie with all the beautiful production values you expect from the BBC.
And better because you really have to work to see most of the clues.
This is so unlike most TV detective shows where you have figured out the answer in the first 10 minutes.
To quote Sherlock:
"DULL! DULL! DULL!"
There are no 'wasted' or comedy relief characters - every actor does a brilliant job without overwhelming any of the others.
I particularly liked Lastrade as so often he is portrayed as a bit dim while Rupert Graves does a brilliant job being "the best Scotland Yard has to offer."
And a wonderful portrayal of Mrs Hudson by Una Stubbs rounds it off.
The writing is up to the standard you expect from Moffat and Gattis being snappy, witty and rich.

After watching all six episodes movies we immediately went to the websites associated and had great fun digging around. For reference they are:

The Science of Deduction
John Watson's Blog
Molly Hooper's Diary

I strongly recommend this series. Worth every minute of your time to watch them.

I would have to say though that I had some odd thoughts around Moriarty. My memories of the original Conan Doyle stories makes me think of him as as an old man of crime and not a young psycho nut-job just starting out on a career in manipulation.  Yet Andrew Scott did a great job and was believable.

On a side note, there's talk about CBS doing a version of the series set in the US. Not sure how that would work though... The Sherlock we know and love is damn smart, sarcastic, caustic, rude and arrogant and I suspect that would not be quite as endearing to American viewers.

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