Just watched the first season of Sherlock (all of 3 episodes, albeit they are 1.5 hours long each).

As a fan, I’m always wary of remakes or retcons, and the most visible recent effort is the Downey Jr/Guy Ritchie movies. I have to say I was not impressed.

However, Sherlock, the 2010 TV series from BBC was not what I expected at all. In that it was actually good. Hah.

Sherlock is set in modern day London, and our eponymous hero is a 30-something, blackberry-toting consulting detective, and trusty Watson is a medical doctor/soldier most recently returned from Afghanistan. Holmes is characteristically arrogant, acerbic but technically more savvy – often doing searches on his mobile while analysing the crime scenes. John is loyal and trusty, able companion, as he should be.

The stories has its roots in the canonical stories from Doyle, but of course the writers put twists and mashes things up. Those familiar with the original stories, though, will find plenty of references and cheeky little nods to the original material. There are also fine touches which highlight the contrast of the solving cases in the 1890s with the modern era. So if you’ve always wondered how Holmes would solve a case in the world of instantaneous communications, camera phones and wildly liberal social norms, instead of telegrams and gender stereotypes, your prayers have been answered.

The main problem I have with the show is somehow making me believe Sherlock has all the understanding of the criminal world, be able to establish a
network of contacts among the urban homeless, on-the-fly access to medical labs/mortuaries, able to hold up in a fight, have innate understanding of the human condition, all while being what appears to be a mere 30-something year old man, seems a little bit of stretch.

Putting that aside, however, I find the stories fascinating, the acting well done (mostly), and funny. Way better than Downey Jr.

Conclusion: Watch it.

Trivia: I was reading up on the upcoming The Hobbit, and found that the actor who plays Watson here is the Bilbo Baggins (lead!), and Holmes is Smaug. What a coincidence.


read more