I first discovered Sherlock Holmes when I was in the 8th grade, and a friend gave me a copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles. I stayed up late reading it, completely scared myself, but was hooked.
In college, when my roommate and I were particularly stressed — and wanted to avoid work — we’d pull out copies of her complete works of Sherlock Holmes and do a Sherlock Holmes marathon.
I can’t count how many times I’ve watched some of the old Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone. Although skeptical, a few years ago I became hooked on Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery series. I know, some people can’t stand the series because of the age difference between Russell and Holmes, but I absolutely adore it.
Despite all that, I was nervous when I heard that a modern-day Sherlock Holmes series — Sherlock — was going to be featured on Masterpiece Mystery. I recorded the first episode rather than watching it live, and then put off watching it for nearly a week. Thank goodness I recorded it, because I know I’ll be watching again.
The series is modern, making wide use of such 21st century necessities as texting, GPS, and the Internet. The writing is intelligent, and while there’s quite a bit of humor, it takes Sherlock Holmes seriously. This Sherlock Holmes is smart, egotistical, and rather quirky. And rather than being a bumbler as he’s sometimes portrayed, this Dr. Watson is an active partner, rather than a tag-along.
I’m completely happy with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor Watson. Some people have been upset about the casting of Mark Gatiss (a co-creator of the production with Steven Moffat) as Mycroft, and his appearance did shock me as well. But, I appreciated the humor when Holmes asked him if he was gaining weight. Mycroft has only appeared briefly so far; I hope he’ll make an appearance in the remaining show.
For London travel buffs, there are also some great shots of various London locales. My only major gripe so far is that only three episodes will be shown on PBS. I’ve read reports that the BBC has ordered more episodes, and I truly hope that’s true, and that we’ll be able to enjoy them here in the U.S.
Have you caught any of the episodes of Sherlock? If so, what did you think? Any favorite characters?