Sherlock

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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?

LinnieGayl

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12 Responses to “Sherlock”

  1. Nicole says:

    I really have enjoyed this version. There are a total of six episodes in this season and I thought I had read PBS would be running the other three in the spring. I really like the cast and the humor. Great show!

  2. Sandy AAR says:

    For me Jeremy Brett remains the true Sherlock in my mind, but I’m really enjoying this version too which is kinda brilliant in the way it remains true to the spirit of Homes and Watson while being utterly modern at the same time. Watson is portrayed as a bumbler only in a few of the lesser entries and was definitely not so in the Brett version. (Two actors played Watson over the course of the series and the names of both are eluding me.) They did Hound twice in that series — once early on and again when they did a far, far, far better job.

    I think one of the more intriguing things about the new version are the allusions to the fact that Watson assumes Sherlock is gay. Today he probably would be, but Doyle wrote him as asexual, too involved in the life of the mind to get physical.

    I liked the Robert Downey version as a fun movie, BUT Holmes most definitely is not an Action Hero and was NOT Irene’s ex lover.

  3. Sandy AAR says:

    Don’t you hate it when you make a stupid error? I assure you, LG, I do understand subject and verb agreement. Really, I do.

  4. Jean Wan says:

    Sandy AAR: For me Jeremy Brett remains the true Sherlock in my mind

    Oh man, amen to that.

    I haven’t seen this new series, but I would never have stayed away from another Sherlock remake. Especially after hearing so many good things about it.

  5. LinnieGayl says:

    Thanks for that information, Nicole. I would love to see more.

    Sandy & Jean, I’m going to have to give the Jeremy Brett version another try. I watched one and it didn’t work for me. Now I’m thinking I must not have been in the right mood for it at the time.

  6. Missie says:

    Sandy AAR: I think one of the more intriguing things about the new version are the allusions to the fact that Watson assumes Sherlock is gay. Today he probably would be, but Doyle wrote him as asexual, too involved in the life of the mind to get physical.
    I liked the Robert Downey version as a fun movie, BUT Holmes most definitely is not an Action Hero and was NOT Irene’s ex lover.

    I view it as society is assuming Holmes must be gay, because why else would he not seem interested in women? Watson, having only just met Holmes, doesn’t know what Holmes’ sexual orientation might be, and so wonders if the presumptions of others (such as Mrs. Hudson and the waiter at the restaurant who knows Holmes) are correct about Holmes, even though they’re incorrect when making those assumptions about Watson.

    And no, Holmes isn’t an action hero, at least as written by Doyle, but Doyle was a man of action, and most certainly, if Holmes applied himself to the study of the physical arts, he would no doubt master whatever study he undertook.

    Maybe it’s wishful thinking — or the romanticism of a pre-teen girl (which is when I first read all the Holmes stories) — but I have always thought there could have been something romantic between Irene and Sherlock, had the opportunity arisen.

  7. Lynette says:

    Sorry, Nicole, I am 99 o/o sure that only 3 episodes were made by the BBC with another 3 coming out mid 2011.
    However, on the (UK) DVD there is also an unshown pilot episode (apparently it didn’t make the grade).
    I loved this mini-series and bought the DVD as soon as it came out.
    I also loved the Robert Downey version and hope there is a sequal.

  8. Lynette says:

    Lynette: Sorry, Nicole, I am 99 o/o sure that only 3 episodes were made by the BBC with another 3 coming out mid 2011.

    Ooops meant to say another 3 being filmed and broadcasted mid 2011.
    It’s sequel not sequal! Tut tut!

  9. Sandy AAR says:

    Missie:
    I view it as society is assuming Holmes must be gay, because why else would he not seem interested in women? Watson, having only just met Holmes, doesn’t know what Holmes’ sexual orientation might be, and so wonders if the presumptions of others (such as Mrs. Hudson and the waiter at the restaurant who knows Holmes) are correct about Holmes, even though they’re incorrect when making those assumptions about Watson.And no, Holmes isn’t an action hero, at least as written by Doyle, but Doyle was a man of action, and most certainly, if Holmes applied himself to the study of the physical arts, he would no doubt master whatever study he undertook.Maybe it’s wishful thinking — or the romanticism of a pre-teen girl (which is when I first read all the Holmes stories) — but I have always thought there could have been something romantic between Irene and Sherlock, had the opportunity arisen.

    I do agree that it’s all about society’s expectations. And that is why it is completely modern — and totally true to the spirit — for Watson to assume Holmes is gay. That’s all I meant. As for the man of action stuff, Holmes lived as much as possible within his mind with little interest in the physical world. I agree that he would have mastered anything he tried, but the Guy Ritchie portrayal was ridiculous. Entertaining, but ridiculous.

    As for Irene, she was “the woman” to him. She was all women. But I don’t think Doyle meant for it to be possible for it to ever be any more than that and that is part of Holmes’ tragedy.

    Lynette, I read somewhere in the UK press online that Martin Freeman’s casting as Bilbo Baggins is throwing a wrench into the production of more episodes. They seem determined to work it out, but it may be delayed. Ouch!

  10. Maryfranc says:

    Loved Benedict Cumberbratch in the PBS mini-series To the Ends of the Earth (not sure of the title). I was overjoyed when he was cast for the new Sherlock Holmes series. Love the humor and action. I hope more episodes are filmed soon.

    Talking about Masterpiece Theatre, I also loved the Wallander series. I wonder if we will see any more?

  11. Ditto to all the comments about Jeremy Brett (I’ve expressed my devotion to him on my own blog). My favorite “episode” was The Hound of the Baskervilles because it takes place on Dartmoor. I grew up visiting my Grandmother and we picnicked on Dartmoor. She drew upon her memory for me to map out the episode’s locations for hubby and me to pay homage. Granny had seen Jeremy Brett live on stage some years back.

    I enjoyed the three “modern” episodes. Last night’s (and the third) episode had at least three references to actual stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    **** spoiler alert ****

    I did suspect that Jim in the lab was something more. And now we have to wait to find out what happened!

    I am looking forward to more Mycroft, more Watson romance, and Sherlock venturing to Devon to find the Hound!

  12. the tardis says:

    The 1st show of the new series, broadcast on Saturday, featured a kissogram, a naked Physician and a “sexed up” Tardis.Throughout the unique 65-minute episode, The Eleventh Hour, in which Doctor Who had 20 minutes to save Earth from aliens identified as the Atraxi, his new companion, Amy Pond, was revealed as a kissogram dressed in a skimpy policeman’s outfit, complete with mini-skirt and handcuffs. In 1 scene, Amy, played by the actress Karen Gillan, told the Doctor that her kissogram repertoire also included nuns and nurses’ outfits. Uncover out additional at Sci Fi Fan.