I just have to write about the new BBC series Sherlock. I recently came across this series, and instantly fell in love with it. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as a young Sherlock Holmes, and Martin Freeman is perfect as Dr Watson, updated as a war vet returned from Afghanistan. This isn't a Victorian setting, it's been updated to the 21st century, complete with computers, internet, jerky camera movements (thankfully not too jerky), as well as clever dialogue, twisted plotting and fabulous supporting cast. There is a much better review of the tv series over at Mystery Scene blog, a new to me mystery review site. I can't rate this series highly enough.
It is penned by one of the writers of the New Dr Who, Stephen Moffat, so that should tell you about the depth of characterization and darkness and emotional vulnerabilities all the characters reveal. He is the writer of one of my all-time Dr Who episodes, "Blink" from Season 3. But this is Sherlock Holmes, mystery icon and beloved around the world. How does he do it? Well, he revisions Sherlock as a younger man, much younger, just setting out, and still genius and incapable of being comfortable around most people. Arrogant, aware of his brilliance, and terribly attractive at the same time. Sherlock was always a draw for me, along the same lines as Spock from Star Trek, - intellectually brillliant and focused, but completely unaware or unwilling to give power to emotions and yet, surprisingly, capable of gentleness every once in a while, shockingly.
I was thrilled to receive the dvd of the first season for Christmas. There are only three episodes filmed for the first season, but they pack so much in each episode that they hold up extremely well to rewatching over and over. Which is good, since the new series isn't close to being ready yet. Now of course, I might have to go and reread some original Sherlock Holmes just to compare with the show.
Here is a link to an interview with Benedict just before the tv show aired last summer in the UK.
This is the BBC site for Sherlock Holmes.
And, just because it's fun, here is a link the the Blog of Dr John Watson. Sadly it too isn't very long, but it's funny. I think the producers should have "Dr Watson" writing to it while they are producing the new series. Nothing posted for when it will be out, so the BBC once again do a bang-up job of creating fabulous tv shows then making us wait a year for the next series (season).
Have fun, and let me know if you've seen this and what you thought. I've been saving the third episode, The Great Game, but I don't think I can hold out much longer.
I do have to admit that during A Study in Pink, the series opener, I did guess who the villain was, but I didn't guess why. In fact, I was shouting out at the tv, "the ------ did it!" over and over, to my husband's great amusement, as Sherlock and Watson couldn't see the danger before them.
A side note to anyone in and around London: my husband and I had great fun picking out streets we recognized, or that my husband thought he had been near when he worked in London many years ago. That they shot in and around London gave the show an immediate feel of reality, that Sherlock is placed in this time and place firmly, and it works - he's a sociopath for the modern day, a result of our society separating intelligence from emotion and the dangers inherent therein.