Sherlock: Season 1
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A New Sleuth for the 21st Century
In Sherlock Season One, the BBC presents a thrilling, contemporary twist on Arthur Conan Doyle's revered detective. Set in a London filled with cell phones and laptops, the new Sherlock Holmes is a high-functioning sociopath. His loyal companion, John Watson, is an army veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. But the two still reside at 221 Baker Street, and somewhere out there, Moriarty is still waiting. Join Sherlock and Watson in this action-packed, modern-day mystery TV series as they navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to uncover the truth.
The memory technique (mind palace) used by Sherlock is real, dating back to ancient Rome.
To prepare for his role of Holmes, Cumberbatch read every original Conan Doyle story.
The Molly Hooper character was not part of the original Sherlock Holmes series and was meant to be a one-time appearance. However, Moffat and the other producers liked Louise Brealy’s performance so much that they decided to make the character a recurring role.
In the original stories, Dr. Watson had also served in the military in Afghanistan.
The exteriors of 221 Baker Street are actually shot at 187 North Gower Street in London.
- From the creative minds of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat
- Complex characters and plot twists will keep you guessing
- Features an award-winning cast and movie-quality production
- Three feature-length episodes, plus bonus material
- Available as a two-disc DVD or two-disc Blu-ray set
Meet the Cast
Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)
As a consulting detective, the genius Holmes can solve even the most baffling mystery through shrewd observation and deductive reasoning.
John Watson (Martin Freeman)
A veteran who served as an Army medic, Watson is fascinated by Holmes and considers him brilliant, while others find him annoying.
Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs)
The landlady of 221 Baker Street, Mrs. Hudson fusses over her two tenants and keeps an eye on them in a motherly fashion. They return her affection.
D.I. Lestrade (Rupert Graves)
A detective inspector at Scotland Yard, Greg Lestrade often calls on Sherlock Holmes to assist in the Yard’s more difficult cases.
A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. Co-created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock stars BAFTA-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking, Amazing Grace) as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Love Actually), as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade. The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain--they live at the same address, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed and highly modern-day adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth.
In the wake of Guy Ritchie's reimagining, the BBC puts its own stamp on Arthur Conan Doyle's sleuth--and sets him in a London filled with cell phones and laptops. In the pilot, director Paul McGuigan (a keen visual stylist) introduces Sherlock Holmes (Atonement's Benedict Cumberbatch) as a "high-functioning sociopath" and Dr. John Watson (The Office's Martin Freeman) as an army veteran with posttraumatic stress disorder. Through a mutual friend, the two become flatmates at 221B Baker Street (Una Stubbs plays their landlady). Holmes, who consults with Scotland Yard inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) on his trickier cases, drafts Watson to assist him.
In "Study in Pink," four people commit suicide by poison. When Holmes sets out to establish a link, he falls right into the culprit's clutches. Other cases concern a smuggling operation ("The Blind Banker") and a mad bomber ("The Great Game"). Though he doesn't make a formal entrance until episode three, an infamous figure from Sherlock's future has a hand in each mystery, while the detective's brother, Mycroft (co-creator Mark Gatiss), first appears when he tries to hire Watson for a case of his own, an offer that gives the good doctor pause. Through his job at a medical office, Watson also meets Sarah (Zoe Telford), who becomes his girlfriend.
Part of the fun of Jeremy Brett's Holmes (and Agatha Christie's Poirot) came from the period details, so this update takes a little getting used to--as does the occasional mumbled line--but Cumberbatch and Freeman share an enjoyable Odd Couple rapport, marked by flashes of deadpan wit, which compensates for the absence of deerstalker caps (Holmes favors scarves) and journals (Watson maintains a website). Extras include commentary on the finale, the original pilot, and a featurette, in which cocreator Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) notes that Cumberbatch was his only choice for the title role. --Kathleen C. FennessySee all Editorial Reviews
Episode 3 Commentary featuring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss
Exclusive Pilot Episode: Sherlock - A Study in Pink
Unlocking Sherlock - The making of
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Of course, like any rational Sherlockian I immediately purchased Series/Season 1 and waited anxiously for its arrival.
There have been by far too many plot summaries, and delightful as they are, they do get tedious and repetitive after a time so instead i'll do a 'Character Portrayal' thing. Starting with The Master—
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH AS SHERLOCK HOLMES: I was quite impressed. He is a brilliant actor; quite handsome in that interesting, original way that—I feel—is nessecary to pull off Sherlock, and he does—pull it off. Brilliantly! His Sherlock is wonderful, a self described "High-Functioning Sociopath" with a rapier-sharp mind and an even faster tongue; the man delivers the famous Sherlock monologues in a rapid, lyrical staccato—VERY fast! He also is quite in touch with the quirks and vices of Sherlock: randomly firing his pistol at the wall because he's bored, plucking despondently at the strings of his violin whenever the mood strikes him, abusing drugs, silently staring blankly into space while he thinks, dashing off in the middle of a sentence with no explanation, not eating for days on end, not sleeping—all of Sherlock's classic habits. I highly commend both Benedict and the writers for bringing Sherlock Holmes to life again in the modern world. Bravo!
MARTIN FREEMAN AS DR. JOHN WATSON: An intriguing interpretation. Watson is a war veteran who misses the danger of combat and the thrill of the chase. He is the only man who could possibly be Sherlock's flatmate—simply because no one else could tolerate him. But Watson thrills in the excitement, even if Sherlock sometimes drives him to his breaking point. When they meet, Watson is recovering from an injury—there are a few fun nods to the original stories where Watson never can seem to decide where his wound actually was!—and looking for a flatmate. Martin Freeman is an excellent Watson; his acting is top-notch and his portrayal wonderful. His Watson is both amazed by Sherlock's extraordinary mental powers and at the same time bewildered by Sherlock's lack of common knowledge and social skills. He can't help being frustrated with Sherlock at times, for all the obvious reasons, but Martin Freeman treads the fine line between nagging and extreme tolerance with grace. Wonderful.
MRS. HUDSON: Mrs. Hudson has perhaps undergone the greatest change from the original stories, usually a rarely seen character with seemingly no past, future, or family; this Mrs. Hudson is introduced as a woman whose past relationship with Sherlock is that of a former client. He ensured her husband was executed, and so owes him a favor. This Mrs. Hudson is rather spacy, is always popping in and out with a tea tray and despairing at the mess 'her boys' have made. She is less of a landlady and housekeeper and more of a mother-figure for Sherlock and Watson.
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR LESTRADE: Classic Lestrade. Basically competent; resents the fact that he needs Sherlock's help, while at the same time admiring him—though he'd die before admitting it. It's interesting to see the relationship between Sherlock and Lestrade; they bicker like two pageant girls most of the time, but it is evident there's something akin to grudging mutual respect between them.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Excellent job. Mycroft is the very mysterious elder—and smarter—brother of Sherlock. He practically is the British government, and seems to have a hand in every secret agency you've ever heard of, and no doubt some you haven't. He's a delightfully odd, never-leaves-the-office-but-happy-to-do-the-brainwork type and the sibling rivalry between him and Sherlock is hysterical; they're always trying to outdo one another, while at the same time pretending the other doesn't exist. It's quite funny. The repeated jokes about Mycroft's weight are an amusing throwback to the original stories where Mycroft is quite rotund.
MORIARTY: He scares me. He really does. Others have said he yells and carries on too much...but I find him terrifying. It's bone-chilling, and his picture should be in the dictionary under: criminally insane, demented, manipulative, psychopath with serious problems that absolutely no psychiatrist in the world could solve. An absolutely wonderful portrayal of Moriarty for which the actor deserves great applause(though it won't be coming from me, because I'd be too scared to be in the same room with him, even though i'm sure he's a lovely person in real life).
All in all a wonderful show that masterfully transports the greatest detective of all time to our time. I am a fan.
I think that the Holmes from the original stories *is* a diva, *is* rather a spoiled brat, but someone who operates on a far different level the most folks so it's merely very exasperating. He needs a sane and wry Dr Watson to keep him tethered to the real world, grounded in whatever century that world and its sun happen to turn in.
I loved the first episode, Study in Pink, but not the Blind Banker. I watched it several times but there were many "and ok yeah but what was that supposed to mean" on my side of the screen. And it's not an Brit/American translation problem, it's a plot thing. Doubtless more erudite people then myself will state it more clearly.
The last episode, The Great Game made up for it all. And how. The last 15 minutes had me literally yelling NO WAY! Moriarty saying "I will burn the heart out of you" was just so perfectly evil. He's wonderfully nasty in this series. I can't get enough Mycroft either, isn't he perfect? Too much fun indeed. It's been a long time since anything on TV has involved me that much.
I do love how they throw many bits of the stories in where you don't expect it, like "Rache" and the Vermeer painting, really added to the fun for me.
You know, sure, it's got holes and flaws (and the best Dr. Watson and Mycroft EVER) but you know what? When you watch anything like this, you have to suspend disbelief for a bit and just have fun. I surely did and I can't ask more then that.
Addendum: I just received the DVD and had a Festival of Sherlock. Watched it all from end to end :). The pilot included is a great take on Study in Pink but the 90 minute version is far superior. Still, it's lots of fun. I just love that cabbie! I am assuming I have the full BBC version and not the PBS edits but I am not 100% sure. There's some included material on the Blind Banker especially that I wish hadn't been edited out. "The making of" episodes were enjoyable.
I am really glad I bought this DVD! I'm such a big Sherlock Holmes fan and this adaptation is just wonderful.