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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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Top customer reviews
The writing is engaging, cheeky, smart and fast paced. It rolls current technology into the stream of consciousness. The looks of awe when Sherlock figures it out - and his amusement when he learns he's alone are priceless. The cinematography, costumes, lighting and use of text overlays to move the story along are well placed and impressive on their own.
But the intelligence of the show is its presumption in the interest of the watcher; therefore moving with alacrity, flexibility and certain undefinable element of charm missing from many US shows (the brilliant but cancelled Life with Damian Lewis excluded). I'm a US viewer lucky enough to have a friend in the UK - but this show should gain followers worldwide with the power to draw from the past literary works and latch onto the current to slingshot us into the future of TV - for thinking people.
- Inspector Lestrade: "I didn't say anything."
- Sherlock Holmes: "You were thinking. It's annoying."
A proud man is ex-Army doctor, John H. Watson. But he is neither so proud nor his finances so sound that he'd turn his nose up at the chance to share rent on a flat, even if the flat mate should be that most peculiar and aggravating person, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. John Watson is immediately struck with the eccentricity of Holmes, and with his brilliance. And lest those Holmesian afficianados throw a fit, we first meet the Great Detective harshly applying a riding crop to a corpse in an effort to discover lividity, so at least we're reassured that certain things remain the same. Holmes still conducts his nasty experiments. Lean and saturnine, he is still very much the detached thinking machine, still the cold fish, except that, striding thru modern-age London as he does, some people assume he's a bit of a switch hitter.
Somewhere, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are nudging each other in the ribs. After all, they did this first. In these contemporary times, Sherlock Holmes wages war on ennui, rages against boredom. He fills a role as Scotland Yard's unofficial consulting detective, a necessary tool in crime solving, even if the constabulary consider him a freakish prat. Some have wondered how Holmes would fare in the 21st Century, and the answer is: quite comfortably, thanks ever so. Holmes always was a scientific man, and very practical. Practicality dictates that Holmes would make use of today's technology, and we see him here applying the Internet and his cellie and GPS trackers and so forth. He runs his own website: The Science of Deduction. It doesn't get as many hits as John Watson's blog which is where one can read up on Sherlock Holmes' cases. To quote Holmes: "I'd be lost without my blogger." Heh.
SHERLOCK Season One compiles the three 90-minute made-for-television movies that aired on BBC One in 2010. Steven Moffat, who now runs DOCTOR WHO, is one of the masterminds behind this new series and his name is enough endorsement for me. This is a very cool re-imagining of the classic detecting icon. Some of the mythos have been stripped away. Steal away from the gaslit Victorian age. Discard the Inverness cloak, do away with the deerstalker cap, and also the notion that Dr. Watson is an utter baffled-head. What's left is the core of the detective and his fast friendship with the good doctor. Plonked in this contemporary era, Sherlock Holmes still runs circles around everyone. Only, as a nod to the sign of the times, the master sleuth has traded his pipe for heaps of nicotine patches. 221B Baker Street survives. But now it's perched atop Speedy's Sandwich Bar & Cafe.
The show works because of the casting choices. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a right proper Sherlock Holmes, even if his name sounds like J.K. Rowling made it up; Cumberbatch exudes idiosyncracy and that certain imperious air that makes you just want to kick him around the room a little. It's spot on. Martin Freeman has the less showy role, but probably the more challenging role. It's easy to do flash. Harder to play everyman and to still stand out. Freeman's Watson is not at all dull-witted, is most capable as a man of action. He's just not as good at sudoku as his flat mate. These two actors generate instant chemistry. They are compelling together.
The cases confound. The series comes rife with new material and a dark mood but with unexpected humor. There are nods to A.C. Doyle's classic mysteries. "A Study In Pink" pits Holmes against a clever serial killer who talks his victims into killing themselves, and if you haven't caught on to the word play in the episode title, this one is loosely adapted from "A Study In Scarlet." "The Blind Banker" has Holmes doing a favor for an old school chum and investigating a break-in and a rash of graffiti. His sniffing around leads him to a locked room murder mystery and a circus. This case takes a wee bit from "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" (the graffiti as cypher sub-plot). Finally, in "The Great Game," the world's sole consulting detective plays a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a mad bomber who leaves deadlines and clues via his victims. This, even as Mycroft presses him to recover missing top secret government papers. This is very loosely based on "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" and just a whiff, just a whiff of "The Five Orange Pips." Throughout, there's emphasis on showcasing Holmes' dazzling deductive process.
Somewhere in all this, we meet Sherlock's brother Mycroft who, as he says, "occupies a minor position in the British government" (but we know better). And in the shadows - pulling strings and simply being a sodding evil sod - sits the criminal genius Moriarty who, next to boredom (and, possibly, trivia about the solar system), serves as archnemesis to Sherlock Holmes. In "The Great Game" Moriarty and Holmes finally have a proper chat. The chat ends inconclusively. Still, who needs gaslit lamps and horse-drawn cabbies, eh?
The 2-disc DVD set comes with the following bonus material: 2 audio commentaries: one for "A Study In Pink" by the show's producers/writers (Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue), another for "The Great Game" from Mark Gatiss & actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; the unaired hour-long pilot "A Study In Pink" (later expanded and reworked into the 90-minute version that did air); and "Unlocking Sherlock" - the roughly 33-minute-long "Making Of" featurette with, among other things, cast & crew interviews, their thoughts on relocating Sherlock Holmes to present-day London, and comparison shots between the pilot and the movie.
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw it on PBS and am hooked! I watched the three 2014 movies and then went to Amazon and bought Season One and Two straight away. I am going to have another marathon Sherlock evening watching Season Two this week.
But then what? I have been told I have to wait until January 2016 until Season Four is shown. So sad! I vote for the producers/writers/directors/actors developing another season in 2015. Please? To me this is the best show on TV! Best acting and best storytelling!