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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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.
Aside from this, extras on all discs are quite good.
Now the down side. The first episode, "A Study in Pink" is loosely based on the novel "A Study in Scarlet", but without the whole Mormon back story. The conclusion is totally different. But being based on a preexisting plot gives it good coherence. The second episode is based on a few different short stories, but it has a certain coherence. The end resolves the situation laid out in the opening. The third episode, "The Great Game" has problems, at least on two successive viewings. It is based on several different Holmes short stories, but they are pidgon-holed into a plot which is has so many twists and turns that no amount of Holmes reading will help. This leads me to the voice-over commentary provided by the principle actors. It helps not one wit in understanding the plot. It has lots of useful comments about how scenes were shot, but no illumination about what is driving the plot. When we find out that it was all orchestrated by Moriarty, and we meet him, in the end, helps very little.
All in all, this is a really great series. The acting, the direction, and the music are spot on. In the third episode, it seems the writing became a bit too enthralled with its cleverness. But, get it and judge for yourself. You will be entertained and entranced.
This new BBC version is absolutely addictive. Sherlock's power of deduction is amazing. He notices the most minute detail and can immediately deduce a person's most secret details. He and Watson form the most unlikely of partnerships. The new Sherlock Holmes is abrasive, pompous, socially inept and not very likeable yet he is hard to resist.
Benedict Cumberbatch gives a completely different take on Sherlock Holmes. He's young, anti-social, sexually ambivalant and totally fascinating. Martin Freeman is the older and wiser and more grounded Dr. Watson. Holmes and Watson are the odd couple of the crime fighting scene. It's not clear why Watson so quickly attaches himself to Holmes beyond the love of adventure.
The writing is fresh and crisp. The flashes of information in Sherlock's mind as they are shown on screen explain his remarkable powers of deduction. The stories can get a bit convoluted at times as several side stories intermingle, but this adds to the fun. The big disappointment with Series One is that there are only 3 episodes, but they do run long and there is plenty of Sherlock and Watson to see. I can't wait for Season Two.
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