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. Fennessy
- Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Item model number : 883929129775
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
- Run time : 7 hours and 41 minutes
- Release date : November 9, 2010
- Actors : Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves, Louise Brealey
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : Unqualified
- Studio : BBC Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B004132HZS
- Writers : Mark Gatiss
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,763 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is ingenious and delightfully funny, even if we do have to suspend disbelief that Watson, injured as he is from his stint in Afghanistan, must rely on a cane in some scenes and is leaping over rooftops and outrunning cabs with Holmes in others.
The juxtaposition of characters from Victorian England to 21st Century UK is in and of itself mildly amusing, and surprisingly seamless: Holmes deduces Watson's circumstances from wear and tear on his cel-phone; Watson has a blog instead of a publisher. The use of text on screen is witty when Holmes is making his rapid-fire deductions or when texting with Watson in one predicament or another.
I recently found these (after having been completely unaware of them since 2010 (!!!), and immediately bought the entire series based on:
1. the online reviews
2. the chemistry I know would exist between Cumberbaugh and Freeman.
It might as well be Lennon & McCartney.
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.
One of the best shows on television. I love PBS and I love the fact that they offer a lot of BBC shows. This is the best one I've seen so far. I like it even better than Downton Abbey, my second favorite. It is wonderful to have this on Blu-ray for my collection. On rainy or cold winter days, I love to pop some corn and sit back under a warm blanket to watch these.
The acting is great. I truly believe the neurosis of the lead character played by Cumberbatch, but I think even more interesting is Dr. Watson played by Freeman. The chemistry is the best I've seen for a while. I believe it when Dr. Watson feels like smacking Sherlock. It is dramatic, funny, many layered, and just overall entertaining.
It doesn't matter what season, I love them all.
Top reviews from other countries
The texting, E'mailing and blogging were good ideas and I felt that the spirit of the originals remained. Critical reviewers on these pages have cited 'over-production' whatever that means, and sloppy dialogue. Sadly they have also been critical of the many people who have written favourable reviews, and somewhat arrogantly have suggested that the current TV viewer,and by implication the positive reviewers,are incapable of appreciating good drama or being critical of what they, the critics, see as poor drama.
Personally I found the series well acted and well written and worthy of the praise it has received. To compare it unfavourably to 'Monk' and 'House' as one reviewer has done is pretty incomprehensible as is the rather boring old chestnut that we cannot make drama of as high quality as American TV. Give me British TV every time, and, more of 'Sherlock' please. This Holmes afficionado for one would be pleased to see another series.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are superb in the central roles, Mark Gatiss excellent as brother Mycroft, Rupert Graves a fine Lestrade - he no fool but realizing when help is needed. Full marks to viewers who spot Moriarty when he first appears - another brilliant portrayal, he and Holmes chillingly opposite sides of the same coin.
Gripping adventures (full attention is needed!), great atmosphere. Lots of laughs too. ("Three pipe problems" now involve nicotine patches. "Freak's here!" Lestrade's officer calls out when Holmes arrives at the crime scene. Watson is repeatedly having to correct those who assume he and Holmes are an item.)
3 90 minute episodes, the third with a commentary by Gatiss, Cumberbatch and Freeman (interesting anecdotes). Bonuses include a "behind the scenes" feature and a never before seen hour long pilot. (It fascinates to note how this evolved into the episode eventually shown.)
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Holmes addicts both, have here created a masterpiece - no mean achievement in itself but quite staggering when one remembers Moffat is now also masterminding "Doctor Who".
However, having just recently obtained a copy of the first series I have just watched the whole of the first episode (A study in Pink) and can't believe how much I enjoyed it! Not only is it funny and gripping, but also very cleverly thought out in the way that certain aspects of the original novel have been brought to life with a modern twist. The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is perfect too - I just feel ashamed that it's taken me so long to appreciate it, but as they say better late than never!
For anyone else who loves the original Holmes, I say give it a chance - it's still not everyone's cup of tea I'm sure, but if you open your mind, you might, just like me, be pleasantly surprised.