Sherlock (Season 1) Review
by E. Stevens
***** 5 Stars
The character of Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed on screen over 200 times, but this particular adaptation pulls off the famous detective’s character in such a witty and clever way that I am convinced it is one of the best.
Director: Paul McGuigan
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott & Mark Gatiss
Synopsis: When John Watson, a former army doctor, returns to England, he is introduced to Sherlock Holmes, the only ‘consulting detective’ in the world. The pair are soon solving London’s toughest crimes, but they soon come face to face with Sherlock’s very worst enemy.
The character of Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed on screen over 200 times, but this particular adaptation pulls off the famous detective’s character in such a witty and clever way that I am convinced it is one of the best. Both John and Sherlock have many layers to their personality, and although they are flawed in various ways, this only makes them more human, and therefore, likeable.
The first episode A Study in Pink opens with Dr John Watson, previously an army doctor in Afghanistan, now looking for a flatmate in London. After he happens to meet an old friend from medical school, he is introduced to Sherlock Holmes, a consulting detective extremely gifted in the powers of observation and deduction. Soon John begins to help Sherlock investigate a string of supposed suicide victims who never leave notes… until one does. From this Sherlock deduces that they are not in fact suicides, but murder.
The second episode The Blind Banker follows Sherlock and John investigating the strange message left on a portrait in a bank office. This message leads them to two dead men, who both appear to have been killed alone in their homes, leading the police to believe it was suicide. But Sherlock thinks otherwise, and soon he and John uncover a smuggling ring that provide the key to the mystery.
The final episode The Great Game provides the perfect climax to the series. A mysterious caller threatens to commit murder unless Sherlock can solve five intricate puzzles. However, soon Sherlock and John come face to face with Jim Moriarty, consulting criminal and Sherlock’s worst enemy.
Although there are only three episodes per series, each episode’s plot is so intricate and detailed that they are almost impossible to work out. Not only are the mysteries ingenious but every actor in the series portrays their character to perfection. Benedict Cumberbatch shines as Sherlock, who presents himself as a heartless sociopath, but somehow makes the viewer care about him, due to his strong, powerful friendship with John. The pair are joined in their adventures by Mrs Hudson, their landlady (not their housekeeper), played by Una Stubbs and Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey), a specialist at St Bart’s who has always had a soft spot for Sherlock. Mark Gatiss also gave an amazing performance as Sherlock’s equally intelligent and observant brother Mycroft. Every character has their humorous moments which are perfectly timed to provide some light relief to the more tense scenes.
This TV series is one of the best I have ever seen. It is witty and smart, but also hilarious and leaves every viewer on the edge of their seat, at some point. I would highly recommend it, as there is truly something in this series for everyone.
Sherlock is currently available on BBC iPlayer and was rated 15 by the BBFC.