Wednesday, 10 July 2013

TV: Sherlock

Crime, Drama, Mystery

I do not have enough praise for this show. Now watch me ramble on about it!

I'll start by reminding you how often I whine about short seasons but remember I also mentioned somewhere that this is acceptable for English shows. I don't know why but they seem to be able to cram more quality into a shorter season than any US show I've ever seen. This particular series is extremely short with just three episodes per season but it makes up for it by being hour and a half long episodes! I've accepted this quite happily.

Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock Holmes and I'm sure you've heard about him by now after he starred in Star Trek: Into Darkness as legendary Starfleet nemesis Khan. I'm also really looking forward to seeing him in The Hobbit trilogy where he plays the Necromancer and the voice of Smaug the dragon. How awesome does the preview for that look?! Another face from The Hobbit is Mr. Bilbo Baggins himself; Martin Freeman, who plays Sherlock's trusty sidekick, John Watson.

I'm sure you know the general gist of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic character; Sherlock is a consulting detective with exceptional observation skills and deductive reasoning. The character often has slight dark twist such as alcoholism or drug addiction that makes us doubt his fanatical personality but is actually a conduit for his intellect. Dr Watson is his trusted friend and sometimes flatmate, an ex-army doctor who traditionally narrates the story.

This show follows a lot of the traditional Sherlock mannerisms and I think that's what makes it so good. Cumberbatch manages to portray the intense energy that such an active mind should possess. His performance reminds me of James Nesbitt's stunningly brilliant role in Jekyll. There is something about Cumberbatch's performance that reminds me of the way Nesbitt changed from Jekyll to Hyde. Perhaps it's the way Sherlock can go from quietly processing to vomiting a string of verbal facts. (If you haven't seen Jekyll, go find it now, it's amazing!)

Without going into details about the plethora of other minor characters, I really needed to mention the Andrew Scott in the role of Holmes' arch nemesis, Moriarty. His face, his voice, the entire character he puts across is manically insane and scarily intelligent. Messing with Sherlock is fun for him. I just love this performance and Scott totally deserved the Best Supporting Actor nomination he received for this part.
brilliance that is

I also have to applaud the writers; legendary Steven Moffat (who also writes for Doctor Who, Jekyll and one of my old favourites, Coupling.) and Mark Gatiss who also plays Sherlock's brother Mycroft. The current six episodes are somewhat loosely based around the classic Conan Doyle books and I think this makes them just that little bit more special.

I've watched the existing episodes three or four times now and would quite happily watch them all again. Season three will be starting soon (we hope) and I have heard a confirmation that no matter what the powers that be say there will be a season four, even if Benedict Cumberbatch has to finance it himself! Hell to the yeah!

5 out of 5 smoking pipes....

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