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Mainstream - Sherlock - Season One

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Sherlock - Season One
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves
3 Episodes 2 DVD
Aired BBC - PBS 2010
BBC Warner Home Video 2010

Even Conan Doyle purists have to admit Sherlock is a good mystery series and true to the spirit of the original. Also presented on PBS in the Masterpiece Theatre series, the first three episodes of this modern times adaptation make for great TV watching. Even better is you do not have to be a Holmes fan to enjoy this 2 DVD set. Sherlock takes the detective and his companion and sets them in modern day England. Fair warning though, the third episode ends on a cliffhanger that will only be resolved fall 2011.

Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent as Sherlock Holmes and presents a whole new take on the sleuth. His version is darker, basically antisocial, and a bit of an a-hole. Martin Freeman is also very good as Doctor John Watson who, fresh from the war in Afghanistan, is a bit adrift and looking for a place to stay until a chance encounter connects him with Holmes.

There are unfortunately only three episodes in Sherlock Season One. They stand alone but there at the same time there is a thread that leads to the third episode, The Great Game. The first episode, A Study in Pink, does a wonderful job of setting everything up and presenting an interesting mystery at the same time.

The second episode is a bit of a wash but it has its moments.

Episode 3, The Great Game is very good. A mysterious and very clever person has Holmes solve various mysteries. If he fails to do so in the allotted time an innocent person will be blown up. This is really where the detective s darker side is exposed as he really seems to care more about the game than he does the innocent civilian hoping he will solve it in time.

In the past many Holmes adaptations were a bit posh and snobbish and the detective seemed to solve the case by skipping to the last chapter before the rest of us. Sherlock is clever enough to avoid all the clichés usually associated with this character while still remaining true to the character himself.

I really could have done without the cliffhanger at the end of The Great Game.

Special Features on Sherlock Season One are two commentary tracks, a Making Of, and a feature on how the series got started.

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