Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekender: Sherlock, The TV Series

The Dynamic Duo
Not being a huge movie buff - but always a fan of classic tales that have stood the test of time - I was persuaded by my wife to see Robert Downey Jr.'s interpretation of "Sherlock Holmes" last year, and loved it - enough to not only dust off my old copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic but also to take in the sequel this year, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows".  And to my distinct pleasure and surprise, the sequel was better than the original - which was (did I mention?) truly excellent itself.  It was with these two satisfying renditions in mind then, that I was somewhat reticent to watch a television adaptation of 221b Baker Street's most famous tenant, even if it was on BBC.  Nevertheless, I did.  Now this is not an easy series to find on the one-eyed monster, and in fact we had to resort to Netflix (sometimes less than optimal viewing quality Out Here) to watch it.  And once again I was pleasantly surprised, the series "Sherlock" is rare entertainment, literally and figuratively.  It is a contemporary update, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (as Watson, a veteran of the recent "unwinnable" campaign in Afghanistan). The first series of three 90-minute episodes aired on BBC in July/August 2010, with a second series of three episodes in January 2012.  A third series has been commissioned for 2013.  Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes uses modern technology, such as texting, the internet, and GPS to solve crimes - wholly appropriate given the original character's penchant for the latest gadgets.  (There are even text messages that appear on the screen to give the viewer some insight into the conversation.)  One clue: make sure you see the first episode of the first series first, "A Study in Pink", so you understand the character relationships.  Enjoy!