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..with delight. A brilliantly written, well acted programme. Well done to all concerned. The story had me hooked from the start.All the elements of Holmes are present and correct. So far most of the original characters have appeared, with hints of more yet to appear. It is suspenseful and sometimes genuinely funny. I have read all the original stories, and after the late, great Jeremy Brett, despaired of ever seeing another top notch Holmes film. This is it, Brought up to date into the 21st century, but done with affection and respect to the original. Nice to see the writers have continued the theme of an intelligent (slightly bemused) Watson. CAN WE HAVE A FULL SERIES PLEASE. If not this is one I will return to again and again.
To my surprise they absolutely nailed it. Cumberbatch is a fantastic choice for Sherlock Holmes-he is physically right (he fits the traditional reading of the character) and he is a damn good actor. Martin Freeman, about whom I wasn't sure at first, is an excellent foil for Holmes without being the dumb sidekick that Dr Watson has often been. I thought that this series would not work, particularly after Robert Downey's interesting take on Conan Doyle's characterisation. I have been proved so wrong-it moved along at a good pace and held the attention brilliantly. My wife started by saying she didn't like it but by the end of the episode she was as enthralled as I. We are both looking forward to the rest of the series, if it is as entertaining as the first story. I was disappointed to read some reviews here that did not love it. Methinks they are too jaded to enjoy anything.
It's after 2am and I have just registered on IMDb after watching the first ep of Sherlock as I was compelled to get it out there that this show presents some PURE BRILLIANCE in its delivery of my favourite fictional detective. Hard to believe they could create a setting in modern times where the illustrious Holmes and Watson set off on their adventures and absolutely GET IT RIGHT, in every aspect. Sir Arthur would, I believe, approve of this adaptation and be pleased that yet another generation is able to live the thrill of the chase, the connection of obscure yet obvious (to a genius) clues... the little things that have a far greater relevance than you would normally perceive. For a first episode... BUGGER ME, I am more than hooked and now await more installments and hope that each episode is as brilliant as the last... I have a feeling it will continue from strength to strength as we delve deeper into the darkness that is the mind of Sherlock Holmes. if they had an 11 out of 10 rating... that's my vote. The game is definitely on my dear Watson!
I have been an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes from a very young age, and my first reaction upon hearing of a modern TV remake was "oh bugger, they are so going to screw this up". However, i am glad to report that, unlike so many other TV adaptations and especially ones that modernise, i found it witty, clever and above all, entertaining. It was extremely reverential of its considerable pedigree and included a large number of coded references and callbacks for the more avid fan, e.g. the use of scratches around a persons mobile phone charger port to indicate a drunkard rather than a pocket watches winding keyhole. I imagine many were irked by this and as i can see from the ratings many did not care for it at all, but for me it was simply sublime, and well deserving of a 10 out of 10
I think it is always a bit uncertain and tricky when a 19th century series or film is modernised and most of the time it doesn't work, especially if it is well known and liked but I was very very impressed. Benedict does a brilliant job portraying the famous sleuth and made a 19th century character and modern day London merge beautifully. Martin Freeman was also great as Dr Watson. Rupert Graves made a brilliant Lestrade. It was sharp, quick and kept you on your toes and you just couldn't wait to see what happened next, this was of course completed by brilliant acting from the actors. I'm so pleased it got favourable reviews from the critics, roll on the next episode!!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a die-hard fan of the source material, I have tracked down and went
through nearly every radio, television, film, and comic book
interpretation of Sherlock Holmes - which run a mean gamut regarding
quality, as you probably already know - and so I approached this
incarnation skeptical but sanguine. Doubtful it would match the eminent
Jeremy Brett series in quality, but hopeful it might preserve Conan's
tone - something I think that series did well and the Downey Jr. movie
To my surprise, and delight, this show just so happens to be the bomb-diggity. Let me explain.
Ever notice how lots of Agatha Christie fans complain when screenwriters change Poirot and Marple stories? I'm not one of them. I like new and different interpretations of those stories because otherwise, in the case of literary characters brought on screen, what's the point? What's the point if we film and re-film the same story, the same story which we've already read once, twice, maybe three times? Especially in many cases, what's the point when it's been done so perfectly before? In the case of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles has been filmed at least 24 times according to Wikipedia. So another iteration won't thrill me. However, one that takes liberties with the source material, i.e. bringing the characters into the 21st century, I'm all for it. Surprise me. That's what I say.
And there are two things I really love about this series. 1) For longtime fans there are many, many "Easter eggs" to discover in each episode. And, best of all, 2) My boyfriend loves this series. And I can't pay him to watch a Jeremy Brett episode. He did enjoy the Downey Jr. movie (as did I, I just prefer a less swashbuckling Holmes - one reason among many that I didn't love the film), but he's never excited to watch Sherlock anything. This series is different. He loves it. For any Sherlock fan that would like to get their significant others on the band wagon, this is a great gateway. (And my boyfriend's actually a very good barometer for high-quality mainstream television shows. Usually, if something's firing on all cylinders, he knows it. More risky fare - he's off-put.)
And, you may rightly ask, why should I give a crap what my boyfriend likes? Good question. I happen to be of the mind that TV and film can accomplish what my favorite art form - literature - cannot. The TV and film experience can be enjoyed by a group. Sure, book clubs discuss books, but with TV and film you and whomever you want to hang out with, experience story at the exact same time, in real time, and you can easily observe each other's initial, unguarded reactions. Plain and simple, it's fun to enjoy the mediums with others - to laugh together, to be scared, sad, thrilled, etc. It enhances the experience. I think literature's strength is the opposite. For me, the best thing about settling into a good book is that I'm alone. Just me and the test, together making up a story.
Well, if anybody has read this far, I apologize for the rant. But if you're on the fence about buying the DVD or renting it or whatever, take a chance. Take a tip from me. You'll be pleasantly surprised. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
One word to describe this show..'excellent'. A true master piece. I am
a huge fan of the original Sherlock Holmes books and TV shows. When I
sat down to watch this, at the first glimpse I was a bit disappointed.
The show started in a somewhat different way than I imagined. Few
minutes later, I found out that the 'difference' I experienced is what
makes this series unique and brilliant. The cast is spot on. Couldn't
have picked a better guy for Holmes or Lestrade. Yet, Dr. Watson
doesn't match the original picture.Who cares hey? The story is full of
twists and turns and fascinating to see the techniques of deduction.
The merging of old reasoning and new technology has been done
magnificently. So, its a Holmes with a laptop and a smart phone.that
who we see.and that can be easily related than those 1800's detective.
Hope this show will continue for many full seasons.
I've been a Sherlock Holmes' fan for what feels like forever, and, like
others, was concerned that this modern version would be a disaster.
I needn't have worried. It was a terrific, fast-paced, edge-of-the-seat adventure. Benedict Cumberbatch (what a name!) brings a dark edginess to Holmes that gives the whole piece a delightful 'gothic' feel, while Martin Freeman - if the first episode is anything to go by - will make a perfect foil as Watson. Casting is so important and this combination feels just right.
I'll always have a soft spot for Basil Rathbone's Holmes, and, on the small screen at least, I can't see anyone displacing Jeremy Brett as the definitive 'Victorian' sleuth. But maybe, just maybe, the writers have created a Sherlock for the modern age who will stand the test of time and join a handful of other portrayals in the Pantheon of the greats.
Moffat's pedigree as a comedy writer has added a new layer to the Holmes' scenario, and though there were several in-jokes in the first episode that only Holmes' aficionados would appreciate, there was enough general humour to lighten what might otherwise have been a dark canvas.
Of course, I shouldn't have had any doubts. Steven Moffat is, after all, the man who rescued Dr Who from the self-indulgent, soap-opera obsessed, poorly scripted, moribund years of Russell T Davies and turned it back into a fun-packed joy to watch. He's done the same with 'Sherlock'.
The man is a genius. I can't wait for the next instalment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What we have here is a very interestingly rendered modern version of
Holmes' first appearance, A Study in Scarlet, in which he meets Watson,
they take the rooms in Baker Street and successfully investigate a
series of murders.
The story is rarely adapted for two reasons.
The first is that the murders don't make sense without the dull, rambling back story which no one wants to dramatise. The Valley of Fear has hardly ever been dramatised for the same reason.
The second is that this is Conan Doyle's first attempt and he introduced significant character changes to both Holmes and Watson in the short stories. Holmes, in A Study in Scarlet, is rather more deranged, more like Cumberbatch's Holmes than Brett's, much more an aggressive, painful thorn in the side of the police rather than the unseen assistant of later stories.
So people who haven't read the book or have only seen Holmes on screen need to give this a bit of time. 21C technology aside, it's actually quite a faithful adaptation, even though they ditched the back story and gave the murderer another, more credible motive.
Knowledge of the original isn't at all necessary, but it does change the viewpoint. While some were congratulating themselves on beating Holmes to the punch in spotting the profession of the murderer, readers of the original were being conned into believing that his next victim was going to be the American he was driving (the victims in the original are all American). In the original, the word 'Rache' appears at the crime scene, also in an empty house in Lauriston Gardens, written in blood. The police jump to the conclusion that the victim was trying to write the word 'Rachel'. Holmes knows that 'Rache' is German for revenge. Moffat turns it neatly and humorously around. In the original it's a red herring, in the new version, it's a vital clue. These riffs on the original abound and are almost always imaginative and amusing and often more than that. Mycroft as Sherlock's Big Brother, for example.
Moffat and Gatiss treat the characters with all the loving respect that an author could wish for and serve up an adaptation which re-imagines everything that Conan Doyle put into his plots and yet delivers something very close to to their original purpose and effect. Holmes and Watson are products of their time, as they should be, but they are recognisably the descendants and inheritors of the originals. The baby is still gurgling happily in the bathwater.
There's a lot more here than initially meets the eye and I have a sneaky feeling it'll get better.
If it does, it's going to be very, very good indeed.
Once again this proves that the BBC Licence Fee is one of the finest
ideas this country as ever had.
Moffat's sharp dialogue and subtle character development sit excellently alongside Gattis natural flair for the uncanny and his talent for mystery stories; so evident in his novels as well as his League of Gentlemen work.
The modernisation works artfully, showing that the challenges Holmes faced were not merely a question of his better scientific method keeping him ahead of the police. Watson benefit even more from the modern setting, the circular nature of history making his recent experiences in Afghanistan even more relevant than they can seem in the novels.
The cinematography and editing was excellent (a feature that was much improved in the recent series of Doctor Who), the display of text messages stylish and deceptively simple.
All in all this was a triumph for the BBC, and showed the benefit of their nurturing of talents such as Moffat and Gattis over the past decade.
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