Sherlock (Season 1)

Rating: 3/4 (A good modern reinvention of the legendary Sherlock Holmes.)

There have been countless attempts on the big and small screen to either faithfully recreate or creatively reinvent the legendary Sherlock Holmes. The new Sherlock TV series on BBC tries to create a modern avatar of the detective. Benedict Cumberbatch plays an intelligent smart-ass Sherlock Holmes, while Martin Freeman plays a wise Dr. Watson. Season 1 features 3 movie-length (1.5 hour each) episodes.

A Study in Pink is the opening episode, which as you may guess is inspired by the original A Study in Scarlet. In this case, Sherlock investigates a series of suicides, all of whom have died taking a pill. Dr. Watson returning from the war in Afghanistan becomes Sherlock’s flatmate at 221B Baker Street and is drawn into the case to become Sherlock’s partner. In the climactic scene of the episode, Sherlock’s arch-nemesis Moriarty is introduced.

Sherlock’s second case The Blind Banker deals with a spray painted coded message at a bank and a banker who has killed himself. This case leads him to discover a smuggling ring that is communicating by using derelict Chinese symbols for communication. In the third and final case The Great Game, Sherlock is taunted and played around by his nemesis Moriarty. The latter sets up Sherlock on a chase to solve crime puzzles within a deadline, and threatens to kill citizens if he fails. The episode ends in a standoff between Sherlock and Moriarty.

Cumberbatch totally gets into the skin of a new Holmes, while Martin Freeman gives us a very comforting Dr. Watson. Put together, this pair is like fireworks. Each of the cases has been beautifully written. The pace and dialogues are a bit too fast for my taste. The cinematography is lovely, as is the smooth incorporation of modern technology into Sherlock’s repertoire. Each episode is the length of a movie and really does feel like a made-for-TV movie. The story telling is good and there is no way one can pull away once a case has gotten started. I loved A Study in Pink, the other two episodes were merely good. Sherlock is a good modern reinvention of Sherlock Holmes and I will be watching if more seasons are produced.

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