Sherlock Holmes has ditched the deerstalker and pipe for a head of curls and a mobile phone, strutting his eccentric stuff right into the 21st Century. And what better man for the job of playing him than Benedict Cumberbatch?
Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novels had a makeover for the BBC in 2010, and this erratic, coat-swooshing version of the iconic detective went down a storm. Whilst a few things changed from the original story, the fundamentals stayed the same – Sherlock has still got his trusty sidekick Watson (Martin Freeman), still lives in 221b Baker Street (though the rent is likely a bit more than it was in the 1880s) and he’s still doing his best to defeat his arch enemy, Moriarty (played by Andrew Scott – Fleabag’s hot priest).
And we’re still gripped by these incredible adventures. Across the four seasons, we skip around London with Holmes and Watson, visiting crime scenes, occasionally dropping in on his abrupt brother Mycroft, and being privy to the master detective at work.
The writing is superb – littered with puns, it is sharp, ironic and effortlessly intelligent. As a result, Sherlock, despite often being rude, pedantic and anti-social, remains likeable and charming, which means keeping up with him even more enjoyable. Plus, if that isn’t enough to convince you, the whole thing is beautifully shot and complemented by exciting classical music. A Must in every sense.
Unsurprisingly, Sherlock got great reviews across all of its seasons. Of the first season, The Telegraph says the “drama whipped along, was laugh-out-loud funny and the 19th-to-21st century transpositions worked.” The Guardian’s Sam Wollaston loves it so much he encourages his readers to chant, “we want more,” for what he calls an “edge-of-the-seat ride.”
And the praise kept coming. Chris Harvey of The Telegraph praises Cumberbatch’s performance, saying he “perfectly catches the point at which intellectual detachment turns towards cruelty,” continuing “it takes a peculiar talent to create a character so inhuman, yet retain our sympathy.” Whilst the Independent’s Ellen E Jones says the series “requires attentive viewing, but it rewards your attention tenfold.”
First shown August 2010. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.