Watched the first (and thus far the only) three episodes of BBC’s new Sherlock.
The presence of Steven Moffat, the author of the best new Dr. Who episodes (Blink, Girl in the Fireplace, …), was the first thing to attract. And while it doesn’t reach as lofty heights, it is a pleasant series after all.
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Sherlock Holmes – an acerbic character that fortunately does not aspire to House-level of misanthropy. Martin Freeman (Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit films) is Dr. Watson, a veteran of Afghanistan, is introduced in the first episode and quickly becomes the narrator of the tale. But unlike the original short stories, he’s not the only narrator – in these modern times Holmes has a blog of his own. And exactly like the Victorian sleuth, the 21st century version uses modern technology to his advantage – a GPS-equipped phone certainly comes in handy in high-speed chases through London.
The three episodes broadcast thus far contain plenty of references to old stories – starting from their names (the entire series kicks off with A Study in Pink, contrasting the Scarlet of the original tale) and twisting and turning familiar elements into completely new forms.
Sadly, the series will be developed very slowly, the next batch (also three episodes) is scheduled for the autumn of 2011.
Of the three episodes, two were nothing short of brilliant, while the the third sadly overreached quite a bit by forcefeeding the audience yet another element from the originals, and ending with a gratuitous cliffhanger.