I love the new Sherlock Holmes! Yes I do!
I’ve never been a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories; or that is to say, I have always appreciated them from a distance. It’s a good thing, I like it, but I have never sought it out. So I was rather lukewarm to the idea of a modern remake, and only really sat down to watch it because Stephen Moffat was involved (or SteMo, as we now call him post-Bearcast), along with Mark Gatiss- both quite nifty gents when it comes to these telly box programmes.
I was prepared to like it or hate it, perfectly poised to swing either way (I was slightly wrongfooted by the trailer, which I saw only once and half way through- “Who is this stroppy bastard?” I proclaimed, “He’s strutting about like he’s Sherlock Holmes or... Oh.”). As it turned out, I loved it.
London looks as gorgeous as ever, Martin Freeman is restrained and showing his acting chops for once, rather than Timming it about all over the place, and the stories (only 3, alas) have been tightly written, tense, and with a sprinkling of humour. The real revelation has been Benedict Cumberbatch, the moody, cold, frighteningly clever and strangely feline Holmes, continually bristling with grace, whether he’s sweeping from the crime scene in that fabulous black coat, sticking a row of nicotine patches up his arm, or deducting at the speed of light.
There are other things to say about this modern retelling- the supporting cast are all top notch, particularly Mrs Hudson, the affectionate nods to the source material, Mark Gatiss pulling off being both sinister and endearing at the same time... But at the heart of it is the instantly appealing partnership of Holmes and Watson. Watson is amazed by Sherlock’s abilities, but he’s by no means a dullard himself, and although Sherlock finds it nigh on impossible to relate to anyone not super intelligent, it’s already clear that his relationship with John is keeping him from collapsing in on himself.
In short, it was great, and I sincerely hope we get some more episodes as soon as possible, because well-written, stylish drama is a rare joy. And I need to know what happens next.