After my wife and I were finally able to watch the fourth season of BBC’s Sherlock a week ago it turned out we couldn’t get enough of the series and decided to go through the lot again in a good old fashioned binge session over the subsequent few days.
The great thing about Sherlock that I always liked was that despite being set in modern times the writers clearly love the original stories and take plenty of inspiration from them. It’s been a couple of years now since I last read my own compendium of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories but I when I watch these episodes they do a great job of feeling “right” and meeting expectations.
Whether it be covering Holmes’ addictions (his use of cocaine is in the original stories) or Watson’s own backstory or even the dynamics with Mycroft, Moriarty, Mary or Irene Adler, the new and old tales have been meshed together in ways that have surprised me over the four (plus one) VERY drawn out seasons.
I grew up watching the old Sherlock Holmes films from the 30’s and 40’s that starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Though they too had taken plenty of liberties with the source material (they even fought Nazis!) there was still a charm to the stories as the unflappable consulting detective solved all cases faced. Having a modern take on this is such a cool thing to see and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make for a great Holmes/Watson combo.
One of my favourite episodes of Sherlock is The Reichenbach Fall and the final face off between Holmes and Moriarty, played brilliantly by Andrew Scott. It’s a very original story with a great run of twists and surprises that play off viewers expectations from their possible familiarity with the title. It always seemed to me that prior to Sherlock Moriarty was always portrayed as an evil mirror image of Holmes but this time around we see some very different personalities at play. I actually wished that there was another twist thrown in to Moriarty and that he would return again because he is such a great villain.
Once we got season four finished that second time through and wondering where else it could go, the finishing touch for our marathon was watching Doctor Strange to show that yes, Benedict Cumberbatch can also play a bastard with an entirely different accent and with no angry Vulcans chasing him. 😉
All in all I think we might have got our Sherlock fix taken care of for the time being… At least until the next season eventually arrives. Right now we can amuse ourselves by changing the text notifications on our phones to sound like “The Woman”…