Last Sunday night PBS Masterpiece Mystery broadcast the first episode of a new three-part Sherlock Holmes series entitled ‘A Study in Pink’. This show was fantastic! I highly recommend it.
This is the first time the characters of Holmes and Doctor Watson have been updated to the 21st century, and it works very well. I was leery at first, but placing Holmes in the internet age is a real stroke of genius! This Holmes has instant access to information, his own website and texts messages by cell phone. His character, as portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, is very much like a human computer, though Holmes refers to himself as a high-functioning sociopath. And the way his perceptions and thought processes are shown on-screen is thoroughly brilliant.
I heard about this new ‘Sherlock’ series a couple of weeks ago. It’s co-written and produced by Steven Moffat, who is also in charge of the new ‘Doctor Who’ series. That’s what first peaked my interest, but I also have loved the many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes since I first read ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ when I was ten years old. I love the Basil Rathbone Holmes movies of the 1940s, and the series from the 1980s with Jeremy Brett as Holmes, too, though I haven’t seen as many of those. (David Burke was the original Doctor Watson in that series, by the way, until he left and was replaced by Edward Hardwicke). The portrayal of Doctor Watson by Martin Freeman in this production is perfect. And by another interesting coincidence; as I posted earlier, Martin Freeman will soon be playing Bilbo Baggins in the new ‘Hobbit’ movies. I can’t think of a better actor for the role!
I think this just may be my favorite interpretation of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson ever! It feels like a classic after just the first installment. Actually, I really enjoyed the ‘Sherlock Holmes‘ movie that came out earlier this year with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, though it seems many reviewers didn’t care so much for it. It certainly took some liberties with the source material, but I loved the original 1880s setting and the action was just a hell of a lot of fun! Plus the chemistry and humor between Holmes and Watson was a riot.
But back to the PBS Sherlock; each episode is 90 minutes long, and after the first three I believe they’ll be making more in this series. I certainly hope so! Check out the links below.