In 2010 PBS presented the BBC television program “Sherlock” for the first time and viewers had the pleasure of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch present his version of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes.
The series, set in present day, was inventive, sharp, witty, clever, had great acting and scripts, and after the first series, left new fans clamoring for more. Not only did the first series (British shows have “series” instead of “seasons” for their shows) introduce the perfectly Cumberbatch, but gave us the always awesome Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit” movies) as Doctor John Watson. The first series had the two characters teaming up for the first time in three episodes, with the third episode introducing Sherlock’s archenemy James Moriarty, played to villainous perfection by Andrew Scott. The first series ended with an exciting cliffhanger that left fans hanging until the second series appeared in 2012.
The second series again featured three exciting episodes, with the final (spoiler alert) episode featuring Sherlock supposedly plunging to his death. Series three was presented in 2014 and was highlighted by the marriage of Watson and love Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington), with Sherlock providing plenty of humor as the Best Man at the wedding. In 2016 fans were treated to a one episode special entitled “The Abominable Bride.” The episode featured the characters in an alternative timeline during Victorian times, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Fans, including myself, were thrilled when the show returned in January 2017 with three new episodes, the last of which played in select theaters. The current series is the darkest yet for the show, and features a major rift between Sherlock and Watson that left me wondering if they would ever be best friends and working partners again.
The latest series also introduces a surprise member of the Holmes family that leads to near tragedy for several of the characters. I really can’t praise this show enough, as it’s a hit at every level. If you have never seen the show, it’s very easy to catch up on, as I mentioned earlier there are only three episodes per series. I really like how the British limit the number of episodes a show produces, so as not to wear out a programs welcome. Save for pay networks like HBO, Hollywood loves to over-produce shows to the point of exhaustion. My preferences aside, Cumberbatch is so perfect in the role of Sherlock, it’s like he was born to play the role. The actor captures all the nuances of the character perfectly. Cumberbatch (don’t you just love the name!) also has wonderful screen chemistry with Freeman, who portrays Doctor Watson in a calm, yet determined manner. This is a show you must pay close attention to less you miss something important, but take it from me, “Sherlock” is very much worth the effort. Thankfully, Cumberbatch is signed for a fifth series, so I hope we get to visit 221B Baker Street again really soon to see more great mysteries solved.