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Sherlock Holmes

Memories of a modern Sherlock

A modern adaption of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular series Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock received both acclaim and awards in its first season itself. It was adapted to 21st century London in terms of social behavior, current events and technology, without compromising the essence of the characters from the original series. Sherlock was introduced as a crime detective with an exceptional observational skills, but limited social skills. He uses SMS and GPS to solve crimes and uses nicotine patches in contrast to Holmes’s pipe. Watson’s character, like in Doyle’s series, is that of a military doctor returned from the Afghan war, who chronicles their adventures on his blog. The current season, like the first, also comprises three 90-minutes episodes- A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville and The Reichenbach Falls adapted from, perhaps, Sherlock Holmes’s most popular stories, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Final Problem respectively. It takes off from where the first ended, with a face-off between Sherlock and his archenemy Moriarty.


Benedict Cumberbatch reproduces on screen the arrogance of Sherlock Holmes and demonstrates the character’s desire to establish himself as the smartest person in the room at all times, but in a way that manages to awe rather than offended. The actor, who was seen in the 2007 film Atonement,also manages to tread the thin line between intellectual detachment and cruelty, blurring the lines between Sherlock and Moriarty (played by theater and TV  actor Andrew Scott) who has been established as a hacker in the series. Martin Freeman of The Office as John Watson is the silent type who balances Holmes’s arrogance on the show. Holmes’s possible love interest Irene Adler (portrayed by Lara Pulver) makes an appearance in the season’s first episode.

The adaptation of stories from Victorian times to the present day is smooth and without silly gimmicks. Irene Adler, vaguely established as a courtesan in Doyle’s original, is a dominatrix in A Scandal in Belgravia. The dialogues are intelligent and witty, and have a more pronounced edge. For instance, when Sherlock is called to Buckingham a female royal who says that Irene has a compromising picture on her mobile phone, the detective remarks, "Have you been wicked, Your Highness?”

The season does more than just narrate the stories of crime and the genius of Sherlock. The characters have evolved from season one and Sherlock is presented as a young man tired of his own fame and cases that are too easy for him to solve. Watson’s affinity for the detective is also established. The second season ends where it begins, with Moriarty and Sherlock locking horns. Apart from providing a thrill, the stories subtly establish that the arch enemies- perhaps like most other criminal minds- view crime as great game.

There is little to say in this category, except that in both season one and two, the first and last episodes are more thrilling in terms of characters and important incidents that mark Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s lives.


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