It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally got round to watching the BBC Series – Sherlock.
On the whole, I found it enjoyable, with five of the six episodes being very good.
While each of the six episodes are based – in one way or another – on the original Sherlock stories, they have all been modernised so that they work in a contemporary 21st century setting. It’s possible to almost completely re-write a story while still paying homage to it, as they do with A Study in Pink, A Scandal in Belgravia and others, but to pay homage to the original Hound of the Baskervilles, it still needs a giant hound.
And I just felt that it was a case of trying to fit square pegs into round holes; it was taking a story that couldn’t really work within the context of the modern show and attempting to try.
To get my other niggles out of the way, I felt that sometimes Sherlock himself made some extraordinary deductions that made little sense and were simply explained away as ‘Well he’s a genius, isn’t he?’. Most of the time the writers offered a step-by-step explanation of his deductions, but just once or twice it felt like they were presenting an answer without showing the working, if you know what I mean.
Then there’s Mark Gatiss, who isn’t a bad actor, but he’s not a particularly good one either. You might say that he must be quite good because he’s appeared in a number of high profile TV shows, but generally those appearances are in episodes of shows that he writes or produces. He’s taking roles ahead of better actors because he has that power. It’s a very odd form of nepotism, and it would be nice if someone explained to him firmly that there are better actors out there for the roles he writes.
The only other thing that annoyed me a bit was the guy who played Moriarty. I appreciate what they were going for – a psychopath who is Sherlock’s equal – but the way Andrew Scott played him just reeked of ‘Textbook TV Intelligent Psycho’. There was nothing original in his performance at all.
And that’s a shame because most of the other actors were sound, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman especially excelling on the show.
There are only six episodes of Sherlock so far – each around 90 minutes in length – so if you’ve not seen it, it won’t take you long to catch up before the new series begins later this year.
I’m looking forward to it.