LTTP (Late To The Party) will be a new feature series on Nerd-Base. The general idea is to feature something that we missed as it was happening, but finally got around to watching after having it recommended repeatedly. In the inaugural article I’m covering BBC’s Sherlock.
Back when Sherlock started in 2010, I almost started watching it, but for one reason or another I missed it. I’ve heard multiple podcasts discuss it over the last few years, and it kept piquing my interest. A few weeks ago I was hanging out with a friend that started raving about it, so we threw on the first episode. I was hooked! Why the heck wasn’t I watching this before!?!?
Sherlock is a modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. If you have never read the book, but have watched the American movie starring Robert Downey Jr. then you will be familiar with the interesting quirks of Sherlock Holmes. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Holmes takes those prickish quirks to the next level.
Sherlock is a consulting detective working with the London Police Force. He uses his genius and skills of observation to solve crimes that have the police stumped. While the police need his help they loathe taking it due to Sherlock’s need to show off his intellect. This tension and dynamic plays well throughout the series, as the people Sherlock are trying to help, usually wind up despising him.
Of course you can’t have Sherlock without his right hand man. Every Sherlock story needs a Dr. Watson. The first episode introduces Martin Freeman as Dr. John Hamish Watson, a war veteran seeing a psychiatrist to determine if this limp is physical or psychological.
John meets Sherlock through a mutual friend because they both need a flat mate (roommate). Despite Sherlock being an a jerk, John can’t live alone on his disability pay, and decides to live with Sherlock. Thus the odd couple is formed.
A large part of this show’s charm (aside from Sherlock being a likable prick) involves how these two work with each other. While Sherlock is a genius, he sometimes misses social cues that John helps him out with. John often winds up being Sherlock’s moral compass in doing what’s right in helping people. John helps put a good face on all of Sherlock’s antics so that he doesn’t come off as insane. As time goes on, John starts a website to publicize the cases they solved together, and turns Sherlock into a celebrity. Their relationship reminds me of the hip hop group Public Enemy. Chuck D. does all the work, while Flavor Flav is the hype man making everyone pay attention.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Dr. Who in this article. Dr. Who fans will probably recognize the name Stephen Moffat. Mr. Moffat writes and produces both shows which gives it a similar feel and appeal. So if you are a Dr. Who fan but haven’t watched Sherlock you need to watch this. On the other hand I like Dr. Who, but I don’t love it anywhere near as much as I do this show. I have watched a few episodes and it just hasn’t really grabbed me yet. I’m sure if I watch more of it, it will grab me like it has everyone else.
There are currently two seasons, totaling only 6 episodes, three per season. However, the episodes are about 90 minutes long without commercials so each one has the look and feel of a movie. The first season goes through character introductions, and the setup of his nemesis, Moriarty. The second season has a bit of romance, and continues the mind games Moriarty sets up for him.
While Sherlock’s powers of deduction make any episode great, his battles with Moriarty are epic. The writing is top-notch. You can sometimes see where things are headed, but when they finally get to that point, its taken to a different level. The cliffhangers that each seasons set up are intense. You pretty much never know where things are going to go once the next season starts.
The third season will hopefully air in early 2013. I say hopefully because as I’ve learned from listening to Big Kev’s Geek Stuff, the main actors are tied to several major projects. Benedict Cumberbatch is going to be the main villain (we still don’t officially know who he will be playing) in the new Star Trek movie which was recently titled Star Trek Into Darkness. He is also cast as The Necromancer alongside Martin Freeman in the new Hobbit trilogy, where Martin Freeman is playing Bilbo Baggins. I don’t think we’ll see them on-screen together, but it would be nice.
You can stream the first season now through Netflix. The second season isn’t available to stream for free yet, but you can pay to stream season 2 from Amazon or Itunes. DVD’s and Blu-ray’s are available for both seasons.
If you haven’t seen it you should need to come “Late to the Party” like me. If you like a series that gives you something to think about, and challenges you mentally, you can’t go wrong with “Sherlock”. IMDB users have rated the series 9.2 out of 10, and is the 10th highest rated tv show on the list!