PBS Presents Sherlock: Season 1

| December 9, 2010

It was clever of the creators of this BBC Masterpiece Mystery mini-series Sherlock to set the Holmes stories in present day London. Dr. John Watson’s service in Afghanistan has erie significance in the War on Terrorism. Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement, The Last Enemy) is aptly cast as a young and handsome Holmes for all the gay fans to latch onto. They adorable face from the upcoming Hobbit movie, Martin Freeman (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, The Office), plays Dr. John Watson.
Hosted by bisexual Alan Cumming, the first episode is renamed Study in Pink from the original Arthur Conan Doyle story, Study in Scarlett. When a series of mysteriously linked suicides occur within a few days, Holmes is hot on the case with his newly recruited sidekick, Watson. The second two episodes get even stickier with criminal mayhem reeking havoc on the streets of London. Following up Study in Pink is the The Blind Banker and then ending with The Great Game.
The unmarried and unattached Watson is sceptical of his new friend’s stuffy apartment where he keeps severed heads in his refrigerator. For Watson, Helping Holmes pay the rent is only part of the bargain as his new roommate. While Watson drags his gimp leg that he won’t admit is healed, Holmes has no pity. The best medicine for Watson’s weak leg is an adventure. The game’s afoot! Or as the new Holmes says “The game is on!”
More than any other television series I’ve seen, this one tells us how other police detectives see Holmes. “He’s a psychopath, and psychopath’s get bored” says one of the Scotland Yard forensic detectives investigating the suicide cases. Holmes pulls out a fast comeback, “I’m not a psychopath. I’m a high functioning sociopath.” With 21st century language, the adapters of the Conan Doyle stories now have more ways to talk about Holmes eccentricities and the dark motives of serial killers and terrorists.
From the first minutes of the show, there’s already a shred of proof that Holmes might be gay and not just a bachelor with strange habits. The gay issue comes up when he is first negotiating his living arrangement with Watson and they are getting to know each other. The friends insist they will need to have separte bedrooms as if these two strangers would share the same bed, anyway. Their first meal together is awkward with questions about each other’s sexuality. The manager of a nearby restaurant where Holmes is frequent customer assumes Watson is his date. But Watson would rather not know if Holmes is gay or not. Watson is pleased they are both unattached. Before Watson could suggest they would be good together, which he wouldn’t, Holmes says he’s married to his work, and he doesn’t have time for romance. At least they’re on a first name basis.
Chasing cars through alleys and over rooftops is in the spirit of the stories, the duo is tested by their biggest problem yet. In the final episode, Holmes tracks down another victim of his arch enemies plan to prove the great detective is incompetent. Watson is found in a public pool strapped with explosives when Holmes arrives at the scene. His arch enemy reveals his face and we are left with cliffhanger to be continued in the second season.
Sherlock mini-series premiered in October and November but is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray in time to buy for your favorite Holmes fan. Watch the trailer and purchase the first season.

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