Sherlock: The British TV series about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, personal opinions and a short review

Benedict Cumberbatch martin freeman sherlock holmes doctor watson tv series 1

Martin freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor John Watson and Sherlock Holmes


I’ve now watched both seasons of the British TV series Sherlock. I must start by saying that I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes as book character. I’ve read every piece of fiction written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at least once, and when it comes to his detective stories about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, I’ve read each of them countless times. Having said that, I’ve been avoiding watching these movies, as I get easily offended when something I love gets interpreted in a “wrong” way. And I must say I felt very divided after watching the TV series.

Firstly, the contemporary surroundings did not appeal to me. But ok, I can live with that.
The part that I didn’t like at all was the way Sherlock Holmes was interpreted by the film makers. In the movies he did and said things that would have been very out-of-character for the actual Sherlock Holmes. The modern Sherlock just didn’t have the class and the style I would have liked to see, to say the least. Besides, I found the appearance of the leading actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, somewhat unattractive (which, of course, is very unfortunate, and I sincerely hope he’s not reading this).

On the positive side, I really liked how some of the century-old crime cases were translated for the modern audience. The Baskerville Hound case, for instance, had some unexpected turns even for me, who “knew everything” in advance.
Also, I really liked the performance of Martin Freeman, who played Doctor Watson. We’ve all seen him in Love Actually and The Office, but I didn’t realize he was such a brilliant actor until now! Can’t wait to see him in the next Lord of the Rings movie! Andrew Scott who played the arch-villain Jim Moriarty was great, too.

All in all, if you’re not a Sherlock Holmes fanatic like myself, I think you might enjoy these movies in case you haven’t seen them yet. It’ll help if you haven’t read the books, too. However, when it comes to me, occasionally I was just too tense and critical to actually be wholeheartedly entertained.

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16 Responses to Sherlock: The British TV series about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, personal opinions and a short review

  1. Lucia says:

    If you missed the Edwardian SH, you should watch the best interpretation of SH made for tv in the 80′s with Jeremy Brett, it is called “Sherlock Holmes” but be sure it is the Granada Collection. I am a big fan of the books, and that is the best of the best. Jeremy Brett is genius, spot on on SH. And Watson is not the dumb guy series before that depicted him as, he is a smart guy (kind of like Martin Freeman in the new one).
    I am in love with Cumberbatch, you should watch his performance on Frankenstein by Danny Boyle in the National theater, and in Tinker tailor soldier spy…he is very good.

    • Antonia says:

      Thank you for your comment, Lucia! I’ve seen “Sherlock Holmes” with Jeremy Brett:)
      As for Benedict Cumberbatch, I’m not saying he’s not a good actor. To me, he’s just not perfect for this role.

  2. Natasa says:

    I am also a bit of a snob regarding Sherlock Holmes and adaptations and I completely agree with you on this one!
    Luckily for Benedict Cumberbatch, not everybody finds him rather unattractive like you and me, I know a lot of people who think he’s very handsome and hot!

    • Antonia says:

      Natasa, I must admit that when I see BC outside of “Sherlock” I don’t find him as unattractive. There’s definitely something interesting about his face, but I think he would be better for a different role (playing a villain would suit him!).

  3. Leia says:

    I actually really, really love the modern Sherlock series. I adore his character, his quirkiness, his inability to form social connections… it reminds me of Temperance Brennan in Bones, and I suppose these are all characteristics associated with autistic people. It may not be true to the real Sherlock Holmes, but I don’t think it’s trying to be – it’s meant to be an adaptation to the modern era and with some tweaks. The “wrong” parts are purposely “wrong” – the series is not a direct portrayal of the books, just based on the characters and ideas. Also, I think Benedict Cumberbatch is an incredible actor! I don’t care about his appearance at all. And I love this series more than any other Sherlock adaptation I’ve seen.

    • emmakisstina says:

      I agree with everything you just said too Leia! xo

    • Antonia says:

      Thanks for your input, Leia! I understand that the that characters were tweaked on purpose, but to me some of the things seemed simply awkward and tasteless. I can see that they need to sell the adaption of a famous story to the big audience, and it helps that they can hide behind the fact that the movie is “based on the ideas”. They’ve created a new character and called him Sherlock Holmes, but to me all he has in common with Sherlock Holmes is the name, more or less. You’re absolutely right, the character is not trying to be true to Sherlock Holmes – and that’s what bothers me in a movie about Sherlock Holmes:) However, I think I’ll still watch the next season:)

      • Leia says:

        Yes, exactly – they’ve created a new character with the same name, based very loosely on the original! But that didn’t bother me at all. And I’m eagerly awaiting the next season! I wish they had more than three episodes per year.

  4. Дарья says:

    Мне в этом сериале очень понравились визуальные решения с выпрыгивающими словами и иллюстрацией мыслей Шерлока, только в российском прокате их сильно испортили и пришлось смотреть английский вариант.
    Мне кажется, для тех, кто любит Холмса, самое интересное – это именно смотреть как знакомую историю сделали ближе к реалиям 21 века.
    Я была просто в восторге от всяких мелочей, типа I AM SHER LOCKED в серии про Ирен Адлер:)

    • Antonia says:

      Даша, да! Только хотела об этом сказать! Визуальные решения, действительно, замечательные. Мне это тоже очень понравилось, хорошая идея, и с юмором. И всякие детали, типа параметров Ирен, Мориарти в разных образах, что Уотсон ведет блог. Концовка последней серии тоже понравилась! Интересно, как он эту Молли использовал для своего трюка:)

      • Дарья says:

        Я над этим долго думала, но так ничего и не придумала, кроме того, что она как то подложила труп из своей лаборатории, или облила его кровью, или застрелившегося Мориарти замаскировали под Шерлока и она вытащила его на мостовую пока Ватсон отвлекся, а Ватсона специально толкнули, он стукнулся головой и ни на что не обратил внимания:)
        Если ВВС не подведет – то осенью выйдет новый сезон и мы все узнаем!

      • Катерина says:

        А мне рассказали как они это провернули, но я не буду портить всем счастье неведения)

  5. jill says:

    Great review! I actually haven’t seen this series yet. I saw the first movie with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law and was completely put off by the way they depicted my all-time favorite detective! I decided not to see the sequel, and thought it a good idea to stay away from this series as well (even though their not related in any way)
    However, after reading your view and some of the comments I feel I need to give this one a chance. Also, IMO, that Benedict fellow looks like a real treat :)

  6. Maria says:

    I’m a fan of this show, although I also had trouble accepting some aspects of it. I don’t get where they came up with the idea of giving such a femininity to Sherlock’s character. I don’t like how they made him out to be that blood-thirsty (the way he jumps with joy at the sound of a serial killer at work) or the way he treats other people. I agree that Sherlock Holmes should show much more class; in my mind he’d never be that rude with clients or witnesses, for instance. Or what about when he called Watson an idiot in the first episode?
    On the other hand, I really like the way they cleverly use the little texts to show all his deductive observations in real time.
    I’m very pleased with the casting of Watson, Moriarty and Lestrade. Even though the last episode was probably my least favorite, I can barely wait till the next season is out!

  7. I plan to watch these series soon. I am still under the impression of the Downton Abbey. I loved it very much…

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