Not one to plug shows that are British and reek of genre (or property) saturation, I feel more than compelled to remind fans of serialized television that there is a great option from across the pond. The show is called Sherlock and it has steadily gained a following thanks in part to the affluence of Downton Abbey which made such offerings more acceptable to the American pallet. While the comparison of quality is there, one of substance is not as Sherlock is its own beast with its own stars and unique slant capable of getting this series some award recognition later this month at the Golden Globes.
Many people may ask what makes this one different from CBS’s Elementary or even the big screen period offering from Warner Bros. led by Robert Downey, Jr. The answer to that is character as Sherlock is anchored primarily by its spin on the franchise’s central figures Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Make no mistake about it, Cumberbatch is the draw with this one as he fills the title role with the cynicism of Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House and the social anguish of Jim Parson’s Sheldon Cooper. Fans of House or The Big Bang Theory are almost certain to see these similarities responsible for creating a series that masterfully blends drama, suspense, and humor with a tendency towards producing euphoric moments.
The two leads just mentioned are not exactly well-known here in the States, but they are certainly among the up and comers who are quickly getting in on some of the biggest blockbusters around. Martin Freeman can currently be seen in theaters as he plays Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, and Cumberbatch will get his due in May when Star Trek Into Darkness lands on the big screen. His role in the latest Abrams-directed installment in the series is that of the villain John Harrison.
Now, just to explain this show before you buy in, just note it has a unique format. The show spans three episodes per season which run at roughly 90 minutes in length, and only two seasons have made air to date. A third run is in the works, but since Freeman has obligations to The Hobbit which has about two months left of shooting, production has been moved to the spring. That means the series will not continue until Fall in the UK and as late as 2014 in the US at which point Sherlock will return to PBS.