Sherlock – Season One (2010/BBC Blu-ray)
C+ Sound: B- Extras: C+ Episodes: C+
Holmes is one of the most filmed characters of all time and this includes
dozens of TV series. Usually they take
place in the Victorian period of the books, but a few attempts have been made
to modernize the character. Usually they
do not work (the recent Robert Downey Jr. feature film stays in its period, but
hardly feels like it trying to be hip) and the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films
began in their original era made at Fox, then switched to WWII at Universal
where it was a huge success. Sherlock is the BBC’s latest attempt to
revive the character and he now lives in 2010!
episodes include A Study In Pink, The Blind Banker and The Great Game. As mysteries, they are not bad at telefilm
length. However, they are only derivate
of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books and with Doctor Who writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss on board, the
attempt is better than a police procedural but not the self-contained success
intended. Benedict Cumberbatch is
Holmes, Martin Freeman is Dr. Watson and Rupert Graves is Inspector Lestrade,
all good casting, yet it does not overcome the obvious conventions of a
situation that has been portrayed so well more than once before.
It is at
least smart enough to be worthy of the Doyle books (unlike the crassly
commercial Downey Jr. film), but Holmes is much more and the idea of Holmes
being eccentric is more Dr. Who than Holmes (can that scarf be any longer?)
resulting in a set of shows that are not great or too memorable. Maybe the show will work better later, but it
did not stay with me and only time will tell if it will last.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is stylized and softer than even I expected
considering it is supposed to take place today and not the foggy world of the
old Holmes there are some good shots, just not enough. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is lively and
well-recorded enough, if not spectacular.
Extras include audio commentary tracks on the first and third episodes,
two making of featurettes and the Pilot episode.
- Nicholas Sheffo