This year marks the 130th anniversary of the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes in literature. And in the past ten years, the character has never been more popular. First we had the Robert Downey Jr. versions. Personally, I like the movies but felt they were trying to be too slick to be Sherlock Holmes. Downey contests that a third one is on the way, so this version has not yet been put out to pasture. Soon after that, CBS brought a modern twist to Sherlock Holmes with Elementary. I have to admit I’ve never seen it, but it’s been critically acclaimed and now in it’s fifth season. And Lucy Lawless as Watson is a fantastic bit of casting.
But the most popular, and dare I say best, take on Sherlock Holmes in this day and age is BBC’s Sherlock featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Created by soon to be ex-Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat (and dare I say author of some of the best episodes of Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (another great Doctor Who writer), these meaty mini-movies both cemented the legend of Sherlock Holmes and turned it on it’s ear. Just watching Cumberbatch do his deductions would be enough, but add Martin Freeman as the Watson yin to Sherlock’s yang and the chemistry is beyond elementary.
Season 4 of this series premiered on the first of the year on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater. It may not have been the best season (and stinks that there were only three episodes/mini-movies), and we’re really hoping it’s not the last as rumored. But even if that were the end, we’d have quite a few fond memories and re-watchable episodes of everybody’s favorite super sleuth and friends.
Of course no version of Sherlock Holmes would be complete without a Moriarty. In Sherlock, he is played by Andrew Scott. This more obsessive and more dangerous take on the classic character had been called more super villain than foil to Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock is wonderfully complicated storytelling that keeps the audience guessing as much as it does our detectives. The dialogue is sharp and witty, delivered brilliantly by top-notch actors. And it has a great supporting cast.
I did a little detective work of my own and uncovered some very fun Sherlock shirts. 21 Sherlock shirts to represent the 221 Baker Street crew. There is so much in Sherlock that make’s good t-shirts: the graphics on the show are almost a character themselves, each episode have enough jam-packed inside to each be a shirt in themselves, as well as so many memorable quotes. And of course, there are plenty of mash-ups.
The game’s a foot!