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There are dozens of film and television adaptations of the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his famous novels and stories about Sherlock Holmes. Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of Conan Doyle‘s death, the British BBC premiered the series about the detective, but in our modern-day life.
Despite the dates and the doubts raised among fans, its summer premiere was very well received. Here’s a brief review, and also some shows you’ll appreciate once you’ve finished Sherlock.
After the BBC decided not to broadcast the pilot because it wasn’t good enough and demanding changes in the next three episodes’ scripts, things were not looking good. But Steven Moffat‘s touch (responsible for the fifth season of Doctor Who) paid off. The protagonist duo retained all its original elements, being for the first time in our modern era.
The First Fine Touches of Success
What Brings Sherlock to Life
This first episode starts fast, showing us from the beginning the mystery they will have to solve. The audience is already familiar with the characters and the plot, so it doesn’t make much sense to dwell on it.
Watson is a wounded soldier from Afghanistan with a psychosomatic limp that will soon disappear after the first adventure. Sherlock is brilliantly played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who abandons the pipe and cape and is replaced by a long coat and nicotine patches.
Sherlock’s deductive ability by the method of inspection is taken to the extreme. So much so that, at times, it is hard to believe despite the explanation offered. Unraveling anyone’s present and past by inspecting a cell phone from the outside doesn’t seem too coherent, but it’s also part of the character’s magic, and it’s laid out in such a graphic way that you end up believing it.
Despite being an hour and a half long episode, the script’s pace is fast, and even I, who am unable to maintain concentration for more than 40 minutes, was able to watch the whole episode almost without blinking.
The music goes hand in hand with the excellent paste. The entire episode is impregnated with a gloomy and mysterious atmosphere sprinkled from time to time by humor, almost always from Sherlock.
The rest of the elements appear unchanged; Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Grave), his brother Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) and even the bad guy Moriarty (Andrew Scott), whose name we hear for the first time at the end of the episode, shouted by the first murderer on his deathbed.
A struggle of intelligence and deduction between several characters looking very interesting. Over seven million people were glued to BBC’s offer, which quickly led to a second season. Which the series really deserved.
Characters and Actors
Who are Sherlock and Dr. Watson?
Before Sherlock, only Billy Wilder dared to show us the quintessential novel character with all his weaknesses and not just his unwavering talents. We had to wait four whole decades for the BBC to take up again the idea of a great Sherlock who was dwarfed by his sociability problems and who suffered from Asperger’s.
An obsessive, neat, perfectionist, but also troubled and disturbed. And to support him only his inseparable sidekick, Dr. Watson. Who in this series may be short but not chubby.
This was quite far-fetched because they needed someone who could match and find the required chemistry with Sherlock. At first, it didn’t look easy, but after Freeman’s screen test, everything came together, and thus, the series began.
This Sherlock didn’t smoke a pipe but was loaded with nicotine patches all over his body. He was always one step ahead of the viewer, although he gave clues as to what would happen from the episode’s title—always inspired by a Doyle story about the detective.
And he was a fan of new technologies, something that serves as the message service of the protagonists and the introduction of evil, embodied by a Moriarti as brilliant as ruthless. Nothing to do with that knight of evil, somewhat dull and predictable for the reader, but an enemy of humanity as a rival of the sociopath living in 221B Baker St., a place where the protagonists are the main characters. This gives greater mobility to both characters, who leave the Victorian corset, which, of course, did not please the purists.
Small Details of Cinematic Geniuses
The Little Things to Watch Out For
The beloved show developed thirteen long episodes throughout four seasons, with an impressive quality that still today is difficult to emulate. And its scheme and aesthetics have indeed been copied, but something that makes the rest of the series fails is that they are mere imitations.
Also, this version presents us with the best Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), according to the Holmesians, who voted in 2014. And I can attest that this is so, besides her presentation, which is only emulable to the one Charles Vidor did of Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946). It is the epitome of good taste that oozes throughout the series.
I can personally say that the last thing is to enjoy Sherlock and all its season as it is a landmark in its production, script, direction, and impeccable interpretations. But that’s not why we’re here today. Let’s talk about what’s interesting; shows like Sherlock. Here’s a small list of the shows that honestly best fit with the miniseries!
A Twist within a Twist
Elementary is one of the best series available to watch today. And I will defend this statement in a mud pool with anyone (if needed). The main characters manage to be faithful to their original work while bringing freshness to their behavior.
It is a series without any particular pretensions that have overlooked maintaining a good level during all its seasons and continue having excellent quality episodes.
The couple works, the cases entertain, the chorus that accompanies them, and certain recurring characters are well-drawn and combines action with multiple touches of humor that make it a title to recommend for any lover of this type of productions.
Plus, it has a beautiful twist. Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) are a straight couple of two different genders who love each other unconditionally but do not need to pull sexual tension to work.
They are one of the most stable duos on the television landscape in a long time. Their arguments make sense; they don’t bicker annoyingly to provide plot twists; they have each other, care for each other, and have reached such a point of intimacy that they are aware that one’s life solutions affect the other. And all this without needing violin music or classic, hackneyed situations where it looks like they’re going to kiss.
A Very English Scandal
And a Very Human Scandal
Based on the book by the same name, written by journalist and essayist John Preston, A Very English Scandal narrates one of the most striking events in English politics in the second half of the 20th century. What happened? That Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), leader of the Liberal Party, unsuccessfully attempted to murder Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw), a young homosexual with whom he had a relationship and threatened to reveal their affair.
The miniseries set its tone with speed, with three pillars on which its three pillars are based: the humanization of its characters, its temporal concision, and its fine humorous play.
The political drama treatment is out of the usual tragic and grandiloquent tone, as A Very English Scandal turns towards the absurd, relying on the massive performances of its leading duo and the magnificent script signed by Russel T. Davies.
Turning the story of the scandal into an account of characters is one of the miniseries’ great successes, both for the possible public knowledge of the fact itself and the narrative enrichment of the events’ development.
From the construction of the characters, its multidimensionality is highlighted, treating those involved with respect and from a sensitive and richly nuanced point of view.
Madness Lies Within
A serial killer showed up in 2018 on Netflix, but only an alienist will be able to understand it. In the 19th century, people who have mental illness were considered alienated from their true nature.
The experts who studied them were therefore called alienists. The introduction to The Alienist sets the stage for a suspenseful psychological research story. Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning star in a plot that will take us back to the classic Sherlock Holmes under the twilight of the streets of New York in the nineteenth century. The darkest face of the human being could be, precisely, more human than we expected.
Daniel Brühl is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler. Unlike in his guild, the reputed alienist does not enjoy great acceptance among the population due to his vision regarding the human being’s motivations.
His wit and knowledge will guide the investigations’ course, and it won’t take long to relate his figure to the classic Sherlock Holmes. And where there is a Holmes, there must be a Watson: John Moore (Luke Evans), the always formal and sentimental cartoonist who will follow not without some grumbling to his old friend.
The team is completed by the intelligent and determined Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning), the first woman in the NYPD, and the astute brothers and Chief Inspectors Marcus and Lucius Isaacson (Douglas Smith and Matthew Shear, respectively).
The weight of low-key lighting, the macabre of its plot, and the dark pressure that oppresses society from the top of the social hierarchy already warn you: don’t expect this new Netflix series to be kind. Expect a critical, gray, raw, and immovable reality that bases its foundations on a cynical society capable of turning its face for pure selfishness.
A society that not only accepts child prostitution but will protect it from safeguarding the economic interests of the upper class no matter how many eyes, hearts, and lives are taken in its path. Humane humanity, after all.
Another Great Find-The-Murder Mini-Series
Are you dying for a good murder (fictionally speaking, that is) and the mystery of finding out who committed the crime? The series Paranoid may be just the right thing for you, especially after Sherlock.
This English fiction has an eight-episode season and stars Woodmere police officers trying to solve the murder of a physicist who has been stabbed in a playground. During the investigation, the detectives will see connections between this incident and a German pharmaceutical company.
The German police will also step in to help uncover whatever it is they have on their hands. Check out the trailer, and in it, you will see some very familiar faces.
Paranoid is from Happy Valley‘s creators, one of the best crime series, with one of the most charismatic protagonists. Also, Happy Valley introduces the “Fargo element” (the screenwriters choose an ordinary person to commit murder almost by mistake so that we empathize extremely with them), but it doesn’t shoehorn it in; it resolves it masterfully and elegantly. This was brought all the way over to Paranoid, which is a huge plus for the show.
Besides, the little murders that go beyond what it seems are always a hit: we’ve seen them in series like The Missing, Top of the Lake, or even the pioneer in all this, Twin Peaks. The trailer has reminded me particularly of the second season of The Missing, for how little they show at the beginning and how big ends up being the mess in which they get into.
Answer: Holmes is unique compared to an average human, but he is not a “high- functioning sociopath.” Holmes most likely suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a minor case of Bipolar Disorder, and a hint of Savant Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome causes Holmes to think in pictures and desire a close companionship with Dr. Watson.
Answer: No. Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by the Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle. The prototype for the modern mastermind detective, Holmes, first appeared in Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887.
Answer: There are currently 4 different seasons, which ended in 2017. However, the 5th season is said to come out in 2022 or 2023.
Answer: With the aid of a squash ball under his arm to temporarily stop his pulse, Sherlock convincingly faked his own death.
Answer: Sherlock Holmes (born William Sherlock Scott Holmes) is the world’s only consulting detective, a profession he created for himself. He is based in London and often consulted by Greg Lestrade of New Scotland Yard, usually taking his best friend and former flatmate, John Watson, on cases.
Although Sherlock may have seemed like a very long-running series, the truth is that it’s only a mini-series. But that’s due to the enormous impact and fame the show had, which makes us rewatch the episodes repeatedly.
No doubt it already has its place on the shelves of eternal television glory. And anyone who has not yet dared to watch it or can’t finish an episode because it is too long is missing out on a cinematographic icon of the previous decade.
Fortunately, series don’t usually disappoint. Because even if we finish series as short as the BBC’s, the truth is that there is always another new one. That’s precisely why we have fallen in love again in the four series we recommend here.
These may not tell the same story as Sherlock (not counting Elementary), but their plots and characters are some of the most interesting that you can currently find on streaming platforms.
Of course, you can always watch them as you like, but here are some tips, depending on what you want at any given moment. If you are looking for something refreshing and modern, then the Netflix original series called The Alienist is ideal.
If you’re in the mood for yet another British adventure, then A Very English Scandal is your solution. And for those who want to stay in the world of police crime, then Paranoid and Elementary will always be a cozy home.