Sherlock – A Study in Pink

Well, I talked about this this morning, but now I’ve actually seen the first episode, I can make a more measured, informed report. And here it is:

:bouncy: :bouncy: :yes: :drool: :dizzy: :clap: :clap: :bow:

Or to put it another way, I liked it. For a start, there’s the acting. Benedict Cumberbatch, quite apart from having the Best Name Ever, makes a quite superb Holmes. He manages to get across the idea that he’s five million times smarter than anyone else in the room, and yes that is annoying. Martin Freeman is better than I hoped for as Watson. Clearly affected by his experience in Afghanistan, it soon becomes clear that he’s not only not even remotely stupid[1], but is the actual man of action portrayed in Conan Doyle’s stories. He’s good. Really good. And Rupert Graves is pretty bloody good as Inspector Lestrade – a quite believable contemporary policeman who’s prepared to work with the massively annoying Holmes over the objections of his colleagues because he knows the man can help.

Then there’s the look and feel of the thing – text messages appearing on screen, London looking suitably London-y, 221B Baker Street[2] looking oddly familiar, full of Holmes’s insane mess.

But most of all, there’s the writing. This opening episode was written by Mr Steven Moffat Sir, who clearly has access to some highly advanced time warping technology. I can’t really see any other explanation for how anyone could manage to run Doctor Who and still manage to write and oversee something quite as good as this. The story borrows just enough from A Study in Scarlet to make any serious Holmes fan moderately happy, while updating Holmes to the age of mobile phones and the internet. Unlike a lot of attempts to adapt Sherlock Holmes, Moffat has grasped the humour that was present in the original stories, and used it quite nicely. For instance:

Holmes: Shut up!

Lestrade: I didn’t say anything

Holmes: You were thinking – it’s annoying

Which isn’t quite how Conan Doyle would have written it, but it works.

And that goes for the whole thing, really. It’s a good take on the original characters, updated without actually making me wince.

But I do have one problem with this new version of Holmes. There are only two more episodes to go. And that is really not enough. Mr Moffat – I demand more! Look, I know you’ve got next year’s Doctor Who series to manage, and you probably need to eat, sleep, and see your family occasionally, but that’s no excuse. Just do some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff and be in several places at the same time. I’m sure you can manage that…

[1] Which is a sure sign of a writer who’s actually taken the trouble to read the source material
[2] An address which technically doesn’t exist, and didn’t exist when the original stories were written either

One thought on “Sherlock – A Study in Pink

  1. Clancy

    I really liked it. I hope the rest of the public does as well as three episodes sucks. Well-filmed, well-written and enough of the recognisable Holmesian world to keep any fan satisfied I would think.

    Cumberbatch and Freeman seem to work together exceptionally well. Very believable from the start.

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