Sherlock (BBC): Season One Holmes in the 21st Century

by JoHarrington

A spoiler-free review of the entire first series of BBC's Sherlock. Buy the DVD box sets in North America, Europe or Asia.

Sherlock Holmes has never been this young. Nor this handsome. He has definitely never been this modern!

Gone are the Victorian frock-coats and the horse and carts. In are cell 'phones, cars and the internet. Ever wondered what Sherlock would have done with 21st century technology and the inundation of the Age of Information? This is your big moment to find out.

Made by the same people who brought us Dr Who, it is quite, quite wonderful!

Sherlock: Season One 2 Disc DVD Box Set

Sherlock Holmes in the Modern Day, oh My!

The greatest detective that the world has ever seen lives in 21st century London.

When Sherlock Holmes was first written, it was fast, it was vital, it was happening right this very moment! Readers could imagine staring out of their very windows and catching a glimpse of the great detective en route to solving a case.

Of course, that's something that we've missed over the past 100 years, as the decades dated the action. Until now.

BBC television's Sherlock is in modern day London. Make your way there and take the Tube to Baker Street. Knock on the door of flat 221b. He's there. We know he's there. He's on our screens as there.

He's sending texts, writing blogs, searching Google for the answers to queries. Unless he knows the answers already, which he invariably does.

This is a genius mind, a brilliant mind, a mind that seems almost preternatural in its recall and deduction skills. When he works something out, we sit there and go, 'Wow!'  The one thing we do not say is, 'No s***, Sherlock.'  Because that's one bit of cultural dialogue which would just not be appropriate.

If you haven't checked out this series yet, then you are in for a wonderful treat.

BBC Sherlock: Season One Trailer

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Does anything link a series of inexplicable suicides occurring throughout London?

Dr Watson is an army doctor wounded in Afghanistan. He's looking for a place to stay, when a mutual friend introduces him to Sherlock Holmes.

Nothing will ever quite be the same again.

To say that Sherlock is eccentric is to imply that the Pope is a bit Catholic. A self-proclaimed 'consulting detective', Sherlock has a mind quite unlike any other.

A glance at a scene can unfold a whole story. The clues are there. He just notices them and puts them together with a breath-taking speed. He sees things which the rest of us would simply walk on by without anything ever being revealed.

Like, for example, an epidemic of suicides in the London area. These are not the depressed, the devastated nor those in despair. They are invariably reasonably happy souls; or those just nipping home to collect something; or a woman out for a day-trip.

With nothing in their histories to suggest people about to take their own lives, the alarm bells ring for Sherlock. He's hunting a killer before anyone else realizes there's even a case.

John Watson is with him, startled out of inertia by the incredible charisma of his new house-mate. They make an odd pairing, with Watson constantly refuting that they're a 'couple'. Such assumptions being so common, when Sherlock is set in the modern day.

And this is the 21st century. It's not simply Victorian stories super-imposed upon today's world. It's up-dated. It's precisely what would have happened, if the world's most famous fictional detective had access to digital technology. That is what sets this adaption above all of the rest.

Guided, but not bound, by the canon, this episode is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet.

Sherlock Holmes Deduces Dr John Watson's Life-Story

Sherlock: The Blind Banker

Enter a murky underworld, where nothing is at all as it seems. Unless, of course, you're Sherlock Holmes.

What is going on? And can it all possibly be connected?

A Chinese historian is scared into disappearing, though that would lead to the ruin of an ancient artifact.

A city banker's office is vandalized, despite there being no way in and no way out.

There are more apparent suicides, which Sherlock decides are murders; not to mention strange graffiti turning up in the most bizarre locations. Then the greatest mystery of all - will John Watson ever be able to go on a date, without everything going wrong?

As with the rest of this series, The Blind Banker is clever, hilarious and, even when the case is all wrapped up, it leaves audiences begging for more. There's even edge-of-your-chair action, wherein you wonder how anyone is going to get out alive. Perhaps they don't.

This episode is largely based (but again up-dated practically beyond recognition) on the original Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Dancing Men.

Sherlock in the 21st Century

Sherlock: The Great Game

He has a staggering intellect and he gets bored too easily. And we're not talking about Sherlock Holmes.

Life-long Sherlock fans will already be wide-eyed. But Sherlock and his viewers are only just learning to fear this particular name.

Professor Moriarty. James Moriarty. Jim Moriarty.

He's probably the literary inspiration behind every evil genius and criminal mastermind of the past century. Now he's back to reclaim his crown.

Every hero needs an arch-enemy. In childhood, Sherlock assigned the role to his brother, Mycroft. It may be the only thing he got wrong in his life.

His nemesis has just played his hand and the great game has begun. Holmes versus Moriarty was, is and always will be a legendary clash of minds; only the loser does not get to walk away.

Only the elite may play this game. The pawns are real life people. The puzzles are deadly. Walking away is not an option. Failing to solve the case could well prove fatal.

So yes, not a good day for Sherlock and John, though the former appears to be enjoying the challenge. What neither have quite grasped is that this is all building towards a grand finale, which Moriarty is playing to win.

If all of the episodes of Sherlock have been good so far, this raises the standard to a whole new level. Yes, it is gripping; but only if we're going to raise the bar on the word 'gripping' too!

As befits an epic episode, this story draws upon not one but several canonical sources, all penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They are: A Study in Scarlet, The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans, The Adventure of the Naval Treaty, The Five Orange Pips, The Adventure of the Retired Colourman, The Adventure of the Final Problem and A Scandal in Bohemia.

Watch Sherlock Season 1 in DVD, Blu-Ray or On-Line

Buy your own copy to revisit these amazing episodes over and over again!

Where to buy Sherlock 1 Around the World

NB Please check that these DVDs can be run on your player. Different regions usually mean different formats!

Amazon (Canada) Sherlock: The Complete First Season
The Canuck Region 1 DVDs will play in both Canada and the USA.

Amazon (China) 神探夏洛克•第1季(2DVD)
Despite the title, this is a British import.

Amazon (France) Sherlock - Series 1 [Import anglais]
As the title suggests, this DVD is a British import and therefore still in the English language.

Amazon (Germany) Sherlock - Staffel 1 [2 DVDs]
There is a choice between English and Deutsch, in the German Region 2 DVD of this series.

Amazon (Italy) Sherlock - Series 1 [Edizione: Regno Unito]
This is a British Region 2 DVD, thus it's still in the English language.

Amazon (Japan) SHERLOCK/シャーロック(BBC) Season:1/シリーズ1 [PAL-UK][Import] (2010)
Again this is a British import and therefore not actually in Japanese.

Amazon (Spain) Sherlock - Series 2
Yet another British import, thus not in Spanish.

Amazon (UK) Sherlock - Series 1 [DVD]
Buy the British original of Sherlock in Region 2 DVD.

More BBC Sherlock Articles

Music from the BBC mini-series Sherlock has been released on two official soundtrack albums. Buy your copies here.
A spoiler free review of Sherlock 2; with links to buy the DVDs in Europe, if you're American and can't wait!
In both literature and television, Sherlock had an apparently fatal clash with Moriarty. Fans of the BBC series are working out if history will repeat.
Updated: 06/16/2014, JoHarrington
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


JoHarrington on 03/21/2012

I'm in Britain, so all we know is that series 3 will be out later this year or early next year. I can't wait!!!

MuminBusiness on 03/21/2012

Amazing Amazing Series!! Can't wait for next year

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