Sherlock (Steven Moffat BBC series)

Discussion in 'General TV Discussion' started by Lenny, Jul 25, 2010.

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    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

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    So, the new Sherlock series started tonight. Well, I say "series"... it's a modern day, three-part re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (yes, the Doctor Who people), starring a guy I've never heard of as Sherlock, and Martin Freeman as Watson (an ex-soldier wounded in Afghanistan).

    The first episode was, I thought, rather good. Solid writing from Moffat (if a little quick-paced at times, particularly for a ninety minute episode. The reveal of the killer was somewhat rushed) and well filmed - I rather liked the simple white text 'tooltips' that showed text messages, or what the character was thinking (reminded me of Heavy Rain, to some extent).

    Some good lines, such as:

    Reporter: Yes, but if they are murders, how do people keep themselves safe?
    Chief Inspector: Well don't commit suicide.
    Other Policey Person: *under her breath* Daily Mail...

    The music was good, but I can't help but draw comparisons between it and the music from Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes film.

    Something of interest (to me, at least) I noticed was the huge array of smartphones in the episode - a number of Blackberries, some iPhones, the Chief Inspector has a Palm Pre and Watson some form of Nokia slider (possibly the C6).

    Anyway, it's worth a watch. I look forward to next Sunday.

    BBC iPlayer - Sherlock: A Study in Pink
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    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

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    Thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope it goes to more than just 3 episodes.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Lenny: Benedict Cumberbatch has played Stephen Hawking (in Hawking) - in danger of being typecast? - and was a character (and, I think, narrator) in the miniseries To The Ends of the Earth, which was based on the trilogy of that name (Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, and Fire down Below) by William Golding (he of Lord of the Flies fame).


    As for the first episode of Sherlock, I really enjoyed it. There was a bit of the manic Doctor Who in the eponymous hero, but here Moffatt was able to play up just how much someone who's so clever can be so irritating. (And Sherlock's use of deduction on the way into the building where the fourth death occured to get the better of those two police officers - a nice way of referencing a piece of deduction from the Red Headed League - was excellent.)

    Best of all was that while this episode had, of necessity (becuase it was the first episode), to introduce us to the (newly realised) characters, it did not do this at the expense of telling the story. (I can only hope that a certain weapon is difficult to trace.)



    Oh, and I hadn't noticed the episode title. Excellent!
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    TheEndIsNigh

    TheEndIsNigh ...Prepare Thyself

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    Well hard as this is to write I thought it was very good.

    I liked the fact the characters were played by relative unknowns. It was just like when I first picked up "A Study in Scarlet" never having read any of the chap before so that you had to get to know them. The slight straying away from the old habits worked well too. Even the gay references worked IMO. Mycroft was a bit obvious but acceptable.

    Possibly the best new series on the telly for quite some time.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    The end must really be nigh....


    If the team can keep up this standard in the next couple of episodes, I can only hope that more are commisioned.
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Thought this was very good, for the most part. Cumberbatch was well cast as Holmes - full of nervous energy, showed all the wonderfully irritating mannerisms you'd expect from the character (not to mention the - probably well founded - ego). Freeman put in his usual steady performance as Watson: seems like the right way to go, and it's nice to see the character played as something other than a bumbling buffoon for a change.

    I'd agree with Lenny that the story did feel rushed in places, particularly toward the end, but given the general pace of the thing it didn't bother me too much. Same with the various little visual cues throughout the programme - the floating text messages, the literal mapping as Holmes worked out the chase route, etc: I'd heard these were coming and expected to find them annoying, but didn't. They were a little quirky at first, but as the programme went on they actually grew on me and seemed to work quite well.

    What did bother me a tad was Gatiss. I like the guy, but with that performance he looked like he wanted to be back in Royston Vasey. Really got up my nose by the end, and I hope we don't see too much more of Mycroft. Good writer, not much range as an actor.

    Still, that's pretty much my only quibble, and I'll certainly be watching the next two and - assuming more are commissioned and they can keep the standard up - would be happy to see a full series.
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    PTeppic

    PTeppic Reetou Diplomatic Corp

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    Loved it for a first episode. Always tricky to balance introductions in addition to the plot. And the one-liners were brilliant: e.g. "Don't speak out loud - you're lowering the IQ of the entire street."
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    Mary Hoffman

    Mary Hoffman Writer

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    Absolutely loved it! Because of the casting of the two main characters - though I wouldn't call Cumberbatch and Freeman relative unknowns (Atonement, Starter for Ten, HHGG and Love Actually spring to mind without trying very hard).

    And because of the witty script and the use of technology. Plotwise, I was screaming IT'S THE TAXI-DRIVER NOT THE PASSENGER for a long time before Sherlock caught up. And it wasn't explained why Moriarty wanted to kill off random people or why they always took the fatal capsule. Perhaps they were both fatal and the cabbie just pretended to take his or didn't even bother.

    But I'll definitely be watching the other two and hope for more.
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    HareBrain

    HareBrain Lagomorphing Staff Member

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    The implication for me was that Moriarty, a "fan" of Holmes, was funding the killing in the hope of getting him involved.

    Also, i think we were meant to accept that the taxi driver really was able to read people well enough to know whether they would take the one he pushed forwards or the one he held back -- there was no evidence against this claim of his.

    I also really liked the programme, despite groaning a little when I heard about it. The only part I wasn't convinced about was the interception of the taxi, both because of the unlikelihood of Holmes's intricate knowledge of the current state of closure of the road system (where does he get the time to update it?), but also his knowledge of the rooftops. Minor point, though.
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    Moonbat

    Moonbat Luna tick

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    I watched this and loved it too, it was really very good. :)
    I felt that the whole poison capsule thing was taken straight out of 'The Princess Bride' and it would have only taken Holmes to point behind the cabbie and shout 'Oh my god what is that?' Then swap the vials to be the same. Because of this, and it was never actually stated either way, I think both capsules were poisoned and the Cabbie had built up an immunity to the poison.
    It was obvious it was the Cabbie at one point, but only a minor quibble. Can't wait to see the next two episodes. Brilliant!
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    I too really liked this - thought it retained the "flavour" of the original whilst being very modern and accessible. As Tillane, I also liked the fact that Watson was not a "bumbling buffoon" (my exact words whilst I was watching it), much more in keeping with a modern interpretation.

    I did think they gave it away too early for me. As soon as Sherlock said about picking up someone from a crowded street and being trusted, I thought either policeman or Taxi driver. But still enjoyable. I guess what the cabbie was doing was no more than some of these modern magicians seem to be able to do.

    Looking forward to the next one!
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    Tillane

    Tillane Left-minded

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    Actually straight out of the original story, A Study In Scarlet. The motives are different - the original is a revenge story - but the thing with the two pills is pretty well exactly the same.
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    Constantine Opal

    Constantine Opal Wampa Worrier

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    Having watched this first of the three, I was suitably impressed, and rather than feeling like I'd just embarked on something very new, it felt like pulling on a comfy old pair of your favourite slippers at the end of the day, and then realising that they are infact brand new slippers, but exact matches for your old ones because the soles have fallen off and have been very deftly swapped over by your significant other, so you don't moan... every character felt familiar, but refreshed. Even the set pieces felt familiar... it's difficult to explain but I didn't feel I had to be 'won over' by the actors, they had me at 'Elimentary'.

    All in all, bliddy marvellous. More, BBC, more! (Yes, I am straying into Points of View territory there...)
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    Rather liked it, particularly the comic moments which were nicely done. Shame it's only a three-part series/serial though.
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I was so certain that I wouldn't like this that I didn't bother watching. Only after reading some of these comments did I catch-up on iPlayer. You have another convert! I really thought it was cleverly well-done, and I can only underline the previous posts.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Must admit I was the same and only watched because my lodger was keen to see it. I was ready to just read a book (despite the fact that I hate doing that with the tv on in the background). But in the event I was grabbed from almost the first minute.
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    nixie

    nixie pixie druid Staff Member

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    I was in two minds about watching this, Holmes in a modern day setting I didn't think I'd like it. Loved every minute even Holmes similarities to the Doc didn't put me off.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Can't say I enjoyed the second epsiode as much as the first - felt like it was more brute force then deduction. Just didn't work for me as well. Still enjoyed it just not as much.
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    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

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    My sentiments exactly, Vertigo.
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I'm not so sure. I totally knew what to expect this week, so I didn't have that 'Road to Damascus' conversion moment that I had last week when watching. Was this a re-writing of 'The Sign of Four'?
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