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"Sherlock" (2010) (BBC)-(Season - 1)- {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: BBC/Warner
Genre:
TV-Series
Release Date:
12/6/10
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

Sherlock Holmes wasn't just a clever lad; he had many of the hallmarks of a sociopath--a brilliant sociopath working on the RIGHT side of the law. Although Arthur Conan Doyle didn't invent the detective genre (Edgar Allen Poe created the first detective to use deductive reasoning--or more accurately inductive reasoning ) but he perfected it assisting in the birth of an entire genre of fiction that has impacted every form of modern entertainment. In Stephen Moffat's ("Doctor Who") reinvention of Arthur Conan Doyle's brilliant, iconoclastic consulting detective Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is brought firmly into the 21st century. Like Universal Studios brought Holmes into the modern era before in the 1940's with the films featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and Watson solving crimes during World War II in England. It was a stroke of genius on the part of the studio at the time as it made Holmes relevant once again. ***

Moffat and his collaborators have once again taken the bold step of bringing Holmes into the modern age but also creating a Holmes that is every bit as contemporary as the time he lives in. Holmes meets Afganistan vet Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) through a mutual friend and the duo immediately hit it off. In "A Case in Pink" (an adaption of "A Study in Scarlet") Holmes is brought in by DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves) to solve a series of perplexing suicides which turn out to be the work of an unusual serial killer. Holmes must find out how and why this serial killer picks his victims before he kills again. ***

Featuring marvelous performances from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson, uses the opportunity to reinvent characters that could easily have become nothing more than pale imitations of previous performers from Rathbone to Jeremy Brett who was often considered the actor that most closely embodied Doyle's vision of Holmes. Moffat effortlessly integrates the story of the first meeting between Holmes and Watson into a complex, fascinating murder mystery that puts to shame most procedural shows. In fact as much as I enjoyed the recent theatrical film "Sherlock Holmes" with Robert Downey, Jr., THIS Sherlock is the superior of the two with much more complex and fascinating characters placed within a more complex interesting story that effectively takes elements from Doyle's own stories. ---

Image & Sound:

"Sherlock" looks quite nice with plenty of detail, a sharp, nice looking high def transfer. The only flaw that I can see are problems with aliasing in all three episodes. I also noticed that facial detail isn't quite as strong as a contemporary high def transfer but that could be due to the use of DNR to allow for a lower bit rate. "Sherlock" may not look perfect but the series still looks quite good. ***

Audio puts dialog front and center but the 5.1 mix leaves a bit to be desired; while it is nicely done the mix isn't quite as immersively as I would expect for a recent program like "Sherlock". I could be wrong on that count of course--it simply could be choice on the part of the producers to have the sound like this. Either way, "Sherlock" looks and sounds quite good even if it isn't a demo quality presentation.

Special Features:

We get a commentary track on "A Case in Pink" and on the third episode of the series. In the case of "Pink" we get the writer/producers and in the case of "The Great Game" the third episode we get to listen to our two leads Cumberbatch and Freeman where they discuss working on the series, their approach to the characters, etc. ***

We also get a featurette on the second disc entitled "Unlocking Sherlock" which covers the creation of the series and the first unaired pilot for the series.

Final Words:

"Sherlock" is an exceptional series and I'm hoping that the BBC commissions a second season for the series with three more 90 minute TV movies. The leads are appealing and bring a unique interpretation to their roles and Moffat and his writers do a terrific job of crafting a trio of top notch and entertaining TV movies.

 

 
 
 
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