Tag Archive | BBC1

Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall

I am finally back from my brief respite (during which I celebrated my niece’s first birthday!), and have at last been able to catch up on my telly–and indulge my Sherlock Holmes obsession with the latest (and last) episode of series 2 of BBC’s hit television show Sherlock.

This week’s episode, written by Steve Thompson and entitled The Reichenbach Fall, saw London’s only consulting detective take on “The Final Problem” in this snazzy retelling of the Doyle original.

Synoposis!

James Moriarty possesses the greatest criminal mind that the world has ever seen. Sherlock and John knew he wouldn’t stay hidden for long. But even they never guessed the sheer scale and audacity of the crime that would propel Moriarty back into the headlines. The crime of the century. The Tower of London, the Bank of England and Pentonville prison – all sprung open on the same day, as if by magic! But Moriarty’s plans don’t stop there…

Sherlock and John lock horns with their old enemy in one final problem that tests loyalty and courage to their very limits. Sherlock must fight for his reputation, his sanity and his life. But is he all he claims to be?

If I have on complaint about some of the older adaptions of the Holmes canon, it is that Moriarty never felt particularly menacing. Granted, he appears in only two stories penned by Doyle, but to the popular imagination he is one of the, if not the, greatest criminal mastermind of all time. He should feel imposing. Threatening. But, sadly, most of the time he is not.

I have no such complaint with Andrew Scott’s portrayal of ‘Jim’ Moriarty. He is CREEPY. Ever since his first appearance in series 1 (The Great Game), he has loomed over Sherlock and the audience as this mentally deranged spider, twitching the strings because he likes to watch his dinner dance. The way he manipulates the emotions of his prey while appearing to be a perfectly stable human being is simply chilling. He is indeed a nemesis worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

And it makes Sherlock’s unraveling all the more believable. The dissolution of the world he built around himself–his reputation, his brilliance, his adopted family in Watson, Mrs Hudson, Molly Hooper, and even DI Lestrade–is wonderfully plotted. The audience is strung along with Sherlock as rushes about trying to untangle Moriarty’s intricate web, only to realize, too late, that the wool has been pulled over our eyes the entire time.

Again, I loved the nuanced performance of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and the faithful John Watson. Freeman, in particular, was exquisite. He brought tears (of both laughter and sadness) to my eyes on multiple occasions. He also reminded us all, yet again, why he won a BAFTA.

Other things I enjoyed: synchronized robbery, dear Molly Hooper and her curious role in Sherlock’s ‘death,’ and the ridiculous amount of metaphor. I love storytelling at its finest.

Lucky for us, this isn’t the end of Sherlock. Steven Moffat has confirmed that the third season has already been picked up (it was actually decided a long while ago, though the news was only recently released). Now we just have to wait.

~~

For other opinions on the show, I highly recommend checking out the Baker Street Babes Podcast. You can also find out when Sherlock series 2 is airing in your country by consulting Sherlockology on tumblr.

Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville

BBC One’s hit series Sherlock tread old ground yesterday as it aired a remake of Doyle’s most famous Holmes adventure, The Hound of the Baskervilles. A lot of expectation (and, in some cases, dread) preceded the episode, which  has been re-dubbed The Hounds of Baskerville by its writer Mark Gatiss. The apprehension is understandable, since this particular story has been rehashed on the screen over twenty times to varying degrees of success (not to mention its print adaptions–like this comic with Mickey Mouse). But luckily for us Holmesians the worry was misplaced. Sherlock delivered an excellent rendition, which I will delve into shortly; but first…

Synopsis!

Something terrible has happened to Henry Knight; Sherlock and John investigate the truth about the monstrous creature which apparently killed their client’s father. A hound from hell? What seems like fantasy in Baker Street is a very different prospect in the ultra-secret army base that looms over Dartmoor. (courtesy of BBC)

I would first like to point out that this episode has a much different feel to it than the previous one, A Scandal in Belgravia. Perhaps it is the difference in writers or the change from a London setting, but watching this episode I did not feel the same frenetic energy that the other possesses in such quantity. The pacing was slower, letting the mystery of the spectral hound build around conversations (of which the best parts were lifted straight from the Doyle canon) rather than copious amounts of action involving American gun-slinging CIA agents. Russell Tovey (of Being Human and Doctor Who fame) contributes a lot to the tone with his portrayal of the haunted Henry Knight; his rendition of the Baskerville tale sends shivers up the spine even with it being truncated and frequently interrupted. Even the originally uninterested Holmes is held in thrall as he utters some of the canon’s most iconic words: “Mr Holmes, they were the footsteps of a gigantic hound!”

The transformation of the Baskerville curse to a government conspiracy theory was also excellently done. A ghost story would have been much harder to accept as a plausible explanation than a genetically enhanced dog. I’ll admit I felt the littlest inkling of doubt about the same time as Mr Holmes, wondering if what Henry Knight’s claims were indeed a reality. I’ll also admit that I had not begun to guess at the real explanation behind Knight’s apparent hallucinations (except in vague, ill-defined ways), despite the fact that the culprit was pretty obvious, even with a cleverly done red-herring.

Once again I applaud Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman for their dynamic performances as Holmes and Watson. I was especially intrigued with Cumberbatch’s interpretation of what a mental breakdown would look like for the brilliant detective, which was both humorous, frightening, and pitiable. I can only imagine what he will come up with as he faces off against his nemesis Moriarty for (presumably) the last time in next week’s episode, The Reichenbach Fall.

Other things I enjoyed: what little I saw of DI Lestrade, Watson’s botched attempts at picking up women, and breaking into a top-secret government base with only a key card and a poker face.

For other opinions on the show, I highly recommend checking out the Baker Street Babes Podcast. You can also find out when Sherlock series 2 is airing in your country by consulting Sherlockology on tumblr.

BBC Sherlock: 2 new clips

Two new clips of Sherlock, which is returning to BBC1 this January! This is my favorite adaption of the Sherlock Holmes canon (my apologies my Mr Rathbone), so I am super excited.

Both clips appear to be from episode 1 of the new series, A Scandal in Belgravia, which is based off the Conan Doyle story “A Scandal in Bohemia.” I can’t wait to see Lara Pulver as The Woman, Irene Adler. :)

Some lucky dogs got to see an early screening. And if this review by On the Box is anything to go by, the second series is promising to be just as wonderful as the first. Blurb!

The writers, directors and producers of Sherlock have not only waved their magic wands for a second time – they’ve attached the show to a rocket and raised the bar for television drama to the very upper limits….It’s delightfully hard to predict too, with a story full of twists, turns and dead-ends that will entertain both young and old alike.

What a ringing endorsement. Now, on to the clips.

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