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Sherlock: For Holmes and Watson, the game is afoot

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Mark Gatiss Mark Gatiss | 10:50 UK time, Friday, 23 July 2010

I still have the first Sherlock Holmes book I ever owned. It had a purple spine (the purple of one of Holmes' dressing gown, I liked to imagine), a Sidney Paget illustration on the front and a wonderful introduction which ended with the magical words, "I wish I were reading these stories for the first time."

I can remember the frisson I felt then. I was reading them for the first time!

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Now, more than 30 years later it's sheer delight to bring a modern-day Sherlock to BBC One. It came about as a result of very pleasant chats with Steven Moffat as both of us travelled to and from Cardiff for various Doctor Who duties.

It seems nicely fitting that it all started on a train. We're both huge fans of the original stories and the absolute copper-bottomed genius of Arthur Conan Doyle's writing.

It didn't take long, though, for us both to shyly admit that our favourite versions of the oft-told tales were the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films of the 1930s and 1940s. Particularly the ones where they brought them up to date.

This may sound like heresy but really it isn't. Although Steven and I are second to none in loving the flaring gas-lit atmosphere of a lovely old London, it felt as though Sherlock Holmes had become all about the trappings and not the characters.

Also, the original stories are models of their kind. Incredibly modern, dialogue-driven, fast paced and short! What better way to get back to the roots of these fantastic creations than to make Holmes and Watson living, breathing, modern men just as they had been originally?

Happily for us, the BBC were immediately excited at the idea of modern Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, peers through a window

Some might think that's a depressing indicator of our major broadcaster falling back on the most familiar of fictional archetypes, but it isn't. Sherlock Holmes may be the most filmed character in all fiction but to reinvent him for a new audience - as well as fans - is not just thrilling and exciting, it's an honour.

From the very outset, what excited us was the very rare chance to go right back to the beginning. To get to the heart of the characters.

In the very first story, A Study in Scarlet, Dr John Watson, an army surgeon, is invalided home from war in Afghanistan. Well, sad but true, we're pretty much in the same war now.

A chance meeting with an old friend leads to him sharing rooms with a mysterious man called Sherlock Holmes. For 'sharing rooms', read 'flat-share'! Again, you don't have to strain for the modern parallels. If anything, the idea of two bachelors living together is more common now than in the 19th Century.

And then there's the immortal first meeting between the two men destined to become the best, but least likely of friends. It's still in Bart's Hospital, we still have young Stamford. What's thrilling, though, is that this legendary moment has hardly ever been dramatised.

And so a new audience gets to meet Sherlock Holmes through John Watson's eyes and ask the question: who are you?

After that, it was all fun with perplexing decisions! What are the immutable aspects of the characters and the stories? They'd call themselves Sherlock and John now, of course. Who calls their best friend by their surname?

Dr John Watson, played by Martin Freeman, leans on his walking stick

They still live in Baker Street, but next door to a sandwich shop, and they get a good deal on the rent because Sherlock did Mrs Hudson a favour. And the lady herself! Landlady not housekeeper.

Doyle wrote of Holmes having a "certain quiet primness of dress" so we've made Sherlock a neat, almost conservative dresser. Yet he needs to feel different. Special. So the Byronic Benedict in his big winter coat can't possibly wear a paper forensic suit or it's all too CSI.

And what about that? Doyle virtually invented forensic detection. How can Sherlock exist in a world where the police do all the finger-printing, criminal profiling and analysis that were once his unique attribute?

The answer, in our version anyway, is that Sherlock Holmes is still, and always, the best and wisest man there is. The police may be able to put clues together, but only Sherlock has the vast brain power and imagination that can make the huge leaps of deduction.

As for Watson's stories for The Strand magazine, he now writes up their adventures in a blog. It is online for all to see, including references to the cases we'll never know about!

Addressing the heresy once more, I can only say again that Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are immortal. It's been a privilege and a thrill to put our new version of Doyle's blessed and wonderful creations onto the screen. We hope you enjoy. The game is on!

Mark Gatiss is the co-creator of Sherlock and writer of episode three.

Sherlock starts on Sunday, 25 July at 9pm on BBC One and BBC HD. To find out times of all future episodes, please visit the upcoming episodes page.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I recomment the bbc make a tv series of Donna Leon's inspector Brunnetti crime books, based in Venice. A receipe to go down in history,as a classic series .

  • Comment number 2.

    This looks utterly buttery!! I hope rumours of a Sherlock cross-over to Dr Who prove true. Mark and Peter Moffat seem to be re-igniting a new age for good telly. My HD box is primed for Sunday night.

  • Comment number 3.

    When I first heard about a 21st century makeover for Holmes and Watson trepidation loomed large. Said trepidation eased upon hearing Messers Moffat and Gatiss, those grand architects of spine tingling Doctor Who romps were at the helm. The remnants of the trepidation vanished altogether upon seeing the visual material.

    Oh, this is going to be fun and required viewing for the next 3 Sundays. Can we just hand the drama department over to these 2 gentlemen and enjoy the results???

  • Comment number 4.

    There has never been any reason Holmes' adventures could not be updated for the 21st Century and knowing they have been by excellent writers who are also fellow Sherlockians makes this all the more exciting. The trailer looks fantastic and I for one am really looking forward to Sunday night.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm looking forward to this since I'm a fan of the work of Moffat and Gatiss.

    Though I disagree about Holmes becoming all about the trappings in respect to the Granada productions.

    The setting for me with that version was irrelevant. It took second place the moment you saw the acting. I watched for the brilliant acting of Brett and Hardwicke.

    If you want to see a good Holmes/Watson relationship its all right there.

    That scene of them in The Red Headed League, is a great example.

    The humor, the camaraderie, the great friendship between them, its all there in the Granada production.

    I first found the books when I was 8 and to me, seeing Brett was truly like seeing the man in those books come to life.

    I'll always think of him as my Holmes, but that doesn't mean of course I can't enjoy a new twist on it if done well and given the talent behind this production, I have high hopes this will turn out well.

  • Comment number 6.

    I cannot wait to see this tonight! Gatiss and Moffat have become some of TV's greatest writers in the last few years to I expect nothing more than pure genius. I was thoroughly spooked out by the wonderful Crooked House, finding it hard to go up to bed after watching it! What more could you want from a creepy story? Moffat's writing on Doctor Who provided some of the best episodes ever, and I am looking forward to seeing how he helped with the new Tin Tin movie script.

    About 6 months ago my boss was asked if the BBC could come and view our workplace as a potential set for a new series that was filming starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Said set scouters came and decided that it would be perfect. I can't tell you how excited we all were when we heard it was an update of Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately the producers decided to use another building so our hopes were crushed! Hey Ho that's the way life goes sometimes!
    Perfect writing, perfect casting I cannot see how it could go wrong. :D

  • Comment number 7.

    As someone who adored the Jeremy Brett version of Holmes and was convinced it was the definitive portrayal and as someone who loathed The Office and Martin Freeman - I have to admit this update is absolutely superb!

    What a fantastic combination: Sherlock's mind and the use of 21st century technology. Watched in HD this series will be burnt to DVD to be enjoyed over and over again. Only seen the first episode - but already am hoping they do the whole series.

  • Comment number 8.

    As the last poster commented I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan and I too thought that Jeremy Bretts' Sherlock couldn't be bettered. I still think that, he epitomised everything that was victorian London and the Sherlock of that period...but... I have to say that I thought this first episode was superb.
    Somehow you managed to update the stories yet still kept a sense of the original Conan Doyle spirit. Bloody well done and I look forward to the rest of the series. Thankyou for giving Sherlock fans a fresh chance to admire the eccentricity and genius of the worlds greatest detective!

  • Comment number 9.

    One of the best BBC series in a long time. Worth paying the licence fee for such brilliant drama. BBC however you move this series on please don't take it off the airwaves this is a fantastic series, we've laughed, we've had a go at deducing the case but all in all we as a family have all loved the writing, the acting, the drama and the whole experience of this new take on Sherlock Holmes. Well done!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Just finished watching 'Sherlock' Wonderful acting, lighting script, concept. Totally gripping. Well done ALL

  • Comment number 11.

    Loved the first programme and the rapport between to two main protagonists.

  • Comment number 12.

    Worth my licence fee in itself. Magical.

  • Comment number 13.

    Pure genius, absolutely loved this. Brilliant casting can't wait for next episode. Thanks BBC.

  • Comment number 14.

    I was really concerned about this programme, and firmly convinced I would hate it, and have been totally proved wrong. Great cast, great screenplay, just an all round joy. Thank you, I look forward to the rest.

  • Comment number 15.

    Excellent, exciting, intriguing, satisfying - the friendship between Holmes and Watson (Sherlock and John) explained, understandable and real. I loved the spiral staircase and roof jumping scenes, and Sherlock telling John that most people tell him to "p*** off". Looking forward to next week's episode.

  • Comment number 16.

    I have to admit I was worried about this show, but I take it all back. This was a wonderful, gripping and thrilling TV program, and I am very very excited for next week! Just brilliant!

  • Comment number 17.

    Just finished watching it on BBCi player. Fantastic show, loved it. AND love all the trappings - Sherlock's website, Watson's Blog etc. Great idea, great concept. by the way - you could've made the secret message a bit more difficult - come on we're sherlock holmes fans we need a challenge!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    I watched Sherlock last night and was utterly transfixed. The charaterisations were fantastic, truely believable and weird at the same time. Both charaters were individually intriging, they outshone the rest of the cast...a great introduction to what could be a fabulous Sunday evenings entertainment, well done BBC!

  • Comment number 19.

    New, shiny, bright Sherlock on the BBC and old, dull Taggart on ITV-no contest!

  • Comment number 20.

    Brilliant! I loved it, about time BBC... can't wait for next week! Just Brilliant

  • Comment number 21.

    That was entertaining and only one grammatical mistake. New Holmes: voice good but looks too young. (Was the actor considered for Dr Who?) Some unanswered questions - what poison? how did the killer get it? how could he manage to make identical capsules?
    Your colleague writing in the RT didn't mention the best ever Holmes - Carleton Hobbs.

  • Comment number 22.

    . At 5:15pm on 23 Jul 2010, lesqualita wrote:
    I recomment the bbc make a tv series of Donna Leon's inspector Brunnetti crime books, based in Venice. A receipe to go down in history,as a classic series .

    I have been writing to the BEEB, ITV & C4 for years over this same topic. I even suggested TWO Brunnetti possible actors.Ciarán Hinds (Rome & Munich) or Tom Wilkinson (Full Monty)

  • Comment number 23.

    Lovely Jubbly. Thoroughly enjoyed the first episode and can't wait for more.

  • Comment number 24.

    15. At 11:24pm on 25 Jul 2010, Dorothy Merriman wrote:
    Excellent, exciting, intriguing, satisfying - the friendship between Holmes and Watson (Sherlock and John) explained, understandable and real. I loved the spiral staircase and roof jumping scenes, and Sherlock telling John that most people tell him to "p*** off". Looking forward to next week's episode.

    I loved the very PC (tongue in cheek) "this is a three patch problem" - instead of the three pipe problem.

    The other was telling Mycroft he was putting on weight, (He was alway portrayed previously as a 'Dollop of a man'

    Finally, the bit about the deodorant being the same for the CSI guy and the DS lady - plus the throw away about her knees........PRICELESS

  • Comment number 25.

    Sherlock, a fabulous hour of escapism, could Benedict be the next Dr Who? I think so. Martin Freeman as Dr Watson, great casting. Well done BBC, about time having some watchable programming after all the football earlier. Thank you. Keep it coming.

  • Comment number 26.

    Really enjoyed the new Sherlock.

    On a plot point - am I being thick? (probably) - how did Sherlock know the deceased's mobile number so that he could text the killer? Was this explained and I missed it?

  • Comment number 27.

    BBC1 has come up trumps with Sherlock. Congratulations to Stephen Moffatt, Mark Gatiss, and all those involved with writing, directing, and producing this brilliant new drama. Who needs plot with such witty dialogue, fast-paced action, and superb performances? Benedict Cumberbatch is a wonderful actor who impersonates fans' image of Sherlock immaculately. Just right for 21st century audiences and equal to Jeremy Brett or Basil Rathbone in their day. I do hope this 'wow' factor series will introduce new young readers to Conan Doyle.
    Lots of details to comment on but love the whole way in which the transposition works right from the parallel of Dr Watson returning from Afghanistan as he did in the original - plus sa change ...
    Fantastic. No one should grumble about BBC1 turning out the same old stuff when we have this kind of impact drama to entertain us on Sunday night.

  • Comment number 28.

    I thought this was great TV, well written, well acted. Loved it roll on next week.

  • Comment number 29.

    Absolutely brilliant. Very well pulled off and so much more than just a rehash.
    So many of these fail to live up to the original but this, rather like the recent Casino Royale, is well thought out and has done well with its modernisation of the key elements of the Sherlock Holmes ethos.
    Good investment by the BBC of licence fee and thanks to the management who OKed the series.
    Well done guys.

  • Comment number 30.

    Absolutely fantastic!!! Not only are the actors all very good but Sherlock Holmes is very sexy! The way the modernisation has been handled is superb. I like the way Holmes and Watson meld together. Lestrade is brilliant too. Mrs Hudson's role is quite a hard one but Una Stubbs plays the role to perfection. I cannot wait until next Sunday and i will certainly be buying this when it comes on DVD.

  • Comment number 31.

    Dear All,
    I'm a bit of a Holmesian on the quite so I was interested when I saw this programme. I must say I did enjoy it, particularly spotting all the references to the original story; Study in Pink, I ask you but all in all I did think this was a good BBC programme and the main casting is very good too, the guy playing Holmes is very believable.
    Well Done BBC
    Rob Morgan

  • Comment number 32.

    Really enjoyed Sherlock! All 3 leads, Holmes, Watson and Lestrade were great choices and gave new life to the main characters, so that despite being slightly sceptical 10 minutes at the beginning of the programme, I was utterly engaged by the story. Great to have some really good drama on TV, which makes a nice change from endless parade of depressing reality shows. Can't wait for next adventure!.

  • Comment number 33.

    Finally, Sherlock Holmes is something to watch that engages the mind and makes you laugh out loud. Thank you - well acted, well written and at a time when I can watch in peace! Well done all.

  • Comment number 34.

    Similar to other comments, I too was concerned about an updated version of S.H. and my fears were confirmed. What a load of fast-paced, juvenile nonsense. To turn A Study in Scarlet into some sub-Dr Who blethers with added texting is a travesty of the genre. Are you sure it shouldn't be shown at 6pm Saturdays. Granted 'A three patch problem' raised a smile, but hardly worth the wait or the money. Glad there's still the radio versions on BBC7 - required listening for all ages.

  • Comment number 35.


    from the word go it hit every right note, brilliant plot writing everything. also love the use of text overlaying the story to describe his thinking and what he sees on the mobile.

    groudbreaking stuff!

    ...can we have more of the same please?

  • Comment number 36.

    This is the first time I've logged onto the BBC's websites - just to show my admiration for the great care and skill that has gone into this drama by everybody concerned. Bravo - I hope there will be many more to come.

    The performances and the settings were excellent and the story was very inventive too. I prefer Wilkie Collin's the Woman in White to Conan Doyle's writings, so the Sherlock phenomenmom has passed me by somewhat.

    From a TV viewer's point of view, last night's show seemed to blend the best qualities of Johnathan Creek and Spooks - though in my opinion the completed whole was much better than both of these series. It was even better than the recent Robert Downey/Jude Law movie, which I also enjoyed very much. And do give a bigger role to Lisa Harrison in future -she is lovely!

  • Comment number 37.

    Hugely enjoyable and brilliantly cast. Like some who have commented, I was initially sceptical: 'Oh no, not another one!' and 'How on earth are they going to transport Doyle into the twenty first century convincingly?' But they did! Texts for telegrams, black cabs for hansoms, Watson's mobile phone instead of his watch, and nicotine patches for the pipe and 'seven per cent solution.' Well done, beeb!

    Highlights for me were:

    - absolute respect for Doyle's original characterisation - and I loved the mischievous nods and references, such as shots of SH beating corpse with riding crop to see if it will bruise. Not sure that episode has ever been filmed before. Also, the 'three patch problem,' and SH not getting it quite right with Watson's 'brother.'

    - brilliant pairing of the the principle actors. Particularly liked Martin Freeman's Watson. His 'stillness' is a perfect foil for Cumberbatch's non-stop, high-octane freneticism (even when he's standing still), but there isn't a single moment when he comes across as 'second fiddle.'

    Roll on, next week!

  • Comment number 38.

    Thank you so much for your brilliant program Sherlock. My family and I sat enthralled. We loved everything, the cast,the production,and the script . The best thing for years!

  • Comment number 39.

    Watched last night and enjoyed very much. Loved Watson, great casting.

  • Comment number 40.

    Absolutely brilliant. A last some drama that's not engineered towards the thick-pleb end of the viewing audience.

    More like this...would make the licence fee worth it.

  • Comment number 41.

    Bravo Steven, Mark and the BBC crew. As a long time fan of the stories and characters I so wanted to hate this. But I was gripped from the start, well at least from the scene setting for anyone unfamiliar with the classic stories. To bring forward probably the dozen core features of the originals and the cleverly weave them into modern society was genius. To get Mycroft (a little too thin for my liking Mark)and even a mention of Moriarty so early on wets my appetite. Can't wait for the next two and whatever the future holds.

  • Comment number 42.

    I was really looking forward to seeing this programme and was most definitely not disappointed. It was brilliantly written and cast; I cannot wait until next Sunday and wish more than three of them were being produced.

  • Comment number 43.

    We decided to watch the new Sherlock Holmes instead of Taggart and were VERY disappointed. What a load of twaddle it was !

  • Comment number 44.

    Absolute brilliance..Well done BBC. Back to doing what your good at..making on the edge of your seat drama..Excellent choice of writers and cast..Looking forward to next Sunday :)

  • Comment number 45.

    I have never felt compelled to comment on a BBC programe! However my son and I watched the first episode of Sherlock last night and loved evey minuit of it. It was witty, intellegent, clever, gripping, well written entertainment. I hope the BBC will be making more of this show as these sort of programes are few and far between, in a day and age of trashy soaps and so called talent shows this was a breath of fresh air.
    For even my 23 year old Army medic son (home on leave) to be waxing lyrical over a TV show is very rare. We are loving it please please please make more. We are eagerly awaiting the remaining episodes and are just sorry there are so few of them.
    I am a huge fan of the Basil Rathbone films and have always considered him the consumate Holmes but the casting was inspired and they pulled off this modern interpretation with utter brillance.

    Thank you for a show I can at last watch and feel part of.

  • Comment number 46.

    Well done Aunti Bi, with Sherlock you've reminded me why I should pay my tv licence! Where do I start?...well it has to be with the two main characters. As last seen as the dirty rogue in the film blockbuster "Atonement", I just knew Bennedict was going to nail Sherlock but it could not have happened without Dr Watson, played to a T by Martin Freeman, who could so easily have reminded me of the great "Office" but instead put in a beautifully restrained but knowing performance as DR T. What a Team! Cant wait for the next one. Also very excited to see who will play Moriaty!! Is it true there are only three shows?...Tell me it aint so..... loving it:-)

  • Comment number 47.

    Watched Sherlock last night, and I was gripped, it was brilliant both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it, ever second, I am a huge Sherlock fan, I thought both Watson and Holmes were played superbly!!!!
    The writing was excellent, and the story line, considering it was the first, it was all good,
    all I can say is roll on next sunday and give me MORE MORE MORE>..............

    A very happy viewer and completely in love with Sherlock but do not tell my hubbie..
    Amanda Luckhurst.

  • Comment number 48.

    I don't often comment on tv programmes but "Sherlock" was great viewing this could turn into a cult as good or better than "Dr Who". I hope with all the cutbacks going on the BBC have the foresight to see they have a gem on their hands.

  • Comment number 49.

    I must congratulate all who were involved in this programme, what a change to sit and watch a quality show, fantastic writing, excellent cast (both Holmes and Watson - amazing!!) Both myself and my husband were enthralled throughout, some very hilarious moments as well. Can not wait till the next episode - hope more are planned. Well done everyone

  • Comment number 50.

    wow what can i say after all these great comments (apart from one)

    i have to agree with everything that has already been said well done the writers and all the actors and hard working crew that put this great programme together i see that there are to be only 3 i have a feeling that if this had been a show in the states it would have been picked up for a 13 week first season and then maybe more come on BBC if you read these then take the money away from the likes of Easterners and put it into this and make more of them please please please

  • Comment number 51.

    I settled down to watch the show last night not knowing you'd been involved, but being a bit of a fan, was very pleased to see you not only in the show, but having co-written it. Me and my other half were gripped from the 1st minute and were thrilled to bits with the whole programme. I just wanted to say 'congratulations' and that I really hope that these 3 episodes do well and that you'll be asked to produce more!

  • Comment number 52.

    I loved it. i thought it was clever and witty. i can't wait for the next episode.

  • Comment number 53.

    Simply magnificent. thank heaven for the BBC

  • Comment number 54.

    Loved this first episode of Sherlock. Thought the casting in particular was great - photography and music too. Looking forward to next Sunday for next episode. My only problem was at the end when Sherlock asks the dying taxi driver, "did I pick the right one?". I just don't think this is true to character, he would have taken the pill back to his lab and analysed it, I don't think the taxi driver would have got the better of him.

  • Comment number 55.

    At last the drama we've been waiting for!Most tv at the moment is absolute drivel.Excellence is the exception, where it used to be the norm on BBC.
    Stunning performances from both main characters and virtuoso fulminations from Sherlock.
    I have to agree with DJSakura.Jeremy Brett was a Maestro without compare.In fact the last two Dr Who's recent incarnations? owe much to his genius.This doesn't matter. In fact it's the distillation from them all that makes this offering such a delight!!

  • Comment number 56.

    That was GREAT fun ... but only three episodes, how can you give us such a treat and then take it away so soon? Please give us more ... lots more! This is when I realy feel that I'm getting value (along with Dr Who) for my licence. Thank's again.

  • Comment number 57.

    Totally epic and engrossing - the only curveball was Mark as Mycroft. I had him pegged as Moriarty but, on reflection, it would've been jumping the gun. I'm puzzled about Anthea - is she Mycroft's PA or enforcer?

  • Comment number 58.

    Just wanted to let you know even across the sea there are Sherlock fan's.
    I'm one of them.
    And I'd just wanted to let you know I just absolutely loved the first eps.
    I'll try my hardest to see the other ones too.
    And if this comes out on DVD i will buy it for sure!

  • Comment number 59.

    Sat down to watch Sherlock last night and absolutely loved it. Looking forward to the next episode and hopefully more will be commissioned.

  • Comment number 60.

    i just want to say last nights programe was brilliant.

  • Comment number 61.

    well done BBC,great show.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well done, this was a thoroughly watchable, enjoyable piece of television and I eagerly await future episodes.
    Just one piece of feedback (as it irritated me constantly throughout the episode): Watson held his stick in the wrong hand and back to front. It's a stupid little thing but Watson is supposed to have been injured during active service, he would have received excellent Physiotherapy input during rehabilitation and would know how to use a stick!!! If you make future episodes and I hope you will then please could you get it right.

  • Comment number 63.

    I thoroughly enjoy the show, great performances by all, and great witty script. Lovely to see Una back on our screens.
    While I thought that Sherlock and Watson works extremely well set in the 21st century, I felt a little jolt of unease when after Watson had shot the cab driver, they walked away making light of the fact. Due to the original stories and past adaptations being set in a era with different sensibilities, those elements of the stories seemed 'acceptable'. For me that is the only part I feel has not travelled well. A gun toting ex service man taking the law into his own hands! Maybe I'm being too sensitive? I'd be interested to see what others think.
    Its not put me off though, I'll be there next Sunday for more of the wonderful Sherlock.

  • Comment number 64.

    Oh yes, yes, yes, yes Auntie ! Have never posted a comment before- may never again. But this was a spectacular tour de force- I throughly enjoyed every minute- plse commission more....
    Don't thing I've enjoyed a drama as much since 'Edge of Darkness' which says it all really

  • Comment number 65.

    Really enjoyed the show, great stuff if a little telegraphed in places. Mark was obviously Mycroft. Also didn't quite understand how Sherlock would jump to the conclusion that rache was a password, most sites these days wont let you create a password that simple and Holmes would take that into account surely (although the bbc's just did which doesn't say much for their security or my theory!) I just put it down to the writers trying a bit too hard to give that bit of scarlet a clever twist. Also completely agree with the comment above about the levity with which they treated the death of the killer, very odd.
    Can't wait for next week though, bring it on!

  • Comment number 66.


  • Comment number 67.

    Mark you are a great villain!

  • Comment number 68.

    Just watched the first episode (recorded). First class. Jeremy Brett was always the best Sherlock. He now has a very strong contender for the first spot. Well done the BBC, at last you are back on track.

  • Comment number 69.

    Wow. This makes me think TV can actually be enjoyable, and not just something you do when you can't think of anything else! After this I want to actually get a TV. I don't have a set, since I didn't see the point; everything around seems to be aimed at someone with a mental age of three.. I felt like I was living in a different universe, where my idea of what's fun, exciting and interesting isn't shared. At all. And then this is made, and it's so awesome! Characters that are Likeable, that say things you would actually chuckle to hear someone say, that have a non-generic sense of life; Also, this show captures London like no other. These characters, this show, makes London, I would say, even better than Doylean: it's much more personal, the silhouettes in the dark, and illumination of the store fronts, the cabs, the view from the restaurants around the centre. I think it's wonderful to see a show that captures imagination in all respects. I also think there'd be much more comments like this if only people knew to come here to leave comments (I only found this blog after going through pretty much everything on the Sherlock page, it was so good). Thank you everyone involved, it's the best show in years and years!

  • Comment number 70.

    Spot a goof - 48 minute - when they are walking towards the restaurant - can see that Sherlock and Dr Watson was walking on different stretch of a street depending on whether they were filmed from their back or in their face. Must be tough to film in London busy streets!!

  • Comment number 71.

    Totally brilliant. With this magnificent programme the Beeb has shown the way to overcome the economic crisis and post world cup depression at a stroke. This investment in quality is clearly going to make a pile of money.

  • Comment number 72.

    All i can say is... absolutely brilliant. Hadn't commented on any BBC programme before but felt compelled to say how enjoyable this was and sincerely hope that they make many more of these

  • Comment number 73.

    As soon as I saw it I thought..Oh dear,here we go again.Another hash at making a Sherlock Holmes series.I have to admit that I am what I consider a purist in the fact that I don't like to see Sherlock messed with.My favourites of all time are the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films with the only exception being Jeremy Brett.Apart from those every attempt has been terrible to watch and quite frankly hardly a vehicle for such wonderful books.
    Anyway,I digress,
    I loved it :-)
    Benedict Cumberbatch is great.I thought he was brilliant in Amazing Grace anyway but he did the role justice indeed and I was very surprised by Martin Freeman who,in my humble opinion maybe,argueably, the best portrayed(and acted) Dr Watson. The only thing I am disappointed about now is that I have just seen it will only be on for three episodes!!!!.Typical,the BBC actually get something right then limit it's time on the TV.

  • Comment number 74.

    P.S The woman who played Anthea is hot. Though I guess I will have as good as chance as DrWatson,though at least he tried :-)

  • Comment number 75.

    Very good indeed. Looking forward to the rest :)

  • Comment number 76.

    What a fantastic new series we cant wait to see the next episode. We were like most a little worried that it wouldnt work. We were also concerned as we had read in one of the news papers that sherlock had a similar attitude to Matt Smiths doctor who. Thankfully not Sherlock is much better!

  • Comment number 77.

    I really really enjoyed 'Sherlock Holmes' on Sunday and thought the characters well cast and way of filming with the clues written on the screen etc very good. Am looking forward to what I hope will be a long series and to see who will be cast as Moriaty. Excellent start.

  • Comment number 78.

    I was taken by surprise when I realised this was Sherlock 21st Century style, but gave it a go and really enjoyed it! We thought we'd met Moriarty, only to find it was Sherlock's brother - nice touch! Will be tuning in to the next instalments.

  • Comment number 79.

    The cinematography for dealing with Holmes' drug addiction was a masterstroke.

  • Comment number 80.

    I was a bit dubious about the updating of such a classic, but I loved this adaptation. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were both excellent and it was superbly filmed. Well done, BBC. I hope there will be more than 3 episodes to come!

  • Comment number 81.

    I was looking forward to this re-visioning, and was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed A Study in Pink. It was a clever and affectionate update of A Study in Scarlett with its own original and appropriate touches. Making Watson an Afghan veteran is also a great choice: just shows how long that particular 'three-pipe problem' has been going on for! I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment.

  • Comment number 82.

    After having seen the first episode, I am stuck. The characters are great! The music is fantastic and I have to say the series reminds me of the Guy Ritchie movie and I would not have changed a thing about that as I fully enjoy this series! Finally a set of characters from a classic book, turned modern! I would like to say... Keep up the great work.

  • Comment number 83.

    Just watched Sherlock for the third time now. its incredible. exactly what i've always wanted to see

  • Comment number 84.

    Does anybody watch The Mentalist? By chance it was on Five USA just before Sherlock and really the similarities are intriguing - wierdly pretty boy non cop helps police, some of whom are bolshie and consider him a wierdo, and he deduces things others are too dumb to see. Does when get the feeling that someone somewhere was wondering - it is an old habit of British film makers - how to do a British version of something transatlantic?

  • Comment number 85.

    Quite simply the best bit of television of recent times. The updating works very well, as does the way it has been produced.

    There is but one small, and for most insignificant, fly in the ointment. Medical technology has advanced further than finding out about cerebral aneurisms. They can be treated.

    Sorry to be a pedant.

    I absolutely loved it.

  • Comment number 86.

    I was initially worried about this modern remake but was pleasently surprised, can't wait till the next episode!!! :-)

  • Comment number 87.

    Loved the content and as an avid Sherlock fan, thought the links to the original stories wonderfully adapted. The fantastic Moriaty twist and the nicotine patches - totally addictive :)excuse the pun!

    Thank goodness I chose Sherlock not Coast!

  • Comment number 88.

    WOW!!! I wasn't expecting it to be THAT good! I've never commented on any TV programme before but feel compelled to congratulate the BBC for quite brilliant, extremely enjoyable, thoroughly entertaining TV. Please, please don't you dare stop at just 3 episodes - in my humble opinion it has the potential to become a classic drama series to rank with the very best!

  • Comment number 89.

    This is brilliant. More, more , more..... Write more episodes...... No, stop what else you are doing and write more. I mean it. More, more, more.... write more episodes. To stop at 3 is inhumane.

  • Comment number 90.

    "The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!" - the minute I heard this phrase in the silky voice of Benedict Cumberbatch in the trailer of this brilliant series, I was wholly convinced he would be perfect as Sherlock. And he was! Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson was also perfection. My favorite up till now was the adaptation with Jeremy Brett, but now I have a new love, or more like a renewed love for this immortal character, Doyle's Holmes. When I heard that Steven Moffat is going to make a modern version of Holmes, I expected a great thing from him as he had brilliantly done the same thing before ("Jekyll" with wonderful James Nesbitt - he and his Hyde alone makes worth watching that). I was not disappointed! Everything - cast, lighting, cinematography, pace, writing - is absolutely brilliant in "Sherlock".

    And I would also like to say something to a previous commenter (no. 84) who said that this "Sherlock" is based on "Mentalist" - American TV series (by the way, quite good series imho): no, actually "Mentalist" is based on Sherlock Holmes in a way, some parallels are there, but not the other way around! Read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about Holmes which were written in the end of 19th century, much earlier than "Mentalist" was created ;)

  • Comment number 91.

    One word "brilliant"!!!! Please can we have more than just 3 programmes. This the sort of programmes we should be getting more of!

  • Comment number 92.

    Brilliant series. Enjoyed it thoroughly.
    How did Watson manage to jump over roofs and buildings with his damaged leg.

  • Comment number 93.

    Fantastic! I have just watched Sherlock and I was both surprised and delighted at how well you have adapted it. all I can say is I want MORE.
    WELL DONE....

  • Comment number 94.

    `Holmes, is the epitome of todays TV programmers mindset. Young good looking lad, Present Time. London. I wont be watching!

    Another example was the four episode `Silence'. I won't comment on the programme story but it WAS supposed to be based in Bristol. That, as usual, was in name only because we did hear one Irish, some Scottish and plenty of South Eastern accents but not one Bristolian. Typical!

  • Comment number 95.

    I have never posted a comment on any web site but I just had to register my thoughts about the new "Sherlock" episode on Sunday night. I have read Holmes stories since I was 12 (quite a few years ago), both the originals and others and have also a few versions on vhs, dvd and audio, as well as having seen a couple of theatre productions. I think some people thought that enthusiasts such as myself may not like this up to date Sherlock but I was hooked within the first 10 minutes. The balance between some of the original story plot,dialogue,character traits, relationship between Sherlock and Watson and relevance to a modern day audience, whilst still somehow keeping an air of old age mystery was incredible (almost like that last sentence). Look forward to more!

  • Comment number 96.

    Utterly brilliant. I too am a huge fan of the Rathbone era of Sherlock Holmes, and if I'm honest, I wasn't expecting to like the new BBC version. I now wish I'd bothered to record it (is that still allowed these days?). I could watch it on the iPlayer, but when you're on 60KB broadband, there's not much joy in that.

    I knew only fifteen minutes in that I was going to enjoy this new Sherlock, and it's been a very long time since any TV drama has had such a positive effect on me. I was struck by the quality of the acting throughout, and it's one of those rare times when you forget that the actors are actually acting.

    I do however seem to be the only person who sees a striking resemblance between the Sherlock character and the British hacker who's been in the news in the past year or so. Anyone else see the likeness too?

    It's good to see such a well produced program such as this come from the BBC, especially after so many cut-backs.

    10/10 to the BBC for this new gem.

  • Comment number 97.

    As others have written, I've never commented on a TV programme before. Also, like several others, when I heard about this I thought "This will either be horrendous or brilliant". It was brilliant :-)

    Curiously, I'm currently reading my way through the entire Holmes canon in chronological order and have just finished The Final Problem so this seems strangely appropriate because it's all so fresh in my mind at the moment.

    For me, the definite Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson as Conan Doyle imagined them will forever be Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke, who, with a brilliant production team and some class actors created the most superb evocation of the period. But ... this is a 21st century take and the way that the old and the new are woven seamlessly together is an absolute joy to behold. The clever references and incorporation of so many original parts of A Study In Scarlet, but tweaked for modern times, was masterful. The performances were superb and the evocation of London was spot on. I loved the display of the street maps, mobiles on screen and the thinking process made visible for us as well as the characters.

    Like Coventry_Viewer I dispensed with my TV back in 2003 because almost everything made these days seems to be 'reality' drivel, a cookery bake off, a home/gardens makeover race or never-ending soaps and an insult to my brain. If the general standard of programming headed back towards acting, plotting, direction and originality of this standard I might even reconsider that licence ...

    So, eagerly looking forward to the others and yes, more than 3 episodes please! Let's have the lot.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have just finished watching this and loved every milli-second. In todays economical climate I think this programme is worth every penny!! Well done to all concerned and I really hope there is many more to come xx

  • Comment number 99.

    First off, this is an excellent piece of TV, the Beeb should pat their backs for airing this, and both Gatiss and Moffat should have a pint on everyone - job ruddy well done chaps!!

    Secondly - why, oh why has the Beeb not commissioned a FULL SERIES?! You numpties, a three-parter is no good! Can you not recognise brilliance when you see it? I mean come on, you aired 2 series of the utter tosh that was "Bonekickers", which as an archaeological scientist made me vomit with disgust! In comparison, "Sherlock" is a piece of television mastery, and should be taken up wholeheartedly!

    And finally, the few tiny niggles. Although 99% was pure excellence, there is always room for improvement. Lestrade, although portrayed by a fine actor, should not be portrayed as he is here. He was always an incompetent, blundering fool which is not what we are seeing. Also, Mycroft was barely mentioned in the original stories, and could never have been Moriarty - the two were complete polar opposites! Holmes' brother was for all intents and purposes a bloated government think tank in one man, whereas Moriarty was a dasterdly and spritely effigy of evil.

    That is all for now, but heads should roll if this show does not get a prolonging to its life span...

  • Comment number 100.

    Dear Mr Gatiss (the man in black) and Mr Moffat (don't know what colour you're wearing),
    Why not adapt some of the strangely titled referenced stories in the originals, such as "The man with the aluminium crutch" or "The trained cormorant". Doyle must have been having a silly 5 minutes! Great! Also, there was some mention about a murder in Abergavenny that Holmes investigated alone I think.
    Anyway, I'm sure you'll think of something! You've got a lot of source material and so far so brilliant.


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