Season 4 of Sherlock was aired on New Years Day in the UK, and while the previous season lacked the intrigue of the first season, it was watchable. What I do like about the teamwork on the series is that unlike American series which are highly commercial, there are limited episodes (not the usual 20-25 in a season), and rather than replace actors who aren’t available, they wait until they are. Much can be learned from this; when Martin Freeman was offered the role of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, which prevented him from filming the next series of Sherlock, the BBC decided to wait until Freeman had finished filming, enabling Freeman to play both roles. The dynamic between Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch is part of the success of the series—a match equal to that of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Recently, it has been discovered that Cumberbatch is distantly related (according to ancestry.com) to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (16th cousins twice removed). Coincidence or fate?
As a character, Holmes has always been eccentric and dark, and Cumberbatch’s portrayal also captures a witty and naïve side to him, in particular scenes with his brother Mycroft. The last season was lackluster in comparison to the first series, and I admit I fast-forwarded some scenes. I can’t say the addition of Mary (Watson’s wife) was a good idea as a main character, and hopefully that has now passed with her death (she was becoming too cocky for me). What I do like is the complex nature of the relationships Holmes cultivates and to see how others respond. Do they tolerate him, or pity him? The episode with his parents (played by his real parents) was amusing, and I hope the next episodes delve into his relationships with Mrs. Hudson and Molly. Both seem to admire and wish to protect him, but he takes them for granted. Perhaps it’s a lesson he needs to learn in regards to respecting people that care and to reciprocate? Maybe we will see Holmes compassionate and suffering, or will he feel guilty?
The first episode did contains some unbelievable elements such as Watson’s flirting with a girl on a bus, and then Watson blaming Holmes when Mary got shot (she jumped in front of him), and was always a dead woman walking. Watson forgives Holmes for just about everything, so we know he will come around, but how? Then suddenly Molly is a godmother and looking after the baby? She works full-time in the lab, so maybe it was just convenient? The writing and the excellent teamwork of Cumberbatch and Freeman just about saves the episode, and I hope now that Mary has gone, Watson will come to his senses. Perhaps Mary will appear in flashbacks or in Watson’s dreams as she is listed in the cast for the remainder of the series? Maybe Sherlock was high and it was all a dream and he wakes up in a Russian prison cell? Regardless, it was better than the dreadful Brontë one off (thank goodness) drama that managed to keep my attention for three minutes.
The next episodes are due to be broadcast on BBC One at 21:00:
8 January 2017 ~ The Lying Detective
15 January 2017 ~ The Final Problem