Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Sherlock is a British crime drama television series and a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who, The League of Gentlemen), it stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade’s End) as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Fargo) as Doctor John Watson. Nine episodes have been produced, the first three of which were broadcast in 2010. Series two was broadcast in 2012, and a third series was broadcast in 2014. The third series has become the UK’s most watched drama series since 2001. Sherlock has been sold to over 200 territories. Sue Vertue (Coupling) and Elaine Cameron of Hartswood Films produced the series for the BBC and co-produced it with WGBH Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series on PBS. The series is primarily filmed in Cardiff, Wales. North Gower Street in London is used for exterior shots of Holmes and Watson’s 221B Baker Street residence.
Sherlock depicts “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) solving various mysteries in modern-day London. Holmes is assisted by his flatmate and friend, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), who has returned from military service in Afghanistan with the Royal Army Medical Corps. Although Metropolitan Police Service Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves, Garrow’s Law, The White Queen) and others are at first skeptical of Holmes, over time his remarkable intellect and powers of observation persuade them of his value. In part through Watson’s blog documenting their adventures, Holmes becomes a reluctant celebrity with the press reporting on his cases and eccentric personal life. Both ordinary people and the British government ask for his help.
Although the series depicts a variety of crimes and perpetrators, Holmes’ conflict with archnemesis Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) is a recurring feature. Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey, Casualty), a pathologist at St. Bart’s Hospital occasionally assists Holmes in his cases. Other recurring roles include Una Stubbs (Till Death Us Do Part) as Mrs Hudson, Holmes and Watson’s landlady, and series co-creator Mark Gatiss as Holmes’ elder brother Mycroft.
Critical reception has been highly positive, with many reviews praising the quality of the writing, performances, and direction. Sherlock has been nominated for numerous awards including: BAFTAs, Emmys, and a Golden Globe, winning several awards across a variety of categories. The show received the most wins at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for Moffat, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Cumberbatch, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Freeman. In addition, the show was also honoured with a Peabody Award in 2011.