I’ve just finished watching the fourth (and last?) series of ‘Sherlock’, the final episode of which (you cannot have failed to notice) was broadcast on Sunday. Up to now I have watched breathless with admiration, lovestruck as Molly Hooper, Sherlocked as Irene Adler, bewildered as Lestrade and thoroughly enjoying every moment of Watson’s baffled outrage. ‘Sherlock’ is TV drama of the highest quality; taking the original stories and doing so much more than merely updating them. Benedict Cumberbatch is stunning, Martin Freeman is engaging, Mark Gatiss infuriatingly patrician as Mycroft, and all the supporting roles are perfectly cast: as an oldie I particularly enjoy seeing Una Stubbs play Mrs Hudson. I love the way they use graphics to indicate his thoughts and – oh, there’s just so much I could say about the timing, the comic moments, the build-up – but alas, only one episode of this last series was truly enthralling. In the first there was too much concentration on Mary (I’m all for having a proactive female character but then they killed her off!!!) and as the Guardian pointed out in this article, it was somewhat James Bond-y (OO221B, they called him).
Guardian review of ep 1es-bond-margaret-thatcher-mark-gatiss-steven-moffat-detective
The second episode was better, rooted once more in Baker St and harking back to the original stories with Sherlock as a drug addict risking his own life to save John Watson – by means of getting John Watson to come and save him. But the third! I’m not saying it was bad, but it was overblown: what with the islands and the helicopters and all the walls within walls and locations that weren’t what they seemed, they’d gone back to 007 again; and in the end there were so many climaxes that I felt quite exhausted. It seemed that not only had I stopped enjoying it but the creators had stopped enjoying their creation and instead got focussed on going out with the biggest bang they could possibly contrive. So on the whole I was disappointed; though it’s only fair to say that a lot of people found it breathtakingly exciting.
Anyway, here’s the link: