You know, we still aren't in love with Netflix streaming. We kept our streaming subscription after we dropped disks just so that we could watch Have Gun - Will Travel. Now that those are done, we had to search around for something else to watch. We came up with Sherlock, the new BBC Sherlock-Holmes-set-in-modern-times series. Needless to say, we are keeping our streaming subscription.
For this version, John Watson (Martin Freeman) is a wounded veteran of the war in Afghanistan - just like in the original! But he is a veteran of the current conflict, not the British Empire's last fracas in the area. That is touchstone for the series: when they update the stories, some things translate directly, some are strangely changed. For example, Watson makes Holmes famous by writing about him, not in the penny-dreadfuls, but on his blog.
Holmes is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, a name to be reckoned with. He has spooky eyes, wideset, pale blue, with slight epicanthic folds. His Holmes is brilliant and autistic, although he prefers to be considered a "high functioning sociopath".
This is not the Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett Holmes. He is younger and somewhat twitchier. He certainly isn't Robert Downey Jr. He is much more cerebral. He is also quite modern, always texting or checking something on his laptop. Although he is much less charming, his boundless self-confidence has a touch of Dr. Who about it, which is natural, since writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are also writing Doctor Who.
Freeman's Watson, on the other hand, reminds me a bit of Arthur Dent. He has the same peeved expression, with a touch of incomprehension, when Holmes breaks another convention of normal civilized behavior. He is much less of a bumbler than some past Watsons, but around Holmes, anyone will eventually feel like an idiot.
Watson isn't the only source of humor in the show. Holmes' ego and other's reactions to him are a lot of fun. The mysteries are pretty good - maybe not great, but not shabby - and new (as far as I remember), not updates of the original story. But the characters of Holmes and Watson are the best part.
Now the bad news: There are is one season available, 3 episodes of about 90 minutes. We've seen them all. There's another 3 episodes coming up. After that, who knows?
You know, we've been watching a lot serial films lately - James Bond, Fast and Furious, Marvel Comics, Pirates of the Caribbean. When you find something good, you want more. We want more.