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Why You Should Watch BBC Sherlock (If You’re Not Hooked Already)

By Ana Devdariani
Wednesday, January 8
After a two-year hiatus, Sherlock Holmes, the world’s favorite detective has returned for another three-part series on BBC. The Empty Hearse premiered on the New Year’s day to an audience of a staggering 9.2 million viewers. With the two of three episodes already out, series three looks to be delightfully light-hearted, touching and clever as ever. But fear not, I shall take utmost care to stray away from spoilers.

If you have been waiting for the third series as impatiently as I have - you’re definitely in for a treat. But if this is your first encounter with the 21st century adventures of the legendary sleuth here’s why you should pen all eight ninety minute episodes onto your immediate to do list:

Reason number one - it’s got some of the finest acting talent Britain can offer.

Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed by over seventy-six actors to date, but none does him better justice than Benedict Cumberbatch. Now an A-list celebrity, he was a well-respected theatre actor before stepping into Holmes’ shoes and boy has he owned them. “Cumberbatch,” says The Guardian’s Amanda Mitchison, “has a reputation for playing odd, brilliant men very well and his Holmes is cold, techie, slightly Aspergerish.” Indeed, Benedict has received a lot of praise for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in BBC’s 2004 drama Hawking and Vincent Van Gogh in Van Gogh: Painted With Words. He was the only actor ever to be considered for the role of Sherlock, said the show’s producer Sue Vertue. Finding the right Watson for him, however, turned out to be a bigger challenge. But the creators pulled another lucky ticket with Martin Freeman. According to Steven Moffat, half of the executive creative force behind the BBC hit series, Freeman is "the sort of opposite of Benedict in everything except the amount of talent ... Martin finds a sort of poetry in the ordinary man." Their on screen interaction is hilarious and touching in equal measures, guaranteed to get you chuckling and occasionally misty-eyed.

Reason number two - this is Sherlock Holmes like you’ve never seen him before.

Over the course of the years and countless adaptations, Sherlock Holmes became too much about top hats, coaches and foggy streets of the Victorian London, rather than the brilliant man that uses science to solve puzzling crimes. But Holmes has always been a modern man, experimenting and using technology that was cutting-edge for his period. In this regard BBC’s Sherlock is the most loyal adaptation of the detective’s character. Now, imagine the genius with the plethora of modern technology at his disposal - it’s just bound to be exciting.

Reason number three - everyone involved in this show knows their stuff.

The series is brilliantly executed, using gorgeous scenery and sets. The camera work they use on the show is unlike anything I’ve seen on television, they use a multitude of angles and high definition 5D still photography to illustrate the inner workings of Sherlock’s mind and help the viewer follow his train of thought. The transitions and cuts are a state of art and the incorporation of text messages and blog posts on the screen – fantastic.

Yet what I find the most remarkable about the show is its continuity and attention to detail. You can literally dissect every episode into frames, and be able to read into the placement of objects or characters’ facial expressions, gestures and body language. The creators of the show love incorporating small hints and references to the canon, and the actors’ work is impeccable, creating layers of intricacy. The amount of thought and effort that is put into the show by all people involved in it is evident, and is precisely the reason behind its success. Moffat and Gatiss, the ultimate Conan Doyle fanboys ensure the authenticity of it, and the creativity and skills of their production team make the show into a television masterpiece.