Netflix Instant Pick: Sherlock
Updated: Sep 6, 2018
Don’t get me wrong. I love Robert Downey Jr. as much as the next girl, but for my money, the title of the best Sherlock Holmes hands-down goes to Benedict Cumberbatch.
From the amazingly clever brain of Steven Moffat, who wrote some of the best Doctor Who episodes of the modern era (Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace) and now runs that show, Sherlock effortlessly modernizes and energizes the 19th-century source material, complete with crackling dialogue and cracking-good mysteries that combine for probably the most entertaining 270 minutes of television that aired in 2010. The BBC production, which airs as three 90-minute episodes, came to the U.S. via PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery last fall, and now is available (in HD no less) on Netflix Instant.
Cumberbatch makes for the perfect Sherlock—cerebral, cold and closed-off—and, of course, the perfect counterpoint to Martin Freeman (best known as Tim from The Office, Arthur Dent and currently Bilbo Baggins) as John Watson. Stateside, Cumberbatch is probably best known for his role in Atonement, but he’ll be appearing in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming War Horse and the star-filled Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In February, I got a chance to see him live on stage when I was in London at the National Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, which is inventively directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire), and he was absolutely riveting in the role of the monster. He and Jonny Lee Miller rotate between the parts of the scientist and the monster. (Attention Austinite Anglophiles: The Alamo Drafthouse will offer two more screenings of the NT Live production this weekend!)
The first series of Sherlock ends on a cliffhanger (Moriarty!), but rest assured, you won’t have to wait much beyond the fall to find out what happens next. Steven Moffat tweeted just this week a photo of the 221-B door with this phrase: “It begins.”