Sherlock: Holmes Comes Back to Life After a Century

Martin Freeman (Dr. John Watson) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock). 

Image courtesy of

Martin Freeman (Dr. John Watson) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock). Image courtesy of

Thao Nguyen, FCHS Mass Media Student

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For more than a 100 years, Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes character has remained strikingly intact in the minds of readers all around the world. The ageless adventures of the brilliant detective and his faithful companion, Dr. John Watson, have been portrayed in at least 200 movies and TV shows. Yet none have left such a memorable impression on fans as that of BBC One’s Sherlock series.

Played by the outstanding Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock is a gifted and unique young man whose mind functions like a non-stop machine and stores information like a computer hard drive. Since the slow-paced, peaceful scenery from the window of apartment 221B Baker Street usually bores Sherlock out of his mind, the more difficult and unpredictable problems he encounters on a daily basis, the better. “I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation,” he says. Resourceful, enigmatic, dynamic, and often late, Cumberbatch’s uncanny portrayal of this master of deduction engages the viewers in each and every case he takes. Since it first aired in 2010, the show remains as riveting as ever.

It is vital when talking about Sherlock Holmes that the appearance of his companion, best friend and, possibly, the only person keeping him sane, be mentioned. Dr. John Watson, portrayed by Martin Freeman, an Afghanistan war veteran, returns to England with a wound on his shoulder and psychosomatic disorder accompanied by PTSD. Watson plays an inconceivably important role in the character and plot development of the entire show. His tolerance with the intolerable Holmes and his confinement with the most untrustworthy man on the face of England are the factors that make our cold-hearted, rude detective more human. His kind intentions and willingness to keep the people he loves safe while maintaining the thrill of the chase are what breathe life into Sherlock. If Sherlock Holmes is the brain, then Dr. Watson is the heart of this story.

Think of Sherlock as the rain that helps Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations blossom once again, bringing life back to this not-so-deserted plain of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures. If you are interested in riddles and puzzles, in murder mysteries and the quest for answers, Sherlock is the show for you. Be prepared for a piece of technology that is even older than the 19th century: the human brain. Emerge in the “mind palace” with the modern day sleuth and sort out facts and fictions while enjoying the “dry” English humor shared occasionally between friends, family, and even arch enemies.

I wholeheartedly give Sherlock a 10 out of 10 Big Ben bell tolls. Each season has been given 95% to 100% scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and have been rated 9.3/10 on iMDB. Warning to parents: Sherlock is rated PG-13 due to infrequent mild language and partial, suggestive nudity in some episodes.

Sherlock relentlessly blurs the lines between good and evil, giving both the characters and the viewers a choice towards two distinct paths, showing the darkest and most powerful desires inside us and proving that we are human, that we all have flaws and that nobody is perfect, not even Sherlock Holmes himself. Thousands of faithful fans around the world who are waiting for the 4th season of this TV show tell us one thing that Sherlock Holmes never ceases to remind Dr. Watson: “The game is on.”