PBS offers a modernized Sherlock Holmes

On Sunday nights across America, Masterpiece Mysteries! televises Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes”. Directed by Paul McGuigan, this internationally renowned fictional series is a hilarious and interesting alternative to the classic tale. The series includes wider and diverse varieties of witty characters and amazing crimes to solve. Already airing in the U.K., season three has recently been released to the American public.

Actor Benedict Cumberpatch (starring as Smaug in the movie The Hobbit, as well as Kahn from Star Trek) plays the character of Sherlock Holmes. He is a detective, with an intellect that cannot be matched. The series revolves around him accurately deducing facts from the slightest subtleties; his analysis of crime scenes is unorthodox. Often, words pop up and fade off the screen as he bends down to analyze a body or a crime scene, proving that there is a whole story behind the tangible evidence, so the audience can follow the connection of one clue to another.

He solves these mysteries purely for fun, gaining nothing from the ominous scenes but entertainment as he admits that he is a “high functioning sociopath”. He toys with people’s emotions to exaggerate his sense of self-importance and to gain information. Still, despite his superior knowledge, he does not have the ability to maintain close relationships.

Nevertheless, John Watson balances out Sherlock’s flaw not necessarily as his partner. Played by Martin Freeman, (who recently starred as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit) Watson is a returning war medic from Afghanistan. He lives with a leg injury and frequently goes to a therapist daily in order to help overcome his traumatic war experiences; however, it is not the experiences that end up haunting him, it is the yearning to return to war.

In time, Watson gives in to Sherlock’s superior nature, and overcomes both his war experiences and injury to become Sherlock’s professional partner in solving the most peculiar cases. Soon enough, Watson becomes his assistant and roommate at 211B Baker Street apartment.

Each episode averages ninety minutes, but is extremely modernized and captivating. The series is set in London which is a sleek, yet colorful, and at times a slightly unrealistic setting. The cases and characters continuously move around the city and its outskirts to solve the crime. Abandoned subway tunnels and public parks act as common locations, with cases popping up in the most mysterious places.

Mark Gatiss portrays Sherlock’s older brother and head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mycroft Holmes. Both brothers are geniuses, and act unaffectionate and arrogant toward others. Their analytical banter is insanity at its best.

Currently, the show is on its third season in America and the U.K. The show offers quirky experiences, from Sherlock’s intellectual superiority to Watson’s continually empathetic nature. The show airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. on PBS and is a must see.