Monday, 16 January 2012
We're wondering whether the BBC had the jitters about this series, or whether Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat had them about the BBC. Despite the success of series one, series two has featured three key stories, as though they wanted to make all their favourites in case it either wasn't recommissioned, or Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman moved on. They can go back and do the other stories - as with Conan Doyle, he didn't stay dead after the Falls - but they're making it hard for themselves to keep up the pace and tension.
We liked the reworking of 'Baskerville' particularly. It had that sense of gothic paranoia that ran through all the original stories, while elegantly using the paraphernalia of modern life to update both setting and relevance. Overall, though, the series feels like it was made it for teens, with that breathlesss, over-the-top sense of... 'Dr Who'? We can't help but wonder if it isn't another facet of dumbing down. Not that the scripts themselves are crude or witless, or that it is necessarily a bad thing to pander to arrested development in some sense - who wants to grow old anyway? - but the England of Conan Doyle's formidable hero was very different to one in which every third household has single occupancy and Playstation games are among the favourite pastimes for adults in their 40s. The modern Sherlock, in the current film as well as on the Beeb, is undeniably fun, but at the expense of something quite sinister and adult that marked the original.