· culture ·

I really didn't think I was going to enjoy the new series of Sherlock, which is set in present-day London. Although it stars great actors (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), and has both Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss producing, I thought it would be pointless update. I'm glad to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.

It has a few rather preposterous plot points, but then Conan Doyle's original stories also occasionally stretched credibility. For the most part, it's great fun, and both the main characters have survived a 21st Century update rather well. Some aspects of the original stories still apply, unfortunately: there is still a war in Afghanistan, so Dr John Watson's original backstory fits in perfectly. Other aspects of modernisation have been dealt with quite cleverly. Sherlock makes fairly extensive use of email, the internet and text messages, and I like the way that these appear overlaid on the screen as a kind of visible manifestation of Sherlock's thought processes. Even Mrs. Hudson's character now has a clever twist, as their landlady ("I'm not your housekeeper, dear").

It did leave me wondering what Sherlock (yes, I do know he isn't a real person) would have thought of the internet. On one hand, I could imagine him relishing the ease with which he could gather information instantly. After all, in the original stories, he keep extensive collections of newspaper clippings and other information, which he would refer to in the course of his cases. On the other hand, perhaps he might regard it as cheapening the deductive process, by making information too readily available. I'm sure that the Sherlock Holmes obsessives will be arguing about it, but meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the last episode and hoping that they make another series.