Cumberbatch - Riveting as the High Functioning Sociopath

I grew up in a country where the fictitious Sherlock Holmes is almost as iconic, and nearly as real as Shakespeare, Lewis and Tolkien. The world famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character is part of the average English student's reading repertoire, and I believe I've personally read the series at least 5 times through. Somehow, I never tire of the Holmes brand and have probably seen every actor from Basil Rathbone in the 1930's to Robert Downey, Jr. play him. I thought no one could possibly top Jeremy Brett my personal favorite - until now.

When I heard the BBC was doing a new Sherlock Holmes series I thought "Been there, done that." Then, when I heard it was to be shifted into the 21st Century my early warning signals ran screaming. Seriously... I couldn't have cared less and had no intention of casting an eye on any newfangled rendering of my beloved character. Until now.

Needless to say curiosity eventually got the better of me, and I found myself channel surfing to the program convinced it would be a waste of time. One hour into the series re-boot and I was acting like a new believer at a city tent revival. 

Cumberbatch is a sheer fascination to watch in the role. He takes the brash, no nonsense, crime deducing sleuth and propels him into the current day effortlessly. Holmes is anti-social, rude, logical, annoying and absolutely brilliant. Yet, you find yourself addicted, repelled and fascinated simultaneously at his complete lack of regard for anything around him that is not directly connected to a crime. The word narcissist comes to mind, but Holmes is not in love with himself or his ability, but rather he sees it as a necessity to unravel the unsolvable crimes that make his personal world spin. 

Cumberbatch fills the role so completely that the rest of the cast must work hard just to rotate around his axis. Martin Freeman (Bilbo in The Hobbit), rises admirably to the task as the almost-as-brilliant Dr. Watson. He is the perfect compliment to Sherlock's acidic personality, playing deftly off his partnering sleuth with heart, as they solve cryptic cases through a maze of mind boggling clues. Never were two people more suited for their roles than these two - really.

Michael Gatniss (Dr. Who writer) plays Mycroft, Sherlock's even more brilliant elder brother, who not only mirrors him in personality, but is one of the few persons on earth able to out maneuver him. Rupert Graves turns in a respectable showing as the most competent Inspector Lestrade ever to hold the part. 

Of course no Sherlock rendering would be complete without Holmes' nemesis, Jim Moriarty played to perfection by Andrew Scott. This man is an arch-villain with one of the eeriest psyche's ever to appear on film. He makes Bond villain's look good by comparison. Scott sizzles in the role in twisted diabolical chaos - always staying just one step ahead of Holmes (which is no easy task).

The scripts are literally some of the best I've ever seen anywhere, with clever, engaging dialogue between all the characters that reeks of ego, sarcasm, jadedness and the neatly dry humor that only the Brits can deliver.

I gotta be honest, that when Series 3 ended I thought I'd have apoplexy. And don't you know... I just went back to the beginning and started the whole dang thing all over again. It's that good! I was gratified today to discover there will be a Series 4, but surprised because Cumberbatch is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood right now. But, I am delighted that he has chosen to grace us with his presence in the part one more time. 

If you've read this far then either you've seen it (so comment below - no excuses); or I've whet your appetite for a good murder mystery. 

This series vibrates with intelligence, wit, unexpected twists, 3-dimensional characters, superb acting, and a fast-paced story line that will have you salivating for more. So what are you waiting for...?

Other Cumberbatch Roles:
Amazing Grace - 2006
The Imitation Game - 2014
12 Years a Slave - 2013
The Fifth Estate - 2013
The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug - 2013 (the dragon)
August Osage County - 2013


  1. I agree, that show rocks, and Cumberbatch is amazing!

  2. I cannot get enough Benedict Cumberbatch in my life, and I absolutely love Andrew Scott as Moriarty! He is the perfect nemesis to Cumberbatch's Sherlock. I'm thrilled to see what sort of dangerous shenanigans come up in Season 4!

  3. Wow, 2 anonymous comments. Thanks for responding, feedback is always great!

  4. Last night I started the entire series again. It is as engaging, and hilarious as it was the first time. I am so looking forward to the New Year's Day movie special!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts