Netflix. 8 x 49-58 Minute episodes
Main series cast
Thaddea Graham as Bea
McKell David as Spike
Jojo Macari as Billy
Darci Shaw as Jessie
Harrison Osterfield as Leopold
Royce Pierreson as John Watson
Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Sherlock Holmes
Clarke Peters as The Linen Man
Eileen O’Higgins as Alice
If you haven’t seen it but are fully intending to then quit reading and go watch it already, then you can come back and be like, “This guy’s a dick! He hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about!” etc etc
I could try and write a review that doesn’t contain any spoilers but well, honestly I can’t be assed. Bite me.
Having almost but not quite binge watched the whole series, rather than touch on any particular episode I’ll try to give an overview of the whole thing.
It constantly surprises. Even though you can guess some of what’s coming, there is enough intrigue to keep you watching.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of some episodes, they really drew me in.
A very talented multicultural core cast who work together well and some very talented actors in bit parts.
Some light gore and a smattering of swearwords (a scene between Jessie and Holmes plays this for laughs).
No real nudity but the Prince does get his shirt off!
Big spoiler. Watson is gay and in love with Holmes. I kinda guessed it early on but it’s an interesting take on the character and drives the story.
The first episode is understandably a little rushed. It takes time to introduce us to its world which is great but when Jessie properly discovers her powers and then saves the day, it seemed to happen too quickly for me.
The following episodes are good, with a mix of the present and the past which serve to introduce and expand the overall story arc and the characters connections to it.
The ‘Irregulars’ are all good actors and make a convincing bunch. I think Jessie, Spike and Leo stand out for me but they all do a good job and don’t really put a foot wrong.
The actor who played Watson was very good and I understand he was supposed to be this reserved character but I wish they had allowed him to open out a little as he seemed to be straining at the leash constantly. It would have been nice to see his acting chops (perhaps he could have been taken over by something and allowed to act completely differently).
Holmes was in some ways closer to the original characterisation where he was a genius but also very street smart. Mostly we see a destroyed man wracked by the ravages of years of opium addiction and the loss of his love.
Lestrade is portrayed as a religious zealot, compulsively counting his rosary beads as he seeks to rid the world of those with powers who he sees as aligned with the devil. He is a throwaway character here.
Holmes brother Mycroft, despite obviously being a man in a powerful position seems a little clueless here, not the genius that even Holmes aspires to be in the books.
I liked the Linen Man character and had an inkling he might be up to no good but I thought things got a bit muddled at the end.
Unfortunately the last episode was a bit of a let down. After lots of action and building up to the big ending, it was drawn out just a bit too much which sucked out some of the wow factor. The whole scene with the Rift and the return of Alice (Bea and Jessies mother and Holmes partner) and the ensuing dilemma of what needed to be done was just a bit meh. I just didn’t really get a lot from it when it should have been one of the most important scenes in the series. Maybe I need to rewatch it but I was more concerned by what was happening to Leo, Spike and Billy.
The very end left our heroes much as they were at the start of the series.
I guess the lesson is that sometimes there are no easy answers, no resolutions and you just have to take life as it comes.
Overall I liked it 🙂