Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…

But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

Alan Conway’s Atticus Pund has seen better days, he’s not a well man and in fact has a limited time left on this earth and in Magpie Murders, Conway is determined to give Atticus Pund a final hurrah, a fitting send-off for a character who has given so much to the author.

Magpie Murders is a book that keeps on giving and is in fact two books for the price of one, a story within a story if you like – the first set after the Second World War in a sleepy English village and the second bring us bang up to date in modern times. I remember reading the first part of the book and I’d reached the middle of the book and wondered where Anthony Horowitz was going to take the story. I was initially confused but it soon became apparent as to what had happened!

There are numerous red herrings throughout, sleight of hand springs to mind, Horowitz is a crafty old bugger – in the nicest possible way! He has you leaning one way and then a few chapters down the line you begin questioning your own reasoning. Fascinating stuff!

I was immediately transported to the 1950’s and village life, the good and the bad, and to be honest I felt quite at home there, from squeaky bicycles to former criminals trying to go straight, a busy body and a lord of the manor who wasn’t exactly the most endearing of characters. Close your eyes and the imagination would run riot. Think Agatha Christie and you won’t go far wrong.

There is no Sherlock Holmes this time around although Pund does have his trusty sidekick!

I did find it rather interesting how the feel and pace of the book changed for the second half, set in the present. The narrative has a certain fluidity to it, easier to read and the characters allowed the pace of the book to intensify. Even though the second half felt very different to the first there’s still ample room for the author to throw in the odd curve ball and you end up finishing the book and thinking – why didn’t I see that?!!

Another good read from Anthony Horowitz. A quirky murder mystery that will definitely keep you guessing until the end. After all it’s all rather Elementary!

  • Hardcover:464 pages
  • Publisher:Orion (6 Oct. 2016)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1409158365
  • ISBN-13:978-1409158363
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Elementary My Dear Watson

Elementary My Dear Watson

I’ve finally found time to sit down and watch the first two episodes of CBS’s new series Elementary starring Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as his companion Watson. I have to admit after watching the premiere episode I was a little concerned and frankly distinctly underwhelmed.

To be fair, having experienced two seasons with Benedict Cumberbatch as a lead in BBC’s Sherlock Miller was always going to get a tough ride from critics who have seen both and could happily compare the two shows. Miller is a very accomplished actor (I loved him in Eli Stone) and although the writers have clearly opted not to follow the BBC’s portrayal of the genius detective I think they’ve missed a trick. The game’s afoot and I’m not sure even Sherlock can save the day this time around.

Gone is the quick and frenetic dialogue, Holmes is rather more sedate than his British counterpart, and although the deduction is eventually impressive the screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. The production isn’t as slick as I would have liked, CBS have opted for a gritty New York to help promote the series and I fear not even New York’s finest can save the day.

Watching Elementary I could have been watching any detective drama, it often reminded me of The Mentalist, Castle and various other detective shows – it had nothing standout for me. Sherlock enters a room, looks around and eventually comes up with a plan. There’s only so much a talented actor can bring, he’s only as good as the dialogue and direction he’s given and I’m afraid as I’ve already mentioned earlier they are lacking.

Sherlock Holmes is a recovering addict and his father has hired Lucy Liu to be his companion for six weeks ensuring our protagonist stays sober with round the clock companionship – not in the romance sense I hasten to add – and random drug tests. I did enjoy this angle and to be fair, despite the amount of negative publicity they received casting a woman as Watson, Liu plays her part with aplomb. I just hope they don’t go down the romantic angle but early indications show they won’t, not yet!

Watson as a character is accomplished and strong enough to handle Holmes, perhaps too accomplished. I wanted Holmes to be more eccentric, more opinionated and although he’s not afraid to judge and air his views there is something missing with the delivery.

CBS have given Elementary every chance to succeed airing the weekly episodes immediately following the highly successful Person of Interest so who knows what will happen. However although the numbers are up from last week for Person of Interest (7% increase) Elementary suffered a 16% drop in viewing figures with just over 11 million tuning in. Not a huge surprise to be honest considering the premiere wasn’t a hard hitting episode; it just fails to grab one’s attention.

The second episode however – certainly as far as I’m concerned – was stronger. The dialogue narrative improved and the interaction between Holmes and Watson more pronounced. We get a little more backstory to their lives and Watson is becoming more assured at crime scenes, despite the obvious reluctance to view dead bodies as Holmes takes great pleasure in reminding her. Personality that was lacking in the first episode was clearly evident in the second episode and a great improvement to the storyline and the working relationship between cohabitants.

Only time will tell if Elementary will succeed but I haven’t given up on it yet, I still hold out hope that as the series progresses the acting and writing improves to give us the deductions we crave and the red herrings we demand along the way to make watching interesting and worthwhile.

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Sherlock Holmes – A Scandal in Belgravia (Series 2, Episode 1 of 3)

So let me get this straight – oh where are my manners, happy new year everyone – according to Dr Watson, yes he of Sherlock Holmes fame (BBC One HD) all one has to do is begin a blog, write about crime, speckled blondes and such like, offer my services as a private detective and the hits will come? Simples! So here I am then, I’m now standing back as I watch a wave of adoring fans enter the blog, virtually of course – as I don my deerstalker hat for anonymity! Welcome one and all, you can of course contact me in the usual ways or if you prefer a one on one – I do charge of course – then I can be found along with my non deerstalking companion – Dr Watson – at 221B Baker Street. Series 2 is now available to pre order.

Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman has once again returned to our screens in the UK, once again showing what the BBC does best – drama. Following the plaudits from series one it was always going to be hard following up such a successful debut but Paul McGuigan (Director) and his team have triumphed, makes no bones about it this is a classy performance.

A case of blackmail threatens to topple the monarchy itself, but soon Sherlock and John discover there is even more to it than that. They find themselves battling international terrorism, rogue CIA agents, and a secret conspiracy involving the British government.

But this case will cast a longer shadow on their lives than they could ever imagine, as the great detective begins a long duel of wits with an antagonist as cold and ruthless and brilliant as himself: Irene Adler.

Production values are slick, if possible slicker than last year, the acting is sublime and Cumberbatch and Freeman light up the screen with witty banter, one liners and arguments. The on screen graphics are back and appear when Watson is typing away on his blog or Sherlock is sizing up all and sundry – that is until he comes across Irene Adler – played by the gorgeous Lara Pulver [Spooks, True Blood, Robin Hood) – where our magnificent hero fails to read her. He just can’t work her out, she’s an enigma and roles are reversed. Sherlock is on the back foot and Adler is very much the dominant character, given her profession as a dominatrix confidence is never going to be a problem, even when dealing with the illustrious Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock – If I want to look at naked women I’d borrow John’s laptop

If you happened to miss the first series then I urge you all to go out and grab the first series on DVD and Bluray. What a magnificent way to begin a new year – splendid job Holmes, elementary.

One wonders if Sherlock is simply infatuated with Irene Adler for her beauty or the fact that she has outsmarted the great detective, a curious thing indeed. Adler’s beauty lights up the screen with a natural and understated elegance – when she’s not naked that is – and is nearly as thrilling as John Watson’s Christmas Jumper. Ok who am I kidding, Watson’s jumper pales into insignificance as time and time again we are treated to Adler applying her blood red lipstick, and rather seductively I hasten to add.

Credits

Sherlock Holmes Benedict Cumberbatch
Dr John Watson Martin Freeman
Mrs Hudson Una Stubbs
DI Lestrade Rupert Graves
Mycroft Holmes Mark Gatiss
Jim Moriarty Andrew Scott
Molly Hooper Louise Brealey
Irene Adler Lara Pulver
Director Paul McGuigan
Producer Sue Vertue
Executive Producer Steven Moffat
Executive Producer Mark Gatiss
Writer Steven Moffat
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THE GAME’S AFOOT… It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks. Intrigued by the man’s tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston.

The House of Silk

The House of Silk

As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase ‘the House of Silk’: a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself… Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world’s greatest and most celebrated detective.

Many years ago, my father introduced me to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – not in the flesh mind, I’m not quite that old – and his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. As an impressionable teenager I lapped up the adventures of the pipe smoking, slipper wearing, Stradivarius playing detective and his loyal companion and biographer Dr John Watson. I couldn’t get enough. Who could ever forget The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles and my favourite A Study in Scarlet.

A few years down the track my father – yes, he introduced me to a lot of things as a kid! – sat me down one winter’s day and we watched a double bill of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce) and the comedic genius of Will Hay, it was a real father/son moment. I have never forgotten that day, the rain was lashing against the window, mum had prepared a lovely array of snacks and we sat there, together, watching Rathbone solve the unsolvable and Will Hay play the role of a cheerful police officer. From that moment on I wanted to be either a detective or a comedian – alas I’ve failed at both!!

The House of Silk arrived on my desk a few weeks ago and I can’t tell you how excited I was – I was like a kid waiting to get up on Christmas morning – and I struggled to contain my delight that The Conan Doyle estate had given their blessing to a new Sherlock Holmes novel. Anthony Horowitz, perhaps better known for Foyle’s War and his numerous kids books had put quill to paper and written in the style of the master.

By the time I’d finished the very first chapter I was hooked, immersed in an era where, opium was the drug of choice – for those who could afford it – skulduggery, murder rife and a detective seemingly up against the impossible and dare I say it insolvable. Staying true to Conan Doyle’s inimitable style, Horowitz has done a magnificent job with the narrative, especially bringing to life Watson’s role as the affable sidekick who suddenly finds himself the centre of attention. It’s incredibly moreish and a prime example of a book – and story – you do not wish to end but when I did, I reached the dénouement with a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.

In fact although I briefly touched on it earlier – watching films in winter – this is an ideal winter novel. Sitting by a log fire, logs cracking and breaking the silence as you gorge on the wonderful and enveloping prose, you simply can’t beat a veritable winter warmer like this. Throughout the novel I couldn’t help but imagine Rathbone and Bruce talking to me, Bruce the bumbling sidekick and Rathbone the confident and mysterious detective who always appears to have a trick up his sleeve. But that’s the great thing about books; they allow us all to imagine our favourite stars in the leading roles. Some may prefer Jeremy Brett to Basil Rathbone, it’s all subjective.

The story development is genius and flows unhindered, often surprising the reader with a plot twist here and there, no more so than the final pages where the twists and turns come thick and fast, especially when we discover the true identity of The House of Silk. To be frank it astonished me and I was completely taken aback with its thrilling revelation. I really hadn’t thought the book would go down that particular route and the reveal a complete surprise.

For me the highlight of any Sherlock Holmes novel is the way Conan Doyle – and now Horrowitz – gave voice to Sherlock’s deductive powers. I sat, in awe, as the detective gave his reasoning and calculations as he figured out the impossible. The House of Silk will not disappoint on any level.

Characterisation is faultless and Horowitz teases us with an appearance from Sherlock’s brother Mycroft, Lestrade comes across positively and not portrayed as the bumbling fool I expected him to be and of course there’s Mrs Hudson. Although she doesn’t play a big role in the book she’s there or thereabouts, ensuring that 221b Baker Street runs like clockwork, what more could you ask from the long serving housekeeper?

The House of Silk is a brilliant and engaging read with a sumptuous prose that gives and gives. It will tease and delight and is without doubt a fitting nod to arguably one of the great British writers of our time who gave us the most prolific of all detectives. Wonderful – 5 out of 5.

Published by Orion, The House of Silk is available in Hardcover & Kindle.

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Slick as you like, Sherlock’s third and final episode (of this series) called “The Great Game” was a triumph of detection and intrigue. Sherlock has 12 hours to solve a riddle or an innocent woman dies. But who is behind the bomb threats?

If you’ve missed any or all these magnificent episodes then you can catch up by ordering the DVD or Bluray discs out on the 30th August – pre order now

Sherlock Holmes is bored! Sitting in his flat at 221b Baker Street Sherlock and Watson have a heated discussion about Watson’s blog and his report of the taxi case. Watson dubbed the case “A study in Pink” and Sherlock took a dislike to how he was portrayed in the blog,

“Sherlock sees through everything and everyone in seconds, what’s incredible though is how spectacularly ignorant he is about some things”

Watson leaves the flat and we are introduced to Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs) a little earlier in this episode when she comments on Watson’s walk out

“You too had a little domestic?”! Two minutes later an explosion rocks Baker Street and a new case is born. The bomber sends Sherlock a pink iPhone and verbal contact is made through the woman strapped to a bomb in a car park.

Molly’s attempt to forget Sherlock fails dismally when her new “office romance” turns out to be gay who leaves his telephone number for Holmes in the vain hope of the great detective calling him.

It turns out that the case is related to a cold case from twenty years ago, a case Holmes tried to get the police involved but they weren’t interested. A champion swimmer named Karl Powers drowned in a school pool; everyone thought it was a tragic accident. Everyone bar Sherlock Holmes. DVD out on 30th August.

As with the previous episodes the production values are extremely high, quick camera changes, fast paced dialogue and the confident yes arrogant deduction skills from Holmes. The use of graphics throughout the series has been inspirational, the text messages appearing on the screen, countdown to death and the laboratory shots reminded me of CSI Miami – all very slick.

Not as humorous as “A study in pink” or “The blind banker” the final episode is devoid of one-liners and has a more serious tone to it. Of all three episodes the Blind Banker was my favourite, reminded me of Basil Rathbone’s portrayal of Holmes.

Puzzle after puzzle, life after life – Holmes must use his prowess and deductive skills to get to the truth. Watson attempts to solve a matter of national importance without Sherlock’s assistance.

Walking under the Vauxhall Arches in not the most desirable of neighbourhoods Watson requests an explanation to which Holmes replies

Homeless network, really is indispensable”, “my eyes and ears all over the city”. To which Watson responds “Clever; so you scratch their backs…” Sherlock interrupts him “..yes and then I disinfect myself”! Dark humour at its witty best.

All three episodes have been of the highest order, world class in fact but then again this is what you would expect from the BBC, elementary my dear Watson.

So who is the masked bomber? Turns out to be none other than …. an old adversary. Not going to spoil it for you, you’ll just have to watch it now won’t you!

Full Cast Listing for “The Great Game”

Benedict Cumberbatch … Sherlock Holmes

Martin Freeman…       Doctor John Watson

Rupert Graves …         DI Lestrade

Una Stubbs     …         Mrs Hudson

Loo Brealey    …         Molly Hooper (as Louise Brealey)

Zoe Telford     …         Sarah

Vinette Robinson…     Sgt Sally Donovan

Jeany Spark     …         Homeless Girl

Doug Allen     …         Joe

Haydn Gwynne…       Miss Wenceslas

John Sessions  …         Kenny Prince

David Ryall     …         Lord Huxley

Deborah Moore…        Crying Woman

Lynn Farleigh  …         Professor Cairns

Lauren Crace   …         Lucy

Rita Davies     …         Blind Lady

Andrew Scott … Jim

San Shella       …         Alan West

Caroline Trowbridge…Mrs Monkford

Di Botcher      …         Connie Prince

Matthew Needham… Bezza

Alison Lintott …         Julie

Kemal Sylvester…       Tube Guard

Stefano Braschi…        Raoul

John Lebar      …         Golem

Paul Albertson            …         Mr Ewart

Nicholas Gadd            …         Scared Man

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Sherlock at 221B Baker Street

Sunday sees the third (The Great Game) and final episode in the current Sherlock series, brought to you by the BBC. The Sherlock DVD which features all three episodes is out later this month.

Episode 3 Summary Here

Very little information regarding the final episode is currently available but I’ll be bringing you another episodic review following its transmission on Sunday night (BBC One and BBC HD) at 21:00. The one and only repeat planned this week is on the HD channel at 0035 in the early hours of Monday morning so don’t forget to set SKY+!

A strange clue in an empty room, a blood-soaked car, a priceless Old Master, a deranged bomber. With the clock ticking, the curtain rises on a battle of wits between Sherlock, John and the shadowy stranger who seems to know all the answers…

Will Sherlock prevail? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

Episode Reviews Available:-

A Study in Pink          Review

The Blind Banker        Review

Full Cast Listing for “The Great Game”

Benedict Cumberbatch … Sherlock Holmes

Martin Freeman…       Doctor John Watson

Rupert Graves …         DI Lestrade

Una Stubbs     …         Mrs Hudson

Loo Brealey    …         Molly Hooper (as Louise Brealey)

Zoe Telford     …         Sarah

Vinette Robinson…     Sgt Sally Donovan

Jeany Spark     …         Homeless Girl

Doug Allen     …         Joe

Haydn Gwynne…       Miss Wenceslas

John Sessions  …         Kenny Prince

David Ryall     …         Lord Huxley

Deborah Moore…        Crying Woman

Lynn Farleigh  …         Professor Cairns

Lauren Crace   …         Lucy

Rita Davies     …         Blind Lady

San Shella       …         Alan West

Caroline Trowbridge…Mrs Monkford

Di Botcher      …         Connie Prince

Matthew Needham… Bezza

Alison Lintott …         Julie

Kemal Sylvester…       Tube Guard

Stefano Braschi…        Raoul

John Lebar      …         Golem

Paul Albertson            …         Mr Ewart

Nicholas Gadd            …         Scared Man

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Sherlock DVD - Order Now

It’s all about the Orient! From the very beginning, you could tell “The Blind Banker” was going to be another slick episode of Sherlock Holmes from the Oriental tea making to Watson’s troubles with the self-shopping aisle hurling abuse at the machine when faced with an annoying automated voice. The Sherlock DVD is going to be unmissable.

Item not scanned, item not scanned, please scan item again”, Watson slightly embarrassed at his lack of shopping experience replies “can you please keep your voice down?” and to top it off when he finally manages to scan his last item of shopping  the machine has another go….

Card not authorised please use an alternative payment method, card not authorised please use an alternative payment method” to which he quips “alright I get it” and storms out without his shopping! All the while Sherlock is back at Baker Street fending off a masked swordsman hell bent on killing the detective!

Ratings for episode 2 follow this review.

Gemma Chan

If you missed tonight’s episode then catch it while you can on the BBC iPlayer in HD.

On his return to the flat he informs Sherlock he failed to get the shopping telling him he had a row with a chip and pin machine! Haven’t we all Watson, haven’t we all!

The real story begins when Sherlock and Watson visit a high end bank in the heart of London. One of their offices has been broken into overnight and the intruder has left a calling card of yellow graffiti. Nothing appears to have been stolen. Sherlock investigates in a way only he can. Following on from “A study in Pink” Benedict Cumberbatch gives a stellar performance with his amazingly quick dialogue. How this guy remembered his lines baffles me!!

On discovering a body he calls the police and meets a new detective inspector (Dimmock) who reminds Holmes he is in charge as Lestrade is busy. No Dymock, you clearly aren’t in charge as Sherlock tells him the suicide isn’t suicide but murder. When the pair interrupts Sebastian the banker, yes I did say banker and informs him of the murder, Sebastian doesn’t believe the murder angle and storms out. Watson quipping “I thought bankers were supposed to be heartless bastards”!! Classic

When a second murder occurs, this time the victim is a freelance journalist, Holmes believes it has all the hallmarks of the same killer who appears to walk between walls and is unperturbed by locked doors. On investigating the detective pair discovers more yellow grafity in a library meant for the journalist. The cases are linked.

The Black Lotus

Even though we are only half way in to this mini-series I am enjoying Martin Freeman’s portrayal of John Watson. He doesn’t appear intimidated by Holmes and his one liners are becoming legendary. On returning from being arrested for graffiti he quips “I have to go to magistrate’s court on Tuesday – they are giving me an ASBO”!!!

The investigation continues and leads the intrepid duo to Chinatown and Soo Lin Yao’s flat (we were introduced to the beautiful actress at the beginning of the episode working at the National Antiquities Museum making a cup of Typhoo!!) who appears to be missing. More graffiti is discovered at the aforementioned Museum.

I’ve had a number of emails asking where the Museum shots were filmed. I can reveal that the internal Museum shots were actually filmed at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. The theme music to Sherlock was composed by David Arnold with Michael Price.

“Sherlock” comes alive at night, the colours are wonderful and the atmosphere and music are magnificent, full of oriental mystery. Soo Lin Yao (Gemma Chan) is at the heart of the mystery and once again comes back to the tea pots and a group called The Black Lotus.

Watson has a date with a fellow doctor (Sarah played by Zoe Telford) and Sherlock Holmes suggests visiting a travelling Chinese circus only to show up at the event to fin Sherlock tagging along! Not happy the pair have a “heated” discussion on the stairs “Sherlock I’m in the middle of a date and you want me to chase a killer when I’m trying …. To get off with Sarah” just as Sarah appears from the bathroom! Classic! Sherlock leaves an embarrassed Watson to lead his date into the performance.

While Sherlock cracks the code, Watson and Sarah are kidnapped from 221b Baker Street and just when all hope is lost …. You’ll just have to watch won’t you! Pre Order the DVD Now

The third and final episode “The Great Game” of the trilogy can be seen next Sunday.

Ratings

The overnight ratings are now in and Sherlock did well again securing 25.6% audience share with a peak of 6.7 million viewers. The figures represent a slight fall from last Sunday’s 7 million and 28.5% share.  Big Brother continues to perform poorly with just 7% share and under 2 million viewers.

Cast “The Blind Banker”

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman)

Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs)

Sarah (Zoe Telford)

Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey)

Soo Lin Yao (Gemma Chan)

Andy Galbraith (All Weaver)

Seb Wilkes (Bertie Carvel)

Eddie Van Coon (Dan Percival)

DI Dimmock (Paul Chequer)

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Sherlock and Watson at the Museum

Following a highly successful opening with “A Study in Pink” Sherlock Holmes returns to the BBC this Sunday with the second of three episodes, this one called “The Blind Banker”.

FULL EPISODE REVIEW HERE

The second episode is written by Stephen Thompson and produced by Sue Vertue; Steven Moffat’s wife. Once again Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes with The Office star Martin Freeman. If you missed the first episode you can still catch it on the BBC iPlayer but hurry,  it won’t be there forever!

A mysterious cipher is being scrawled on the walls around London. The first person to see the cipher is dead within hours of reading it. Sherlock plunges into a world of codes and symbols, consulting with London’s best graffiti artists. He soon learns that the city is in the grip a gang of international smugglers, a secret society called the Black Lotus.

So what are we expecting this time around? More slick dialogue, great acting and a decent storyline? If the first episode is anything to go by then the answer to all of the above is a “hell yeah”! Sherlock has received wide acclaim and is fast becoming one of the biggest hits the BBC has had on its hands for quite some time.

As estimated 7.5 million viewers watched A study in pink which closely followed Conan Doyle’s A study in scarlet and to be frank I’m expecting an increase in viewers this time round now that word is out.

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A claim by tabloid newspaper “The Sun” has given the latest indication on the popularity of the new Sherlock series to hit UK scenes. BBC one’s (and HD) modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes pulled in a reported 7.5 million viewers on Sunday for the first episode “A Study in Pink”.

Sherlock DVD - Available Now

Sherlock represents a huge ratings improvement for a Sunday night and the BBC are unlikely to lose a winning formula with the viewers who are still keen, after his invention by Doyle, to soak up anything Sherlockian!

Taking the following quote with a pinch of salt, we are talking “The Sun” here

“To say the top brass are made up by the Holmes ratings is an understatement,” a source told The Sun.

They really want to do more so the question is not really if, but how and when can we do them.”

Robert Downey Jr begins shooting Sherlock Holmes “2” this October.

Episode 2, “The Blind Banker” airs this Sunday at the earlier time of 2030 (BBC One) and 2130 (BBC HD) witha HD repeat at 0100 Monday.

Credits

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)
Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman)
Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs)
Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey)
Sarah (Zoe Telford)
DI Dimmock (Paul Chequer)
Soo Lin Yao (Gemma Chan)
Director (Euros Lyn)
Producer (Sue Vertue)
Executive Producer (Steven Moffat)
Executive Producer (Mark Gatiss)
Writer (Stephen Thompson)
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Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

Sherlock Holmes is back on tv, slicker, quicker and better than ever – well he doesn’t match Basil Rathbone but Benedict Cumberbatch certainly held up the Holmes tradition in brilliance.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the series but what a brilliant 90 minutes of BBC drama. Slick, full of one liners and amazing delivery the cast fronted by Cumberbatch didn’t disappoint. The BBC have a hit on their hands and I can definitely see another series emanating from this tri factor.

As I mentioned yesterday, the first episode is loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A study in Scarlet” (if by the way you get chance to read the book, I would advise it, only one of four full length novels it is, like Holmes a masterpiece!

Watson has returned from Afghanistan and is looking for new digs. A friend of Holmes introduces the pair and the detective immediately figures out Watson’s past from a 30 second introduction – the rest as they say is history. The pair meet the following day at 221B Baker Street and we, the viewers, are introduced to “Housekeeper” Mrs Hudson played by Una Stubbs.

Tonight’s episode, A study in Pink, sees Holmes and Watson chasing a serial killer hell bent on playing a dangerous game of kamikaze suicide which has DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves) in a quandary, unsure of which direction the suicides are taking him.

Holmes has a problem with Anderson (the on-site forensic guy) – in fact I’d go as far to say that Anderson annoys the hell out of Holmes and as we see on more than one occasion the “amateur” detective has no time for the policeman! While raiding 221B Baker Street on a trumped up drugs raid Anderson talks to Holmes and the retort is simply wonderful

Anderson don’t talk out loud you lower the IQ of the whole street

The writing was clever but for me it was the delivery that won the day. Cumberbatch, well suited for this huge role played the part effortlessly it seemed. Quick one liners, in-depth analysis and a distain for most people he comes across led to a truly magnificent polished performance. I can’t wait for next week’s episode now!  The cabbie is played by Jeff Davis (Whitechapel).

Episode two (on at the earlier time of 2030 Sunday)is called “The Blind Banker” and involves a mysterious cipher that is being scrawled on the walls around London. The first person to see the cipher is dead within hours of reading it. Sherlock plunges into a world of codes and symbols, consulting with London’s best graffiti artists. He soon learns that the city is in the grip a gang of international smugglers, a secret society called the Black Lotus.

Cast and Crew “A Study in Pink”

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman)

DI Lestrade (Rupert Graves)

Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs)

Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey)

Sgt Sally Donovan (Vinette Robinson)

Ella (Tanya Moodie)

Helen (Siobohan Hewlett)

Sir Jeffrey Patterson (William Scott-Masson)

Margaret Patterson (Victoria Wicks)

Gary (Sean Young)

Jimmy (James Duncan)

Political Aides (Ruth Everett & Syrus Lowe)

Beth Davenport (Katy Maw)

Reporters (Ben Green, Pradeep Jey & Imogen Slaughter)

Anderson (Jonathan Aris)

Jeff the Cabbie (Phil Davis)

Director ………………….Paul McGuigan

Producer …………………Sue Vertue

Executive Producer ….Steven Moffat

Executive Producer ….Mark Gatiss

Writer …………………….Steven Moffat

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The waiting is nearly over, the long awaited Sherlock mini-series will  hit our screens tomorrow on BBC One and BBC HD at 21:00. (Repeated 0030 on Monday on BBC HD) – A study in Pink ReviewDid you like it ? Let me know

With the pilot scrapped and turned into a mini-series, fans of the illustrious detective are in for a treat on Sunday when Sherlock and Watson meet and strike up a partnership. Check out the trailer.

A war hero (Watson), invalided home from Afghanistan, meets a strange but charismatic genius who is looking for a flatmate; it is London, 2010, and Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes are meeting for the first time. A string of impossible suicides has Scotland Yard baffled – and only one man can help.

The first episode in the series is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, first published in 1887. Holmes and Watson meet when When Dr John Watson takes rooms in Baker Street with the amateur detective, he has no idea that he is about to enter a shadowy world of criminality and violence.

A Study in Scarlet‘ is a book in two halves. The first works out who the murderer is (and told by Watson in the first person), the second takes us to foreign shores and looks at how the case ended up where it did and the aftermath. Both halves have a different feel and it will be interesting to see how Moffat has managed to re-tell this story.

Did you know that Conan Doyle wrote the novel at the age of 27 in less than three weeks?

Cast and Crew for Sherlock 2010

Sherlock Holmes ……… Benedict Cumberbatch
Dr John Watson ………..Martin Freeman
DI Lestrade ………………Rupert Graves
Mrs Hudson ……………..Una Stubbs
Molly Hooper …………..Louise Brealey
Sgt Sally Donovan …….Vinette Robinson
Jeff …………………………Phil Davis
Director ………………….Paul McGuigan
Producer …………………Sue Vertue
Executive Producer ….Steven Moffat
Executive Producer ….Mark Gatiss
Writer …………………….Steven Moffat
The BBC have put together a holding page on the main website and can be found here.
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Originally commissioned as a pilot, a further three episodes were ordered in 2009. The series will debut on Sunday 25 July 2010, though the original pilot will not be shown (according to the Sun). Great news for HD fans, it will be shown simultaneously on BBC One and in HD at 9pm for 90 minutes.

Sherlock was filmed in and around Cardiff and on location in London. Although the events of the books are being transferred to the present day, existing elements are being incorporated into the new characters to “ground the forthcoming tales in reality, and appease ardent fans of the classic tales”; for example, Martin Freeman’s Watson will be returning from the war in Afghanistan.

Co-created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade.

The iconic details from Conan Doyle’s original books remain – they live at the same address of 221b Baker Street, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. Sherlock Holmes has received somewhat of a resurgence following Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal.

Steven Moffat says: “Conan Doyle’s stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they’re about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, to hell with the crinoline. Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that’s what matters.”

This three part series starts on 25 July. Fansite for the series here


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