Sherlock : A Study In Pink

The BBC series Sherlock is a crime/drama that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Create by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and based on the works of Sir Arthu Conan Doyle, Sherlock has so far seen just 6 episodes (each however 90 minutes long) with the first series of 3 being televised in 2010. The show stars  Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Using modern technology Holmes, assists the Metropolitan Police Service, primarily DI Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves), in solving various crimes. Holmes is assisted by his flatmate, Dr. John Watson, who has returned from military service in Afghanistan. Arch-nemesis Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) is a recurring feature. Pathologist Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) assists Holmes in her laboratory. Other recurring roles include Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson, Holmes and Watson’s landlady; Vinette Robinson as Sgt. Sally Donovan; and Mark Gatiss as Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes.

The first episode A Study In Pink is loosely based around the case A Study In Scarlett. As the episodes opens we see Dr. John Watson, an ex-army doctor injured in Afghanistan and still haunted by his time there. He walks with a limp and the help of a cane and is not having much progress with his therapist, even if she has noted that his injury seems psychosomatic in nature. A mutual friend introduces him to Sherlock Holmes, who is currently experimenting in a lab and either seemingly oblivious to the attentions of Pathologist Molly or he knows it & is purposely feigning ignorance to not encourage her. A series of strange suicides, by swallowing a deadly pill, interests the attention of Sherlock who texts all the journalists in the press conference held by Lestrade and himself stating that he knows more than any of them about the case. Lestrade calls him in to the latest death, a lady dressed in pink. Sherlock invites Watson to join him and showcases his stunning sense of observation & deduction at the crime scene. As he suddenly leaves Watson is approached by an assistance of Mycroft (Sherlock’s older brother although he doesn’t state who he is at the first meeting) to go and meet a rich man who offers Watson a large sum of money to “spy” on Sherlock. Watson refuses and leaves the meeting only to be contacted by Sherlock, who has found a missing suitcase of the recently deceased.

The two spy a suspicious cabbie and chase them all over the streets. In his rush of adrenaline Watson forgets his cane and runs, jumps & leaps along with Holmes. At the flat, the police are doing a “drug search” as an excuse to get in touch with him and see what he knows. Using the dead woman’s clue ‘Rachel’ (which she had scratched on the ground) they track her phone using her GPS password and find that she slipped the phone in the killer’s coat. The killer is a dying cabbie who holds his victims at gun point as they enter his taxi and makes them play a game of swallowing pills with him. Only he knows which is the safe pill and which is the deadly pill but each time he wins and the victim dies quickly. The cabbie contacts Sherlock via text and calls him outside and they drive off in his cab. They arrive at a school building, and the cabbie pulls out a gun and two bottles, each containing an identical pill. The cabbie says one of the pills is harmless, the other poison; he invites his victims to choose one, promising that he will swallow the other – and that he will simply shoot them if they refuse. Sherlock correctly deduces that the cabbie is dying from a brain aneurysm, but that is not the only reason he is killing people. The cabbie admits that a “fan” of Sherlock’s, contacted him and offered to “sponsor” his work, paying money for each person the cabbie killed, to be left to the cabbie’s children.

Sherlock realises that the cabbie is lying, and calls his bluff on the gun, which is actually a novelty cigarette lighter. He walks off, but the cabbie challenges him again to choose a pill and see if he can solve the puzzle. Meanwhile Watson tracks Sherlock & the cabbie using the GPS and arrives at the place but goes into the adjacent building.  Through a window in the adjacent building, John sees Sherlock about to take one of the pills, and shoots the cabbie. Sherlock questions the dying cabbie, first about whether he got the pill game right, and then about the identity of his “fan”, the cabbie’s sponsor. Finally, the cabbie reveals a name: “Moriarty”. Sherlock calls Scotland Yard who surround the premises and theorize on the identity of the shooter. Sherlock deduces Watson but doesn’t share that information as he see him waiting by the crowd. As the two new friends leave they run into Mycroft & Anthea and the two brothers bicker for a bit before Sherlock & Watson leave for dinner, a new partnership having being forged.

Brilliantly filmed, with great writing, directing & acting. This Sherlock blows the film versions of recent years out of the water.  Although I was wary of bringing Holmes to the current times, I was blown away by the performances. A must watch for detective freaks!

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