‘How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?’
It was my father who introduced Sherlock Holmes to me when I was in grade school. Since then, The Great Cases of Sherlock Holmes has become one of my favorite books. I even became fond of Detective Conan, a Japanese Animé which is inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories. For a long time, I have been a fan of the genius maverick archetype he seemed to inspire. And being on the good side fighting evil, Sherlock Holmes is my childhood hero.
When I’ve heard about BBC’s Sherlock, a British television drama that presents a contemporary update of Conan Doyle’s fiction, I knew I was in for some cliffhanger thrills. As an overall verdict, Sherlock outweighs all the other TV and film adaptations, even other detective stories of the same assiduously exploited theme that I’ve seen. The stellar casting of the key roles of Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), Molly (Louise Brealey), Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves), Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), Mycroft (Mark Gatiss), and Moriarty (Andrew Scott) is also highly commendable.
Being the only consulting detective in the world for it is a job which he himself invented, Sherlock Holmes has mastered the Science of Deduction to turn every mystery into a palpable truth. Living with him in a quaint, French-wallpapered flat in 221 Baker Street, is his faithful cohort and chronicler, Dr. John Watson. Together, they pinpoint culprits and solve crimes, unmask cahoots and conspiracies, and wade through puddles of perplexing conundrum along the streets of London. Together, they have solved a string of high-profile cases that have garnered huge media attention.
As for the actor who played the title role, I cannot think of anyone else who can portray it better than Benedict Cumberbatch. Not only does he resemble the illustration in my book with his towering stature, self-assured gait and elegant, angular visage (albeit younger). He also embodies every facet of Sherlock Holmes’ character: an obsessed genius with an incomparable analytical skill; a keen observant with a pair of sharp and piercing eyes capable of identifying a programmer by his tie; an exceptionally experienced detective who roams around a crime scene or stare at a dead body for five or so minutes and could come up with a plausible explanation of what had transpired; a posh, sardonic sociopath with a penchant for danger; and a cool, calm, and collected connoisseur who finds harmony in chaos. Above all, he is a walking contradiction of knowing 143 different kinds of tobacco ashes yet oblivious that the earth revolves around the sun.
Yet beyond the aforementioned traits, Sherlock the series uncloaked an integral dimension of Sherlock Holmes’ persona: his raw vulnerability. No matter how good he is at feigning indifference, his grapple with his arch nemesis gradually exposed his well-concealed humanity. However, amidst his constant struggles, his unshakable refuge in his illustrious “mind palace” and chiseled cheekbones gave us that sheer confidence that he is a superhuman through and through. A superhuman that is usually clad in expensive suits, high-collar coats and fine knit scarves but can get away with a linen blanket just as sophisticated.
Even in the way he bemoans the world, Sherlock Holmes is depicted as the extraordinary, the fearless and the unbeatable, laughing at the face of death. In fact, he probably doubts that a counterpart of him exists in a parallel universe—not even someone who wears his loathed deerstalker hat in incognito.
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