Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson / image from the BBC
What? No way. Is he really going to shoot the – ? It’s ended?! We can’t have been the only ones squeaking this at 10.30pm last night, as Sherlock came to an end. Aside from the brilliance of the storytelling and performances, direction and dialogue, we’re struggling to think of a recent TV series that featured London so prominently, almost as a supporting character. Yes, we can nitpick – you’d be pushed to walk from Baker Street to Soho in five minutes (though you probably could from North Gower Street, which stands in for the famous residence); Sherlock talks to the homeless girl on the north side of the Thames then the cab goes south-north over Waterloo Bridge before ending up back at the Oxo Tower; if they’re so broke why do they get cabs everywhere?; quite a lot was filmed in Wales – but that’s not the point. Sherlock adds a new dimension to London. It’s not just shops and cars, it’s a place where complicated people walk the streets and dark things happen. This is not tourist London. This is our London.
185 North Gower Street, standing in for 221B Baker Street. How much custom is Speedy’s cafe going to get now?
Believe it or not, a new series has not yet been commissioned. The BBC are meeting Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss on Wednesday and we say: give them whatever they want. We need more Sherlock. At a time when the BBC is under pressure from the new government, we reckon Sherlock is worth the licence fee by itself. What other broadcaster would permit a major new drama to be fronted by an ‘unknown’ and allow the main character to be largely unsympathetic? Or allow it to be so dark, yet schedule it for Sunday night? This is what the BBC does best, and we should stand up and celebrate it.
What did you think about the modern updating of the classic Victorian detective? And did you spot any other locations sneaking into the storyline?