Why trust us? We take expert advice, test, research and select products independently. If you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission read more.

Sherlock (2010) TV Series Review & Summary

Eccentric British detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion, Dr. John Watson solve unsolvable crimes and mysteries in this modernised adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels.

Sherlock (2010)

Sherlock (2010)

A new sleuth for the 21st century.

  • Genres: Crime, drama & mystery
  • Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman & Una Stubbs
  • Director: Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat


Sherlock is easily the best detective/crime show that has graced us. The format of 3 mini movies allows for engaging storytelling with all the lead characters getting enough time to shine while also focusing on popular mysteries from the novels. The mini-series is truly a masterpiece of not only writing, acting and directing; but is arguably the best interpretation of the novels.


  • Engaging storytelling
  • Visually pleasing shots
  • Stellar acting and perfect screenwriting


  • Some slow-ish episodes
Characters & acting
Music & cinematography

The details


The 4 seasons show is something that we have never seen before in the world of television. It is like every other crime show in the sense that our main characters solve new mysteries and try to out-smart their nemesis; but no one is like Sherlock Holmes. The writing is on a whole other level; with the deepest and most complex methods of analysing something as simple as how John Watson got his old phone.

As complex as it may seem; it is still very understandable to the viewer who are pretty dumbfounded after Sherlock delivers his countless monologues; but his wit and slow emotional growth with his best friend is what keeps us coming back for more.


Adapting the novels; we see Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) form a formidable alliance with war veteran John Watson (Martin Freeman) as they solve complex mysteries and out-smart criminals. The show’s pilot episode slowly introduces us to the world of Sherlock in 21st century London. This is a fresh look given how many other films have taken place in the original timeline of 17th century London.

As the season’s progress we are introduced with fan favourite characters such as Moriarty, Irene Adler and Mary Watson. Season 2 in my opinion stands out as one of the best seasons of any television show with ‘A scandal in Belgravia’ and ‘The Reichenbach fall’ standing out in particular.

Each season is different and although the format of solving cases stays as a constant; it never feels boring or repetitive since it always has an overlapping story arc keeping us interested in the grand scheme of things.


Creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat are also the two main writers of this show; and boy have they hit it out of the park with this one. It cannot be easy to write dialogue for the world’s smartest detective; but each scene with Mr. Holmes feels so smooth and natural; that you cannot give them enough credit. Another interesting technique is the added use of humour from time to time that adds to Sherlock’s and Watson’s relationship.

Given that Sherlock indeed is a very smart man; it makes sense that he can outwit every other man in the room as well. His interactions with one of the characters in particular; Doctor Anderson, always leaves us with a smile on our face. Lines such as ‘Don’t talk out loud you lower the IQ of the whole street’ and ‘I wonder what it’s like in your funny little brains’ simply makes us laugh out loud.

Pretty rare but beautiful are the moments when the writers have tried to show some humanity in Sherlock. Specifically his interactions with John while he’s about to hop on a plane in season 3 and his conversation with Molly Hooper at the Christmas party are pretty hard-hitting.

Characters and acting

As good as the entire ensemble is; no man or woman has been able to out perform Benedict Cumberbatch in this one. In what is arguably the greatest portrayal of the detective; Cumberbatch delivers his lines with such ease and nuance that he has us hooked from his first appearance in season 1. It cannot be easy to memorise all the 5 pages of never ending monologues; but to do so while delivering a believable and incredibly powerful performance seems something not many great actors can do.

Martin Freeman is great as Sherlock’s companion; John Watson. His character keeps Sherlock in check and honestly the acting chemistry between the two leads is simply perfect. Also notable, is the brilliant performance by Andrew Scott who plays Sherlock’s biggest nemesis in the show; James Moriarty. This is easily one of the best villainous performances in a TV show; each and every scene including himself and Sherlock being nothing short of perfection.

Rupert Graves, Mark Gatiss (yes he’s acted in this too) and Amanda Abbington also provide great performances throughout the duration of the 4 season show.

Music and cinematography

The classic Sherlock theme which has been remixed and slightly modernised is something we cannot get enough of.

The cinematography of this show is easily miles ahead of anything we have seen in a TV show. The slo-mo shots in particular in instances throughout the show with the amazing back and forth cut scenes are beautiful and stunning. Scenes in particular such as Sherlock’s best man speech in Season 3’s ‘A sign of 30 and the infamous mind palace sequence in another season 3 clip is truly magnificent.

The mixture of the perfect music to match the tone and setting of the environment with the beautiful filming which Mark Gatiss and Steve Moffat have been able to succeed in; makes this a masterpiece of television.

Final verdict

Sherlock is everything you can want from a TV show. It has engaging characters that experience great development in the 4 seasons, stellar dialogue and acting by the talented cast and directing second to none in the TV show format. This is 1 show that can be recommended to people of all ages; so make sure to catch this glorious series on Netflix.

Become a member

Sign up for our newsletter to get exlusive new content and giveaways.

By continuing, you accept the privacy policy.
No spam. Unsubscribe any time!