Masterpiece: Sherlock: A Study in Pink (PBS)
The titular Sherlock is, of course, that Holmes fellow, the world’s greatest detective, a literary icon created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle more than a century ago. Here he has been brashly updated for the age of CSI and Twitter by writer-producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and their heresy is exhilarating. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, trading the deer-stalker wardrobe for basic boho black, is haughty, impatient, mercurial, obsessive, almost invariably right and yet somehow still charming. Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman), meanwhile, is practically reinvented. No mere scribbling sidekick, he’s an Afghan war veteran, fluent in forensics, all too familiar with violence, and a crack shot. A Study in Pink establishes their partnership, situates them at the classic 221B Baker Street address and puts them on the trail of a killer who somehow provokes his victims to suicide. Holmes’ “elementary deductions” play out on Cumberbatch’s gaunt, expressive face as well as in computer-generated “thoughts” on screen. For bringing the beloved Victorian sleuth into the high-tech present while remaining faithful to his creator’s original conception, Sherlock: A Study in Pink receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producers: Beryl Vertue, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Bethan Jones, Rebecca Eaton. Producer: Sue Vertue. Director: Paul McGuigan. Writer: Steven Moffat. Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves. Director of photography: Steve Lawes. Production designer: Arwel Wyn Jones. Editor: Charlie Phillips.