The BBC series, “Sherlock,” premiered in 2010 and has since gained legions of followers.
If you are one of the many, like myself, who have been “Sherlocked,” then you were unhappy with the news that season four will not even begin filming until the winter of 2015.
Having to wait two years for new episodes practically qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment! Other than watching reruns of previous seasons, what are Sherlockians to do?
Here ae a few suggestions to get you started.
Try some classic Sherlock Holmes. Start with “The Sherlock Holmes Collection” by A&E Television.
This collection presents the five surviving episodes of the classic BBC show that aired in the 1960’s with Sherlock played by Peter Cushing.
Or, watch “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock mysteries. This movie adaptation was created in 1983 and stars Ian Richardson as Holmes.
For a more contemporary take, there is the movie “Sherlock Holmes” and its follow-up “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” both directed by Guy Ritchie and released in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Holmes is played by Robert Downey, Jr. and Watson is played by Jude Law. These films diverge quite a bit from the classic Sherlock Holmes portrayal, in that Holmes and Watson are more like big blockbuster action heroes than intellectuals.
However, Holmes is still arrogant, impulsive, intelligent, and of course, amazing at deductive reasoning.
Another option is “Elementary,” a CBS TV series that debuted in 2012, with the third season slated to premier in October.
Originally, producers garnered a lot of flak as they seemed to be riding on the coattails of “Sherlock’s” success, but this show can definitely stand on its own. Like “Sherlock,” it is set in the modern day, but, the setting is New York instead of London. And, while Holmes (Jonny Miller) still has a sidekick, she is now a woman, Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu).
Besides watching other adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, anything based on Agatha Christie’s mysteries is a good choice.
One of the great classics is “Murder on the Orient Express.” This 1974 film is star-studded with such actors as Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, and Vanessa Redgrave. In the movie, the Orient Express, a luxurious passenger train, is stopped by deep snow, and passengers discover that a murder has been committed. Luckily, or not so luckily for the murderer, famous detective, Hercule Poirot, happens to be on board.
He must identify the murderer before he or she decides to strike again or is able to escape from the train.
Another option is “And Then There Were None.”
In this 1945 movie, based on Christie’s book by the same name, 10 people are invited to an island for the weekend by the mysterious Mr. U. N. Own. Left on the island by boat, and then stranded, the 10 begin being murdered one by one. Will they discover the murderer before all ten are dead?
For something a little different, “Doctor Who” is a good alternative. For those of you unfamiliar with “Doctor Who,” it is a long-running British science fiction TV series (recently celebrating 50 years).
The Doctor, who is a Time Lord, explores the universe in his TARDIS, a time-traveling space ship that resembles a blue British police box.
Along with various companions, the Doctor travels throughout time to save civilization and right various wrongs.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, co-creators and writers for “Sherlock,” are also writers for “Doctor Who” (Steven Moffat is also the executive producer for “Doctor Who”).
If you just want to see more of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the library has several of their movies.
To see the two of them together again, watch “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” See Martin as Bilbo Baggins, and hear Cumberbatch’s marvelous voice as Smaug, the fire-breathing dragon.
While none of these movies can take the place of “Sherlock,” hopefully they will help to tide us over for awhile.
All of the above titles can be found at the Manhattan Public Library.. And, while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the original Sherlock Holmes adventures by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.