Netflix Sher-Locks Down Cumberbatch Sleuth’s Third Season

BBC, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson

Good news, Cumbercollective: you can see more of Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliant rendition of Sherlock Holmes now that Sherlock season 3 is coming to Netflix, with exclusive behind-the-scenes content, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Created by Mark Gatiss (co-creator of The League of Gentlemen) and Steven Moffat (co-writer of Steve Spielberg’s Tin-Tin), Sherlock depicts a modern Sherlock Holmes and his flatmate Dr. John Watson, who chronicles their adventures on his blog. The show is clever and keen, and Cumberbatch’s turn as Holmes is brilliant and articulate — the stern, awkward sleuth spits acerbic wit and punctual, punchy one-liners at friends and foes (“Bored!” “Boring!” “Dull!” “Idiot!”), moving transiliently between abuse and enlightenment. His dismissal of “morons” and their opinions as doggerel is endlessly entertaining. He’s a brilliant man who lives in his cerebellum, a mental hermit whose rare ventures outside prove confusing.

Cumberbatch’s modernized Sherlock isn’t alone, of course: Dr. Watson, played with perfect bewilderment by Martin Freeman, stays with Holmes every step of the way, acting as our consort to the detective’s unfathomable mind. Freeman currently plays a henpecked husband who finds himself in an ever-deepening hole in FX’s reimagining of the Coen Brothers’ classic film Fargo. Freeman does an admirable job playing an unlikable man. Ostensibly the show’s main character during the first episode, Freeman’s schlubby hubby gradually recedes into the secondary character realm as the show’s true lead, a young female detective (Allison Tolman, spectacularly and hugely sympathetic) trying to escape the confines of small town misogyny, comes to the forefront.

Freeman, best known for his role as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s grandiose, bloated Hobbit trilogy, is a fine actor who uses his face to convey unsaid emotions with subtle humor, a fastidious banality that acts as a perfect foil to Cumberbatch’s exacting articulation. With nicotine patches in place of his trademark pipe, Cumberbatch’s Holmes has one foot in modernity but a soul from the Victorian Era, and Freeman’s Watson helps to at once extrapolate and placate Holmes’ eccentricities.

Benedict Cumberbatch is set to appear opposite Judi Dench in a television adaptation of Richard IIIDench plays Queen Margaret and Cumberbatch plays the hunchbacked monarch. The British thespian is also tipped to star in a World War I film based on RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End, according to The Independent (UK). “Other British actors rumored for a part include Tom Hiddleston, remembered for his role as the doomed Captain James Nicholls in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and Eddie Redmayne, who took the lead as officer Stephen Wraysford in the BBC adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong.”

Cumberbatch almost single-handedly made J.J. Abrams’ brawns-over-brains Star Trek Into Darkness watchable. His insidious super soldier, who is absolutely definitely in no way related to Khan, threatens Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk with articulate menace and sharp-eyed glares, and basically makes the film’s hole-riddled plot forgivable. He raises the IQ of every scene he’s in. Star Trek Into Darkness spurred a lot of controversy last year when it premiered to rave reviews, only to gradually succumb to a build-up of hate as people had time to presumably think about the utter stupidity of it all. Now, a year later, critics still don’t know what to make of the film, except that it’s stupid and Benedict Cumberbatch is great.

Cumberbatch and Freeman are currently getting ready for Sherlock season 4. Season 3 hits Netflix this week.

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