Sherlock: Series One

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson

John Watson, army doctor, invalided home from Afghanistan, alone and friendless. Sherlock Holmes, the most brilliant intellect of his generation, alone and friendless. London 2010 – the best and longest friendship in all of fiction is about to begin anew. The most famous detective, the most baffling mysteries, the most thrilling adventures and the deadliest foes, are coming in out of the fog. Sherlock Holmes was always a modern man – it was the world that got old. Now he’s back as he should be – edgy, contemporary, difficult, dangerous. Inspector Lestrade is the best Scotland Yard has got, but he knows he’s not as good as a strange young man called Sherlock.


Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson

Produced by

Sue Vertue

Executive producer(s)

Beryl Vertue, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Bethan Jones for BBC

Written by

Episode 1 by Steven Moffat, episode 2 by Steve Thompson, episode 3 by Mark Gatiss

Directed by

Episodes 1&3 by Paul McGuigan, episode 2 by Euros Lyn



First transmitted

25th July 2010


S1 3x 90'

Press comments

“A clever, edgy thriller that breathes new life into the legend, and not to be missed… Some viewers will recoil from the very idea of BBC1 updating Conan Doyle’s characters to modern London… But the good news, it works. What could have been the defiling of a sacred text comes off superbly. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a disturbing, edgy Holmes [and] it’s the understated Martin Freeman as Dr Watson who is the glue that holds the story together… providing a quietly brilliant foil as they tackle a series of linked suicides. There are sharp lines… well-worked thriller twists and a neat device of having words… appear on screen… But it’s the central partnership that’s key, and that looks as though it could run and run.” Radio Times, 24th July 2010

“***** [five stars] Pick of the Day… This new three-parter turns [Sherlock] into an ultra-modern detective in the murder-mystery series of your dreams… The stars are perfect, the script is brilliant, it’s stylish and even the theme tune is a triumph.” Heat, 24th July 2010

” ***** [five stars] Pick of the Day. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the razor-sharp but socially awkward consultant detective Holmes, while Martin Freeman is Watson, and both are entirely convincing in the first of three pacy crime capers. Outstanding.” TV Times, 24th July 2010

“Benedict Cumberbatch [is] on blistering form… Written by Doctor Who‘s Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, this modern take on the Holmes legend is witty and very smart indeed.” Total TV Guide, 24th July 2010

“[Holmes’] deductions are satisfyingly Holmesian… London is atmospherically shot or cannily recreated. Watson’s arrival, too, is neatly handled, while the introduction of other old favourites is carried off with an outrageous flourish of misdirection worthy of, well, Sherlock Holmes.” Time Out, 22nd July 2010

“Dark and brilliantly acted.” Closer, 24th July 2010

“A cross between Withnail and I and The Bourne Ultimatum.” The Observer, 18th July 2010

“A lot of fun.” The Independent, 21st July 2010


Sherlock Series One Awards