Written by Prof. Jenn
I have to give these ladies major props for doing something I would have LOVED to do myself but haven’t. So no matter what else I think about this series so far, major kudos is in order. Good on you guys for adding your bit to the huge Sherlockian canon that’s currently out there.
Baker Street is a brand spanking new Sherlock Holmes series that takes place in contemporary times, like popular TV shows Sherlock and Elementary. Like Elementary, they’ve got a female Watson (Jane, she’s called here). Unlike either of them, their Sherlock Holmes is also female. We meet the two college students through Jane’s vlog, also through which we learn that she is back from study abroad and is a med student. This situation, as well as many little snippets of dialogue and events, are clever nods to the original Doyle canon. Some lines are direct quotes from Doyle (“I feel quite strongly that roommates ought to know the worst of each other”), others are just delightful echoes (Jane’s document detailing Sherlock’s faults, which she reads online). We are introduced to these versions of Watson and Holmes as they are being introduced to each other, a-la A Study in Scarlet, and follow them through two more episodes as Sherlock changes from a life of crime to crime-fighting, and Jane begins to intern for a professor with a sinister name. We also meet such secondary Sherlockian characters as Constable Hopkins and Mary Morstan (in this series, she’s a plucky Sarah Jane Smith-esque investigative reporter), and there’s a play with the names of the professor and his wife at the end of Episode 3 which I won’t spoil for you. See if you catch it.
The series, though quite short and new, is exciting for several reasons: first, it’s obviously amateurs (read: nerds) doing this for the love of the work and, second, the plethora of female characters is refreshing to see. The acting and the writing are pretty uneven, however – quite uneven in fact, though Hannah Drew (Jane Watson) is actually pretty solid with her true listeing skills and Karen Slater (Sherlock Holmes) does tackle the rapid-fire Sherlockian lines pretty well. (Did I get the actors’ names right? It was very difficult to find a plain old cast list online, ladies…)
They need to improve their sound system, however – I constantly had to adjust my volume back and forth, sometimes within one scene. The Professor’s acting was difficult to watch, and some of the writing veers toward affectation in its attempt to echo Doyle.
Unevenness and some clunkiness aside, I can’t not recommend this series – again, it bursts with nerdy joy and Doyle canon references, and I have no doubt that this young Canadian crew will do nothing but improve as they go along. So, here’s what we do, Sherlockians: go watch the first three eps in their series, give ’em view counts and “likes” aplenty so they can go on, iron out the wrinkles, and we can see what happens next with the Professor’s wife!
Watch the first ep below:
You can read more from Prof. Jenn on her website here.