BBC’s Sherlock – series one, episode one, “A Study in Pink” – portrayed many aspects about the characters upon the second and third viewing. Continuing to watch the remaining episodes after the first viewing, though, required boredom, lack of funds, time off, and a family Netflix account. Since all four aspects applied to me, I viewed all four series, and my better knowledge about the characters made “A Study in Pink” much more interesting and insightful.
Doctor John Watson – The Man with Nerves of Steel
Writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss immediately won the viewers over to Doctor John Watson when they showed the character suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Actor Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Dr. Watson’s pain and silent suffering instantly drew me in, having me beg for more about this distressed character.
Dr. Watson proved his courage and love for trouble with every passing character he met. His first meeting with Sherlock Holmes revealed his psychosomatic limp. Well, more accurately, Sherlock inferred to it, only to later reveal it to Dr. Watson. Throughout the episode, meeting each of Sherlock’s enemies and acquaintances, Dr. Watson proved steady during stress and unhinged during downtime. Sherlock was dead-on on analyzing his friend as a man with nerves of steel.
Inspector Lestrade – The Desperate Man
When viewers first saw Inspector Lestrade, he appeared stressed, worried, and unhappy. His oblivion about the murderer made him appear weak and incompetent before the reporters, and Sherlock only made him look worse. Later scenes would reveal Inspector Lestrade’s dependence on Sherlock to help him do his job.
On the other hand, Inspector Lestrade was an honest man. When Dr. Watson asked why he included Sherlock on his cases, he replied, “Because I’m desperate, that’s why!” After this admittance, he turned back to Dr. Watson from the flat’s doorway and said something that every viewer wants to believe: Sherlock is a great man, and someday he might be a good one. In so saying, Inspector Lestrade portrayed himself as optimistic and hopeful, a great side character to Sherlock and Dr. Watson.
Sergeant Donovan – Miss Negativity in Action
Sergeant Donovan could hardly make my skin crawl any more with her disgusting and unpardonable hatred and slanderous comments about the great, crime-solving genius, Sherlock Holmes.
The female law enforcement lead is the exact opposite of Inspector Lestrade. Whereas Lestrade portrays hope and admiration for Sherlock, Sergeant Donovan calls Sherlock names, warns off people from becoming his friend, and portrays a nasty attitude in general. I think at least some viewers would agree with me on the show’s ability to easily do without Sergeant Donovan.
Sherlock Holmes – The Psychopath with Crime-Solving Antics
“A Study in Pink” along with later episodes in later series revealed several references to Sherlock being a psychopath, something of little consequence to me. His delight in serial killers is little more than excitement in solving a difficult puzzle. Only, since Sherlock qualifies as a genius, finding a difficult puzzle for him requires more than the average jigsaw puzzle.
What can I say about the character on whom Dr. Watson centers on? Actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock well in his fast speech and enthusiasm about solving difficult criminal cases. The writers also did well in giving Cumberbatch well-scripted insults, running scenes, and socially awkward scenes. Sherlock viewers either love or hate him. I love him, along with Dr. Watson.
Mycroft Holmes – The Most Dangerous Enemy
Dr. Watson showed great restraint in refraining from telling Sherlock to grow up when he learned Mycroft was Sherlock’s older brother instead of the most dangerous man Dr. Watson had ever met. However, Mycroft had brought Dr. Watson in for questioning. And though he failed to frighten Dr. Watson, he did show a flare for the dramatic, an obvious clue to his being related to Sherlock.
Mycroft will show up again and again in later episodes and series. The two brothers love each other, and their enemy status is nothing more than remaining childhood rivalry. Anyone who has watched all four series along with me will know his vital role in future episodes, saving Sherlock in more ways than one.
Molly and Moriarty – More Details to Come
Molly first appeared in her white lab coat. Mourning the loss of a kind colleague, she had an odd mix of horror and admiration for Sherlock when he took a riding crop and started whipping the dead man’s body. (This scene came from the actual story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock was experimenting on how bodies bruised.) She thus proceeded to apply some lipstick and ask Sherlock if he would like some coffee, of which he completely missed her meaning and continued on with his experiments.
Moriarty is merely mentioned at the very ending of “A Study in Pink.” A name means nothing. However, the name will eventually strike fear and anger in Sherlock’s heart whenever it arises. And it will arise frequently.
Who is your favorite character in the series? Do you take Sherlock’s side, or Sergeant Donovan’s side? Please comment below!