23 August 2013 | blanche-2
An atmospheric series usually employs a lot of dry ice, and this one is no exception, taking place in a Gothic style London.
Arthur Conan Doyle got his inspiration for Sherlock Holmes from a doctor for whom he clerked, Dr. Bell. This series is about mysteries which Dr. Bell solved. So in a way, it's Holmes and Watson by way of Bell and Doyle.
The mysteries are good, drawing on the supernatural and even the horror genre for plots. The problem is that using the name "Sherlock Holmes" is like a bait and switch. Dr. Bell has none of Holmes' quirks - in fact, he's not in it enough for us to see much of anything. The focus is on the less interesting Watson. The series explores his current life as well as his past.
Robert Louis Stevenson read "A Study and Scarlet" and wrote to Doyle saying, "Can this be my old friend Joe Bell?" referring to Sherlock. I'm not sure, if you took Sherlock's name out of the title, if it would be all that readily apparent that Bell is the inspiration for Holmes.
I would have switched the focus and done more with the medical side of Dr. Bell. But I didn't produce it. I don't know where the series aired originally, but it strikes me it was on Masterpiece Theatre -- I would say it's a typical Masterpiece Theatre mystery series, though not exceptional.