It doesn’t take a detective to deduce that Sherlock Holmes is one of the most beloved literary characters around.
He’s been the subject of tons of books, movies and TV shows, and has been portrayed by some of the finest actors around, from Michael Caine to Basil Rathbone to Robert Downey Jr.
But the BBC’s “Sherlock,” airing Sundays on “Masterpiece Mystery!” on PBS, might make you forget about those iterations.
amNewYork offers five reasons why “Sherlock” is a must-watch.
1. Creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss
Both Moffat and Gatiss previously worked on the popular “Doctor Who” revival and bring that refreshing style to the legendary detective.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
The BBC regular — who American fans might know from film roles in “Atonement” and “The Other Boleyn Girl” — brings a level of intelligence and wit to Holmes. Cumberbatch, who might have the most British name in history, masterfully acts his way through the detective’s incredible deduction skills like a British Gregory House (and yes, we know Hugh Laurie is a Brit).
3. Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson
The comic actor, who is best known for playing Tim Canterbury — the Jim Halpert role — in the British “The Office” and Arthur Dent in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” is a superb sidekick, witty and grounded, bringing humanity to the show.
4. It’s contemporary
Forget the Victorian era Sherlock you’re used to. This is an ultramodern, kinetic production set in the present with all the gadgets you’d expect. This might be the first texting Sherlock Holmes.
5. New mysteries
How many times do you need to see “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before you know exactly what’s going to happen? The three 90-minute mysteries are all brand new, while keeping a hand in the past for serious Holmes fans with many of the familiar characters, including the detective’s brother Mycroft (played by Gatiss) and Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves). And yes, Moriarty is lurking as well.
On TV: “Sherlock” debuts on “Masterpiece Mystery!” Sunday on WNET/13 at 9 p.m.