This article was written for CultBox.co.uk. You can read the rest of it here.
Saturday, 14 January 2017
“Eh?” I hear you ask.
But I haven’t gone mad, I’m not on a trip right now, and last time I checked my walls were still vertical.
I’m deadly serious: there’s a legitimate case (ho ho) that we should talk about Sherlock as fantasy rather than as outright procedural or crime drama. Not of the swords-and-sorcery type - no Dementors or White Walkers in sight here - but nonetheless it contains key ingredients of the fantastical, which elevates it above more pedestrian crime thrillers.
One of the successes of Sherlock from the beginning has been that it clearly takes place in a much more heightened reality than our own. This has become more obvious as the show has developed: not only are we following the adventures of a super-powered consulting detective and his army-doctor-from-Afghanistan sidekick, but said army doctor was married to one of the most formidable assassins in the world, the consulting detective’s brother more or less runs the British government, and as of last week’s episode The Lying Detective, Sherlock’s secret sister seems, like his arch-enemy Moriarty, to be some kind of powerful supervillain. Let’s just say this isn’t a show about ordinary people solving or committing ordinary crimes - and the real world this is not.