Let me begin with a confession: I was not entirely "okay" with the idea of a modern version of one of the most beloved literary characters of all time...until I saw the first episode of Series 3 on whro several weeks ago.
Of course, like any rational Sherlockian I immediately purchased Series/Season 1 and waited anxiously for its arrival.
There have been by far too many plot summaries, and delightful as they are, they do get tedious and repetitive after a time so instead i'll do a 'Character Portrayal' thing. Starting with The Master—
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH AS SHERLOCK HOLMES: I was quite impressed. He is a brilliant actor; quite handsome in that interesting, original way that—I feel—is nessecary to pull off Sherlock, and he does—pull it off. Brilliantly! His Sherlock is wonderful, a self described "High-Functioning Sociopath" with a rapier-sharp mind and an even faster tongue; the man delivers the famous Sherlock monologues in a rapid, lyrical staccato—VERY fast! He also is quite in touch with the quirks and vices of Sherlock: randomly firing his pistol at the wall because he's bored, plucking despondently at the strings of his violin whenever the mood strikes him, abusing drugs, silently staring blankly into space while he thinks, dashing off in the middle of a sentence with no explanation, not eating for days on end, not sleeping—all of Sherlock's classic habits. I highly commend both Benedict and the writers for bringing Sherlock Holmes to life again in the modern world. Bravo!
MARTIN FREEMAN AS DR. JOHN WATSON: An intriguing interpretation. Watson is a war veteran who misses the danger of combat and the thrill of the chase. He is the only man who could possibly be Sherlock's flatmate—simply because no one else could tolerate him. But Watson thrills in the excitement, even if Sherlock sometimes drives him to his breaking point. When they meet, Watson is recovering from an injury—there are a few fun nods to the original stories where Watson never can seem to decide where his wound actually was!—and looking for a flatmate. Martin Freeman is an excellent Watson; his acting is top-notch and his portrayal wonderful. His Watson is both amazed by Sherlock's extraordinary mental powers and at the same time bewildered by Sherlock's lack of common knowledge and social skills. He can't help being frustrated with Sherlock at times, for all the obvious reasons, but Martin Freeman treads the fine line between nagging and extreme tolerance with grace. Wonderful.
MRS. HUDSON: Mrs. Hudson has perhaps undergone the greatest change from the original stories, usually a rarely seen character with seemingly no past, future, or family; this Mrs. Hudson is introduced as a woman whose past relationship with Sherlock is that of a former client. He ensured her husband was executed, and so owes him a favor. This Mrs. Hudson is rather spacy, is always popping in and out with a tea tray and despairing at the mess 'her boys' have made. She is less of a landlady and housekeeper and more of a mother-figure for Sherlock and Watson.
DETECTIVE INSPECTOR LESTRADE: Classic Lestrade. Basically competent; resents the fact that he needs Sherlock's help, while at the same time admiring him—though he'd die before admitting it. It's interesting to see the relationship between Sherlock and Lestrade; they bicker like two pageant girls most of the time, but it is evident there's something akin to grudging mutual respect between them.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Excellent job. Mycroft is the very mysterious elder—and smarter—brother of Sherlock. He practically is the British government, and seems to have a hand in every secret agency you've ever heard of, and no doubt some you haven't. He's a delightfully odd, never-leaves-the-office-but-happy-to-do-the-brainwork type and the sibling rivalry between him and Sherlock is hysterical; they're always trying to outdo one another, while at the same time pretending the other doesn't exist. It's quite funny. The repeated jokes about Mycroft's weight are an amusing throwback to the original stories where Mycroft is quite rotund.
MORIARTY: He scares me. He really does. Others have said he yells and carries on too much...but I find him terrifying. It's bone-chilling, and his picture should be in the dictionary under: criminally insane, demented, manipulative, psychopath with serious problems that absolutely no psychiatrist in the world could solve. An absolutely wonderful portrayal of Moriarty for which the actor deserves great applause(though it won't be coming from me, because I'd be too scared to be in the same room with him, even though i'm sure he's a lovely person in real life).
All in all a wonderful show that masterfully transports the greatest detective of all time to our time. I am a fan.