Believe in PBS’s ‘Sherlock’

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock.” Season 2 includes three 90-minute episodes, airing Sundays at 9 p.m. on PBS through May 20.

As you slipped through the subway turnstile this morning, perhaps you noticed a handmade sticker proclaiming, “I believe in Sherlock.” Or graffiti, on your way into work, claiming, “Moriarty was real.” In one of the most creative acts of devotion — or is that obsession? — fans of “Sherlock,” the BBC import that finds Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective solving “unsolvable” crimes in modern London, sparked a guerilla marketing campaign in support of their hero. And that was a reaction to new episodes premiering in the U.K., months before they even hit PBS in the States.

“People really went f—ing berserk for [‘Sherlock’] here, which is just fantastic,” says star Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays a sharply tailored, gadget-inclined incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. We’re sitting backstage at the 400-seat Florence Gould Hall Theater in Midtown, which will soon host the “Sherlock” superfans — some of whom flew thousands of miles and have been lined up for 10 hours to attend the night’s screening and Q&A session. The evening, says the awed Cumberbatch, belongs to them. “I want to make them feel included in something bigger than the cult they’ve created by word of mouth, because it was such an event in the U.K. this year,” he says of “Sherlock” Season 2, which drew around 10 million viewers per episode. “It’s nice to be in a watercooler moment, and I’d love for America to experience a bit of that as well.”

Why all the fuss over a detective whose powers of deduction, awesome as they are, date back to 1887, anyway? Much credit for the success of this adaptation goes to Cumberbatch’s intense portrayal of Holmes’ genius and eccentricity, counterbalanced by Martin Freeman’s steadfastly calm, caring Dr. John Watson.

“Sherlock knows how to turn it on. He knows how to play all the games we play in every social interaction, and yet he withdraws from them,” Cumberbatch says of his socially inept character. “John teaches him that it’s all very well to understand human behavior, but you have to actually be human sometimes to really get the benefit of it.”

Season 2 focuses on that “humanizing” process Sherlock undergoes. But the fact that he is flesh and blood and not a fantastical superhero is another reason the man remains so alluring.

“He is achievable,” Cumberbatch says. “He is somebody that we could all be. Not that we necessarily want to follow the personal traits, but these abilities — he doesn’t fly through space. He’s somebody who by hard work and self-imposed discipline has achieved what he has achieved. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Quite hard, but not beyond it.”

Follow Metro’s television critic Amber Ray on Twitter @AmberatMetro.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Local

Flood Wall Street protesters shut down lower Manhattan…

Riding the momentum of Sunday’s People’s Climate March, more than a thousand protesters filled Broadway in lower Manhattan on Monday, shutting down traffic. Flood Wall…

Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

Style

Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.

Education

Here are this year's most creative college application…

The college application essay is one of the only times during the admissions process where a student can showcase his or her personality. While many…

Style

Nicola Formichetti on Diesel, the digital revolution and…

The artistic director of fashion label Diesel – and stylist for Lady Gaga – is creating human connection through social media.

Education

Your older siblings probably had a big impact…

As many high school students agonize over where to go to college, it turns out they turn to a very familiar source for advice and…