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
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…