Blu-ray Review: Sherlock Season 2

Sherlock Season Two Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: BBC/Warner | CAST: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Lara Pulver, Andrew Scott, Una Stubbs
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 5/22/2012 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.98
BONUSES: featurette, commentary
SPECS: 266 min. | British mystery | 16:9 widescreen | 5.1 Dolby Digital audio | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): TV Show | Audio | Video | Overall

Sherlock Season 2BBC’s TV show Sherlock, a modernization of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s classic mystery novels, wowed in its first season. Smart, slick and funny, the show’s biggest flaw was that season one only had three episodes. We couldn’t get enough.

Season two isn’t season one, but it’s still smart, slick and funny. In the three 1 1/2-hour episodes of the second season, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman, Love Actually) get embroiled with some of Conan Doyle’s original villians.

In the episode “A Scandal in Belgravia,” the pair are pitted against the mysterious and titillating Irene Adler (Lara Pulver, TV’s True Blood). The madam is blackmailing the Crown about certain photographs, which Sherlock is asked to retrieve. But there’s always more than that, including the CIA and terrorists.

Sherlock takes on his classic Hound of Baskerville mystery in episode two, with gene-manipulated bunnies that glow in the dark and a country trip that scares both Sherlock and Dr. Watson. There’s an fallback to silly in this episode.

The final episode of the season, “The Reichenbach Fall” is the best of the bunch, going back to the edge of the seat type of thrills that made us fans in season one. But it does have a downside: An incredibly frustrating ending.

For all the frustrations of season two, BBC’s Sherlock hasn’t lost us as fans and we look forward to more, even if just to explain the real end of the Fall. The acting, direction and cinematography are still top-notch, with a nod to Andrew Scott (Lennon Naked) who makes an exceptional Moriarty.

The Blu-ray has commentary on the first two episodes and the featurette “Sherlock Uncovered.”

For “A Scandal in Belgravia,” the commentary features Cumberbatch, Pulver, show co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue. They’re all comfortable with each other, chatting like old friends and laughing about behind-the-scenes stories. They reveal where ideas came from, such as Moriarty’s “Staying Alive” cell phone ring was inspired by an embarrassing story of Sue’s in which a cell phone with a funny ring interrupted a funeral.

The featurette starts out as a promotional piece, but it quickly picks up with behind-the-scenes shots of how some of the scenes were filmed and the actors and creators talking about the characters and stories. Cumberbatch admits that the hardest part for him is when he’s revealing the whole plot, saying that Sherlock’s mind works so fast that saying the lines quickly enough is a challenge.

Buy or Rent Sherlock: Season Two
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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.