WRITTEN BY CHASE BRIDGES
On March 26th, The Irregulars dropped on Netflix and quickly rose to the streaming site’s Top 10 trending content. Netflix is no stranger to teen led dramas as they have released shows like Outer Banks, and Stranger Things. This one follows a bit of the same formula, only this time we are venturing into the world of Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes has seen many variations on screen, his most recent being in another Netflix Original ‘Enola Holmes.’ Where the greatest detective is played by Henry Cavil (Man of Steel, The Witcher.) In fact, if you would like to learn more about all of Sherlock’s iterations on the big and little screen, click here.
Now, only six months after the last version of Holmes, we have gotten a brand new take on the iconic character. ‘The Irregulars’ is based on the “Baker Street Irregulars” a group of London street kids that Sherlock Holmes hired in three different Arthur Conan Doyle novels.
This show follows these London street kids, and adds a bit more to the lore around them. We watch as these kids are hired by Dr. Watson (Sherlock’s trusted friend and confidant) to try to solve supernatural mysteries. The show has a really fun group of actors playing the Irregulars.
Harrison Osterfield (far left) plays Leopold, a very intelligent young man who happens to be the prince of England. Beside him is Darci Shaw who plays Jessie. Jessie is our look into the supernatural, as she is gifted with abilities out of this world. To her immediate right is Thaddea Graham who plays our main character Beatrice. Bea is the strong leader of the group, and is almost like a mother to them all.
Beside her is McKell David who plays the man with the mouth, Spike. Spike is the comedy relief at times, using his smart mouth to help get them out of (and into) situations. On the far right is Jojo Macari who plays Billy. Billy is a hot head with a big heart, he’s always ready to throw hands, especially when his friends are in danger.
The show follows the group of teens for the most part, but it does not take long for Sherlock Holmes to show up and make a huge impact. Sherlock is played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes and gives us a version of Holmes that we have not seen a lot on screen. The Sherlock Holmes character is known to do drugs, especially cocaine, as Sherlock’s drug usage was first mentioned in four of the early stories published in 1890, and 1891 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
This show takes that and really runs with it. Making Sherlock Holmes a full on junkie who has spent the last twenty-five years as a drugged shell of himself. Unable to think and deduce as well as he used to, we watch how a man who was so great, let his ego and his intelligence destroy him. Lloyd-Hughes does an absolutely fantastic job bringing this character to life.
At one point we see a flashback to Holmes at his best, solving a mystery with the brilliance that we have come to know from the character. In this scene, we jump in as Holmes figures out the case with a charisma that makes you understand just how amazing he really is. This scene is my personal favorite depiction of Sherlock Holmes. The way he talks, the way he explains what just happened, the way he looks, it is exactly what you would want out of a Sherlock Holmes.
We only get to see this young, brilliant Sherlock Holmes a few times throughout the show but that doesn’t mean that the older burnout version isn’t just as fun to watch. We get to see a man who was once so promising, and so brilliant be reduced to nothing due to grief and we genuinely feel for him when he gets emotional.
This is very different from the Henry Cavill version we saw just six months ago. Cavill’s version was a high society, proper, kind man. Which while not a bad thing, is very different from the gritty and real version that we see in The Irregulars.
Likely the most famous version of the character on screen is Benedict Cumberbatch’s version of Holmes in the BBC show ‘Sherlock.’ Cumberbatch plays a very cold, sociopathic version of the character set in modern times. This version of the character is pretty accurate to the original works, and is a huge fan favorite. Plus, Cumberbatch’s version does give us a glimpse into the characters drug use.
That version is fantastic, but with it being set in modern times it still leaves the audience wanting a time accurate Sherlock story. The Irregulars gives them that, while not focusing on Sherlock, but on the teenage London street kids. Giving the audience a taste of the Sherlock Holmes from this world, without giving us too much.
The show is really fun to watch, and I hope that it gets green-lit for a second season. It starts off a bit slow, and the dialogue is a bit cheesy at first but the second the show kicks into second gear it’s impossible to look away. The first few episodes we are getting to know our group of friends, and watch them interact with supernatural monsters such as a man who can control birds with his mind.
Then we watch as they get more and more frustrated, angry, sad, and beaten up as they try to solve the mystery of why these supernatural things are happening in London. Add on a romantic love triangle, forbidden love, a long lost father, an abusive boss, and a southern gentleman who meets Jessie in her dreams. This show has it all, and I hope that we get to see more of The Irregulars in the foreseeable future.