How to watch Sherlock – what’s it about and who’s in the cast?’

How to watch and stream the hit drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in Sherlock series 4

Sherlock has fast become a staple of British family viewing. From winning the Best Drama Series at the 2011 BAFTA awards to cleaning up at various Emmy Awards, its critical success makes it easy to see why. With Sherlock’s appeal still spreading, it has now been sold to over 180 territories.

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How can I watch and stream Sherlock?

If you’re ready to crack the hardest case of your life, all four seasons of Sherlock are available to watch on Netflix.

Seasons one, two, three and four and the Victorian special can also be purchased on iTunes. Both YouTube and Google Play also offer Sherlock.

While Sherlock was previously available to watch on BBC iPlayer, the streaming service has now removed the entire saga.

What is Sherlock about?

Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective series, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s crime drama takes Doyle’s Victorian premise and brings it into the present day for a fresh reboot.

Fans might be able to spot iconic cases like A Study in Scarlet, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and the iconic ‘demise’ of Sherlock with The Final Problem. Moving on from the technology of the Victorian era, Sherlock and Watson use a variety of modern techniques to solve each case.

That being said, there was a Victorian-themed special released on New Year’s Day 2016. Titled “The Abominable Bride”, Sherlock enters his mind palace through the use of drugs. It famously features the return of Andrew Scott as Professor Moriarty and set the pieces in place for season four.

Who is in Sherlock?

Holmes and Watson are brilliantly played by Marvel Cinematic Universe favourites Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Elsewhere, Fleabag’s Andrew Scott portrays the villainous Moriarty. As Sherlock’s most notorious enemy, Professor Moriarty is a recurring foe across the series.

Una Stubbs plays the long-suffering Mrs. Hudson and Amanda Abbington plays Mary Morstan. Mary is a constant thorn in Sherlock’s side but becomes John’s love interest, and eventually, wife.

Rupert Graves is the grouchy D.I. Greg Lestrade, Louise Brealey is the mild-mannered Molly Hooper. Despite her continuous advances on Sherlock, the brilliant detective fails to realise Molly has feelings for him. Lara Pulver appears as the mysterious Irene Adler and originally poses as a dominatrix. 

Other villains include Lars Mikkelsen as media mogul Charles Augustus Magnussen and Sian Brooke as Eurus Holmes. Rounding off the dysfunctional Holmes brood, The League of Gentleman’s Mark Gatiss plays Mycroft Holmes. Alongside serving as the show’s executive producer, Gatiss excels as Sherlock’s antagonistic older brother.

When is Sherlock set?

Unlike Warner Bros.’ popular movie franchise starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, the BBC’s Sherlock takes a modern approach to the characters that are over 120 years old. Moffat and Gatiss decided they wanted to adapt Conan Doyle’s acclaimed creation after Moffat previously tackled the 2007 series Jekyll. Both men had worked together on Doctor Who and turned their attention to Sherlock next.

Gatiss criticised modern interpretations of the characters and said they were “too slow”. Just as Sherlock was known for using any device at his disposal in the books, the modern show sees him use a variety of modern techniques. Other elements were brought into the 21st Century. While John Watson served in the Second Anglo-Afghan War in the books, Freeman’s version fought in the 2001 Afghanistan war.

Where is Sherlock filmed?

Although Sherlock is primarily filmed in Cardiff, the exterior shots of the dynamic duo’s 221B Baker Street residence is located on London’s North Gower Street. The BBC made use of the Hartswood Films West studio in Cardiff and managed to recreate much of London’s architecture on the city’s streets. Certain scenes couldn’t be passed off as London and required filming in the capital.

Traffic on Baker Street was reportedly a nightmare, hence why production moved to North Gower Street as a substitute. Speedy’s Sandwich Shop is located beneath the Baker Street flat and reported a sharp rise in custom after Sherlock aired. There was a large break between season one and two due to both Cumberbatch and Freeman appearing in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Moffat’s continued work on Doctor Who.

The lengthy gap between seasons became the norm for Sherlock – leading to that agonising wait between the season two cliffhanger and the season three premiere.

Will there be more Sherlock?

Despite Sherlock’s ongoing popularity, it’s unclear whether there will be any more episodes, with Cumberbatch and Freeman’s busy schedules having thrown a spanner in the works.

Sherlock has always been known for its extended wait between seasons, but it’s unclear whether there’ll be another run of episodes.

In 2014, Moffat said he and Gatiss has sketched a rough plan for season five even though it was yet to be given the green light. Giving an update in 2017, Gatiss warned fans not to expect series five for at least two years.

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That timeframe has passed and there’s still no word on whether Holmes and Watson will be uniting for another bout of sleuthing.