"Sherlock" Series on PBS Masterpiece Mystery - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 260 Old 10-25-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Sherlock Holmes enters the 21st century in the 3-part series starting on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery Theater Sunday. Naturally, a serial killer peaked Sherlock's interest for starters. He self-describes himself to Dr. Watson as a sociopath, not a psychopath. Lots of superman-like feats and deductions...maybe a bit overemphasized. Wish they'd taped off the color control on the editing hardware; another one of those visually tepid, color-drained productions. -- John
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post #2 of 260 Old 10-25-2010, 12:19 PM
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My friend pointed out this series to me about an hour before it started. I had not heard it the show before she mentioned. We really enjoyed the show. It is like Dr. Who without the Sci Fi elements.
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post #3 of 260 Old 10-25-2010, 12:49 PM
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I too was impressed. Somehow it just worked. Looking forward to the other episodes and additional seasons. Sister loved it as well.

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post #4 of 260 Old 10-25-2010, 06:10 PM
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The first episode was the best, the other two didn't work as well for me, I'll be interested in your opinions of the next two. I didn't hate them by any means, but the first one was just awesome. The show I really like is Lewis.
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post #5 of 260 Old 10-26-2010, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^Are the two follow-on episodes on-line already or did they run earlier here; DVDs? Enjoyed the intro episode, too, (not the color-draining technique), as a different crime-drama twist, a welcome departure from U.S. over-saturated crime TV fare. The preceding Wallander mystery series on PBS seemed excellent, and again to escape U.S. programs, I'm watching the BBC's Luther and Law & Order, with the latter their first patterned after a U.S. series. -- John
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post #6 of 260 Old 10-26-2010, 06:41 AM
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The series is out on Blu-ray (and DVD) in the UK - but is a 50i release so may be problematic on US equipment. (Early BBC releases were 60i conversions - but now that 50i players are commonplace in the UK, most releases are now 50i. Much improved picture quality as a result)

The team behind it have also worked on Doctor Who - and I think you can tell!

I liked them all - though the first episode was by far the strongest.

I disagree with John about the grading - I really liked the desaturated look. I'm not a fan of oversaturated drama. Looking out of my rainy, London window at the moment, nothing is popping with colour - everything is grey!

I'm a huge fan of all three Wallander series.

SVT - the Swedish version of the BBC - shot one in the early 90s based on the novels. Then TV4 - the main Swedish commercial terrestrial broadcaster - shot two more series in the mid-to-late 00s based on one novel and Henning Mankell-penned storylines (They were shown on BBC Four here and very popular for a subtitled drama series). The first series was shot on Super 16. The same production company that made the TV4 series also co-produced the BBC series (which is based on the novels), which was shot on Red and posted in HD, and the second TV4 series was also shot on Red (though I haven't seen it as an HD release - though TV4 have an HD channel). I have all the Swedish productions on DVD, and both of the BBC Wallander series on Blu-ray. The BBC UK Blu-ray releases are also 50i though - so may cause problems with US gear.

If you liked the BBC Wallander - search out the TV4 Swedish versions - they're lower budget, and less cinematic, but I really enjoyed them (The casting is far more realistic IMHO, and they are shot in similar locations - often simultaneously!). Beware, half way through the second series the Swedish DVD releases ditched English subtitles. Good job I speak bad Swedish...

The long-running Swedish Beck series (also made for TV4) is very good as well (and more recent releases have English subtitles - and the most recent shows are available as 24p Blu-rays) - based on the characters (loosely) of the Sjöwall and Wahlöö novels.

I like Lewis as well - just as I liked Morse. The first HD series of Lewis was shot Super 16 and looked pretty awful in HD (I think the first series was SD Super 16). Later series appear to be shot either electronically or on a better film stock - and are much better looking in HD.
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post #7 of 260 Old 10-26-2010, 01:25 PM
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Lots of good info. My local Barnes and Noble have two of the Swedish sets at a discount, but they're still rather expensive.

CW Hinkle
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post #8 of 260 Old 10-26-2010, 03:29 PM
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Lots of good info. My local Barnes and Noble have two of the Swedish sets at a discount, but they're still rather expensive.

** EDIT - apols this is a bit off topic ***

The TV4 Wallanders are two distinct series - 1-13 were shot around 2005/6, 14-26 were shot around 2008/9. Some of the supporting characters change between the two series - but there is a strong core who remain through all of them.

The Swedish SF/Yellow Bird releases have English subtitles on eps 1-17. I bought the box sets of Eps 1-4, 5-8 and 9-13 a few years ago when I was on holiday in Stockholm, and then bought the individual releases for series 2 as they were released.

Unlike UK and US series - the first episode in each series was released first theatrically in cinemas, and then it along with the other episodes were released monthly-ish on DVD, prior to TV broadcast. BBC Four showed the series weekly - and I think broadcast the final couple of episodes before they were released in Sweden!

The audio quality of the DVDs is very good for an SD TV show, the show varies between full-screen 16:9 and a wider aspect ratio nearer 21:9 used for some episodes. The Swedish have been using surround sound on their SD 16:9 digital TV system for a while (they introduced 5.1 long before HD). The Swedish DVDs thus have either DD or DTS surround tracks - sometimes both (the second series is DTS-ES 6.1)

If you don't mind subtitles I thoroughly recommend them - though check eps 18-26 on DVD for English subtitles. (I visited Ystad, where they are set, this summer and it was great walking around the time and recognising locations from the series.)
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post #9 of 260 Old 10-26-2010, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

The first episode was the best, the other two didn't work as well for me, I'll be interested in your opinions of the next two. I didn't hate them by any means, but the first one was just awesome. The show I really like is Lewis.

I am with you on Lewis. Sherlock didn't knock me out, despite the rave reviews.

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post #10 of 260 Old 10-27-2010, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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The series is out on Blu-ray (and DVD) in the UK - but is a 50i release so may be problematic on US equipment. (Early BBC releases were 60i conversions - but now that 50i players are commonplace in the UK, most releases are now 50i. Much improved picture quality as a result)

Lost me here. Reads like disc producers prefer a 50i rather than a filmic 'look'. And 50i/60i capture/delivery for dramas usually get a derogative soap-opera label (without typical pulldown).

BTW, if most UK disc releases are now 50i, with plenty of 50i players, perhaps that's why I'm not seeing any announcements, after its Aug. 28 Europe release, of any all-region or region-A (U.S. etc.) Blu-ray of the BBC's Blu-ray "Little Dorrit," which aired here (1080/60i) on the Public Broadcasting Service.
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I disagree with John about the grading - I really liked the desaturated look. I'm not a fan of oversaturated drama. Looking out of my rainy, London window at the moment, nothing is popping with colour - everything is grey!

Also don't favor color oversaturation for dramas. Just normal saturation--not draining too much color during editing so actors always look like zombies. From reviews, reads like they did the desaturation thing even with the new "Robin Hood" production (theaters/discs). Did the same with "Little Dorrit," with large segments inside a debtor's prison, which wouldn't and shouldn't look like the sunny Bahamas; then they edited in normal color saturation for scenes from sunny Italy. IMO, it's overuse of an editing 'plaything'. Naturally dismal/greyish scenes will appear that way without extra electronic manipulation that most often spoils the other non-dismal scenes. -- John
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post #11 of 260 Old 10-27-2010, 09:59 AM
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Also don't favor color oversaturation for dramas. Just normal saturation--not draining too much color during editing so actors always look like zombies. From reviews, reads like they did the desaturation thing even with the new "Robin Hood" production (theaters/discs). Did the same with "Little Dorrit," with large segments inside a debtor's prison, which wouldn't and shouldn't look like the the sunny Bahamas; then they edited in normal color saturation for scenes from sunny Italy. IMO, it's overuse of an editing 'plaything'. Naturally dismal/greyish scenes will appear that way without extra electronic manipulation that most often spoils the other non-dismal scenes. -- John

I'm with John on this. Hands off the saturation control. It's an attempt to achieve cheaply what should be done with production design, lighting, make-up, etc. Same with the "orange wash" that's so often used (I'm sure the colorist says, "do you want it to look 'warm'?") So ugly.
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post #12 of 260 Old 10-27-2010, 10:26 AM
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Lost me here. Reads like disc producers prefer a 50i rather than a filmic 'look'. And 50i/60i capture/delivery for dramas usually get a derogative soap-opera label (without typical pulldown).

Nope - it's 25p captured, but the BBC master to 50i for transmission (so it is film look - effectively 25psf - within a 50i wrapper for the camera acquired content). This is because the BBC mandate rolling credits at 50i (with fluid interlaced motion) not 25p, so the final TX master is 50i not 25p. (This is presumably so they can run the credits faster!)

Also - I don't think 25p is a supported Blu-ray format (AIUI only 24p, 50i and 60i are supported at 1080p/i) - so the only other option would be to remaster as 24p with slow-down, and re-do the credits?

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BTW, if most UK disc releases are now 50i, with plenty of 50i players, perhaps that's why I'm not seeing any announcements, after its Aug. 28 Europe release, of any all-region or region-A (U.S. etc.) Blu-ray of the BBC's Blu-ray "Little Dorrit," which aired here (1080/60i) on the Public Broadcasting Service.

Yep - Little Dorrit was shot 25p, mastered to a 50i TX master, and I guess this was 50i to 60i converted (like most other BBC Blu-rays initially) It could be Little Dorrit was the last 60i master?

Doctor Who and Wallander were both 50i releases in the UK. (And both were shot 25p "film look")

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Also don't favor color oversaturation for dramas. Just normal saturation--not draining too much color during editing so actors always look like zombies. From reviews, reads like they did the desaturation thing even with the new "Robin Hood" production (theaters/discs). Did the same with "Little Dorrit," with large segments inside a debtor's prison, which wouldn't and shouldn't look like the the sunny Bahamas; then they edited in normal color saturation for scenes from sunny Italy. IMO, it's overuse of an editing 'plaything'. Naturally dismal/greyish scenes will appear that way without extra electronic manipulation that most often spoils the other non-dismal scenes. -- John

I beg to differ on that. Don't forget us Brits are deathly pale - and it IS really grey and overcast here a lot of the time! Sherlock was a bit desaturated for effect I guess - but it won't have started off that bright...
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post #13 of 260 Old 10-27-2010, 10:30 AM
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I enjoyed the first part of Sherlock Holmes as well. Sorry to hear the 2nd and 3rd aren't up to snuff. Still hope to watch them. However, I'm not a big TV watcher so I lose track of when shows are on.

For me Lewis is OK. I try to connect with the show but think that, for me, Lewis was better in a supporting role in the Inspector Morse series rather than a leading role.

Have seen one or two Wallander III shows. Kind of slow for me and I don't care for the focus on all the angst the main character is going through. Enough already for me. Plus, and this is just me, it is hard for me to stop picturing the lead actor doing all those Shakespeare shows.

Luther I like also. I saw episode 1. Hope to catch some of the following episodes. But again, I lose track of the dates. He is also going through the angst thing because of a divorce. But when he deals with the bad guys there is no angst or hesitation. He just takes care of business.
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post #14 of 260 Old 10-27-2010, 03:12 PM
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Nope - it's 25p captured, but the BBC master to 50i for transmission (so it is film look - effectively 25psf - within a 50i wrapper for the camera acquired content).

You should have said "25PsF" right from the start ;-)
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This is because the BBC mandate rolling credits at 50i (with fluid interlaced motion) not 25p

It makes deinterlacer's job oh so much easier. Seriously, BBC could have chosen either 720p50 to save bitrate and prevent image from breaking down, or maybe even 1080p50 @ 16 Mbit/s. With AVC encoding being twice more effective, as they claim, why not? I encoded 1080p60 @ 18 Mbit/s myself from the Panasonic TM700 camcorder, and it looks great. Instead, they decided to stick to stupid 1080i with 1440 pixels across and lower-than 10 Mbit/s bitrate. Where is progress in that?
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Also - I don't think 25p is a supported Blu-ray format (AIUI only 24p, 50i and 60i are supported at 1080p/i) - so the only other option would be to remaster as 24p with slow-down, and re-do the credits?

No, 1080p25 is not natively supported, thanks to Sony, it screwed everybody once again. With 1080PsF25 you are at the mercy of deinterlacer. 720p50 with frame repeat is more compatible and reliable, I think.
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Little Dorrit was shot 25p, mastered to a 50i TX master, and I guess this was 50i to 60i converted (like most other BBC Blu-rays initially) It could be Little Dorrit was the last 60i master?

Doctor Who and Wallander were both 50i releases in the UK. (And both were shot 25p "film look")

Top Gear is 25PsF for featured segments, and true 50i for studio stuff. My software player is not smart enough to switch from interlaced to progressive, so I switch it manually. My set-top media player cannot handle PsF at all. So many problems because of freaking interlace. BBC could be a pioneer, instead it drops bitrate and packages "film look" into interlace feed. Pitiful.

Back to the thread: I got a 720p25 encode of Sherlock, looks nice and clean on my 60Hz TV, no ghosting or combing except for the credits, but who cares about them. I watched the first episode so far, looks nice. Different from what I used to.
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post #15 of 260 Old 10-27-2010, 04:57 PM
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You should have said "25PsF" right from the start ;-)
It makes deinterlacer's job oh so much easier. Seriously, BBC could have chosen either 720p50 to save bitrate and prevent image from breaking down, or maybe even 1080p50 @ 16 Mbit/s.

1080p50 isn't supported in any of the standard DVB profiles yet is it? If they had gone for 1080p50 they'd have had to create a new standard - and production at 1080p50 is still marginal (and thus expensive). The driving force for the 3G infrastructure required is 3D 1080/50i - not 2D 50p...

The arguments about 720p50 vs 1080i25 (aka 50i) have been done to death. The UK has gone 1080i25 - Sky, the BBC, C4, ITV - industry wide. All the major international sporting events are 1080i.

Other European countries - Scandinavia, Germany - have gone 720p50.

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With AVC encoding being twice more effective, as they claim, why not? I encoded 1080p60 @ 18 Mbit/s myself from the Panasonic TM700 camcorder, and it looks great.

Yep - but 1080p50 and 1080p60 are unsupported profiles in the DVB specs - so weren't (and still aren't) options for broadcast.

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Instead, they decided to stick to stupid 1080i with 1440 pixels across and lower-than 10 Mbit/s bitrate. Where is progress in that?

The 1440 is entirely pragmatic. HD Cam and DVC Pro HD are the two most widespread acquisition standards. Both subsample to 1440 at acquisition - there is no >1440 horizontal resolution.

Sure - live content and some high-end stuff mastered to HD Cam SR has horizontal content >1440 - but this is not the bulk of output - and 1440 is still a lot better than the 1280 of 720p.

I'm not getting into the bitrate discussion - but H264 encoding has got a LOT better since 2006 when the original DVB-T and DVB-S BBC HD trials ran - and were delivering poorer picture quality at 18Mbs than we now get at 10Mbs.

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No, 1080p25 is not natively supported, thanks to Sony, it screwed everybody once again.

Thought I hadn't got that wrong... Very US movie-studio centric stance.

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With 1080PsF25 you are at the mercy of deinterlacer. 720p50 with frame repeat is more compatible and reliable, I think.

Yep - but you then lose a huge amount of horizontal resolution, some vertical resolution and don't get the benefits of improved temporal resolution.

De-interlacers are getting better as well... Though not universally.

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Top Gear is 25PsF for featured segments, and true 50i for studio stuff.

Yep - a choice I like. A 25PsF studio always looks wrong and never feels live. The track sequences are also 50i and feel right. The films look beautifully filmic - the contrast works well.

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My software player is not smart enough to switch from interlaced to progressive, so I switch it manually. My set-top media player cannot handle PsF at all. So many problems because of freaking interlace. BBC could be a pioneer, instead it drops bitrate and packages "film look" into interlace feed. Pitiful.

My PC de-interlaces using vector adaptive pretty well, as does my DVB-S2 satellite receiver. No nasty indecision between crude bob and weave.
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Back to the thread: I got a 720p25 encode of Sherlock, looks nice and clean on my 60Hz TV, no ghosting or combing except for the credits, but who cares about them. I watched the first episode so far, looks nice. Different from what I used to.

The 1080i25 (aka 50i) Blu-ray looks cracking - 30+Mbs. (DTS HD HR not MA audio I think - but around 2Mbs)
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post #16 of 260 Old 10-28-2010, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

The series is out on Blu-ray (and DVD) in the UK - but is a 50i release so may be problematic on US equipment. (Early BBC releases were 60i conversions - but now that 50i players are commonplace in the UK, most releases are now 50i. Much improved picture quality as a result)

The team behind it have also worked on Doctor Who - and I think you can tell!

I liked them all - though the first episode was by far the strongest.

I disagree with John about the grading - I really liked the desaturated look. I'm not a fan of oversaturated drama. Looking out of my rainy, London window at the moment, nothing is popping with colour - everything is grey!

I'm a huge fan of all three Wallander series.






SVT - the Swedish version of the BBC - shot one in the early 90s based on the novels. Then TV4 - the main Swedish commercial terrestrial broadcaster - shot two more series in the mid-to-late 00s based on one novel and Henning Mankell-penned storylines (They were shown on BBC Four here and very popular for a subtitled drama series). The first series was shot on Super 16. The same production company that made the TV4 series also co-produced the BBC series (which is based on the novels), which was shot on Red and posted in HD, and the second TV4 series was also shot on Red (though I haven't seen it as an HD release - though TV4 have an HD channel). I have all the Swedish productions on DVD, and both of the BBC Wallander series on Blu-ray. The BBC UK Blu-ray releases are also 50i though - so may cause problems with US gear.

If you liked the BBC Wallander - search out the TV4 Swedish versions - they're lower budget, and less cinematic, but I really enjoyed them (The casting is far more realistic IMHO, and they are shot in similar locations - often simultaneously!). Beware, half way through the second series the Swedish DVD releases ditched English subtitles. Good job I speak bad Swedish...

The long-running Swedish Beck series (also made for TV4) is very good as well (and more recent releases have English subtitles - and the most recent shows are available as 24p Blu-rays) - based on the characters (loosely) of the Sjöwall and Wahlöö novels.

I like Lewis as well - just as I liked Morse. The first HD series of Lewis was shot Super 16 and looked pretty awful in HD (I think the first series was SD Super 16). Later series appear to be shot either electronically or on a better film stock - and are much better looking in HD.

I couldn't agree more.

My #1 is Morse
#2 Lewis
#3 Wallander

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post #17 of 260 Old 10-28-2010, 02:00 PM
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post #18 of 260 Old 10-28-2010, 04:20 PM
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I couldn't agree more.

My #1 is Morse
#2 Lewis
#3 Wallander

If you like the Swedish TV4 Wallanders (made by the same Swedish production company who also co-produce the BBC version) - I've just discovered they're coming out on Blu-ray in Sweden. Sadly no English subtitles listed - but I suspect there will be a UK release at some point.
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post #19 of 260 Old 11-01-2010, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
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My bad. With my plasma in its Cinema mode, last night's second in the series, The Blind Banker, had normal color, not the desaturated look I complained about above. Must have viewed the opening episode in Standard mode, usually used for 1080/60i or 720p60 without pulldown (live, most documentaries, etc.). (Movies shot at 24p/24pSF, or converted, appear too pale in Standard mode here, while live/documentaries have some over-saturated colors in Cinema mode.) Assumed initially, in error, they shot the whole Sherlock series with desaturated color, just like Discovery's "The Colony," as some who reviewed it complained. -- John
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post #20 of 260 Old 11-01-2010, 02:59 PM
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I enjoyed the first part of Sherlock Holmes as well. Sorry to hear the 2nd and 3rd aren't up to snuff. Still hope to watch them. However, I'm not a big TV watcher so I lose track of when shows are on.

For me Lewis is OK. I try to connect with the show but think that, for me, Lewis was better in a supporting role in the Inspector Morse series rather than a leading role.

Have seen one or two Wallander III shows. Kind of slow for me and I don't care for the focus on all the angst the main character is going through. Enough already for me. Plus, and this is just me, it is hard for me to stop picturing the lead actor doing all those Shakespeare shows.

Luther I like also. I saw episode 1. Hope to catch some of the following episodes. But again, I lose track of the dates. He is also going through the angst thing because of a divorce. But when he deals with the bad guys there is no angst or hesitation. He just takes care of business.

Totally agree with your Lewis/Wallander opinions, especially your keen observation re Wallandar's continuous funk. It's unreal that someone would be able to pile all that emotional trauma upon himself and then be able to solve complex murders.

My main complaint with Lewis is that the dialogue is spoken with much more local slang and is more difficult to decipher than the Morse series where every word was understood.

However, the bottom line is that all negative criticism aside these series are much more enjoyable than the crap that permeates U.S. tv programming these days.
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post #21 of 260 Old 11-03-2010, 05:44 AM
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My only problem with the show is the sound design seems to be odd. They pick the oddest moments to crank up the music or ambient noise. So far the have boosted the sound right at the point Sherlock is explaining things to the audience. It is nice they add the visual cues, but it would really help if they would just turn everything down.
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post #22 of 260 Old 11-03-2010, 06:32 AM
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[quote=N.B. Forrest;19421599]

...

However, the bottom line is that all negative criticism aside these series are much more enjoyable than the crap that permeates U.S. tv programming these days.[/QUOTE]

+1
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post #23 of 260 Old 01-17-2012, 06:13 AM
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TV Notes
‘Sherlock’ Commissioned For 3rd Series; Cumberbatch, Freeman Expected To Return
By Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline.com - Jan. 17, 2012

Sherlock fans rejoice. A 3rd series of the BBC’s hit modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries has been confirmed. The show, which has airs on PBS in the US, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes with Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson.

Although those involved have been cagey up to now about continuing, co-creator Steven Moffat tweeted on Sunday night, “Yes of course there’s going to be a third series – it was commissioned at the same time as the second. Gotcha!” Moffat, who wrote Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures Of Tintin and exec produces Doctor Who, piped up with the news just as series 2 ended in the UK to strong ratings.

Production company Hartswood, which makes the show for the BBC, tells me a 3rd series is in the early planning stages for 2013. A big question hovering over the continuation has been if stars Cumberbatch and Freeman would be able to return. Freeman is playing Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies, but he recently said he would like to do a 3rd Sherlock. As for hot star Cumberbatch, his schedule has been growing increasingly packed. After turns in War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, he’s also in The Hobbit and recently signed on for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel. A UK rep for the actor tells me “I’m sure he would love to do a 3rd series. It’s very unlikely they would have Sherlock without Sherlock.”

Series 2 of Sherlock begins airing in the US in May.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/sher...ted-to-return/
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post #24 of 260 Old 01-17-2012, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV NotesSherlock' Commissioned For 3rd Series; Cumberbatch, Freeman Expected To Return
By Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline.com - Jan. 17, 2012

Sherlock fans rejoice. A 3rd series of the BBC's hit modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle's mysteries has been confirmed. The show, which has airs on PBS in the US, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes with Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson.

Yea! The whimsically named Benedict Cumberbatch seems born to play Sherlock Holmes. I've greatly enjoyed this modern reinterpretation, but I'm sure I would have loved him in a more literal take on the character just as much.
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post #25 of 260 Old 01-17-2012, 01:59 PM
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A region free blue ray version of season 2 will be available in February according to Amazon UK. Looking forward to receiving it.
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post #26 of 260 Old 01-17-2012, 08:05 PM
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season 1 is on netflix.

"There is no truth. There's just what you believe."
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post #27 of 260 Old 01-17-2012, 08:35 PM
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Watched Season 1 via Netflix streaming and really liked it, am anxiously wait for more!
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post #28 of 260 Old 01-18-2012, 05:22 AM
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Was season 2 ever shown in the US? I watch Masterpiece in its various iterations throughout the year, and I don't remember seeing season 2.

SMK
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post #29 of 260 Old 01-18-2012, 05:40 AM
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Was season 2 ever shown in the US? I watch Masterpiece in its various iterations throughout the year, and I don't remember seeing season 2.

SMK

See last line of post 23.
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post #30 of 260 Old 01-18-2012, 06:36 AM
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Thank you. I didn't realize they were that far behind.

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