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Sherlock Holmes gets a supernatural twist in first look at Netflix's The Irregulars

The new mystery premieres March 26.

By Sydney Bucksbaum

Step aside, Sherlock HolmesThe Irregulars are on the case.

EW has your exclusive first look at Netflix's dark new drama that's set in the world of Holmes but puts the Baker Street Irregulars front and center instead for a supernatural mystery.

Hailing from three of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels, the Baker Street Irregulars are a group of street kids the titular detective would sometimes employ in his cases to get information he wouldn't normally be able to access. In Netflix's adaptation, creator Tom Bidwell reimagined the young gang of boys from the books into a slightly older group of teens who are the only ones who can stop an impending dark magical threat from destroying London — and they don't need Holmes to do it. "Our story focuses on the Irregulars, the gang themselves. It's their story, their adventure," Bidwell tells EW. "Sherlock Holmes is in the story, it's his world, but he's not the central focus. He plays a big part of it, don't get me wrong, but it's about the kids and their journeys."

The onscreen version of the Irregulars is led by headstrong, fierce Bea (Thaddea Graham, second from left in the photo below) and includes her younger sister Jessie (Darci Shaw, third from left) and their friends Billy (Jojo Macari, first from the right), Spike (McKell David, third from the right), and newcomer Leopold (Harrison Osterfield, first from left). They're brought into the world of the supernatural and magical by Dr. Watson (Royce Pierreson, second from right), the dour business partner of the legendary Holmes (Henry Lloyd-Hughes, not pictured). And centering The Irregulars on a young female leader fighting to save her younger sister was a conscious choice on Bidwell's part, knowing that Holmes and Irregulars stories are usually male-dominated.



"We set out with that intention, why can't they go into what is predominantly a man's world and kick a bit of ass?" Bidwell says. The creator also made a few more changes to the overall tone of the show that's equal parts mystery, action, and romance in an effort to make it more modern. "I wanted to stay away from things that are classic period Victorian, more like Dickensian stuff. I wanted to make it feel exciting and scary and very, very fresh so these characters are very accessible to a modern audience. They have problems that we have, they don't speak in a period way, they speak to each other in a more contemporary way than you would probably expect from a Victorian adaptation."

Perhaps the biggest change from classic Holmes stories is Bidwell's choice to use a real supernatural threat. "The supernatural element brings a kind of Victorian horror to the show that's very different to what you'd expect in the Sherlock Holmes novels," he says. "Because sometimes I'm reading the Sherlock Holmes novels and I end up wishing that those [supernatural-seeming elements] were real. [Laughs] In our show, the mysteries can be solved, but they can't be very easily explained with rational thought — there's monsters and ghouls and horrors attacking the city of London."

But, being a self-proclaimed fan of Doyle's Holmes novels, Bidwell promises he's not here to destroy classic Holmes canon. "I didn't want to just take Sherlock and shred it to pieces just for the sake of doing it," he says. "I love the Sherlock Holmes books but I knew I wanted to make something very different, and make something that had a different type of Arther Conan Doyle stamp on it."

That's why he took inspiration from Doyle's own supernatural stories when it came to introducing a magical element into The Irregulars. "He's a spiritualist and was very interested in the supernatural and seances and mediumship and fairies and all kinds of things," Bidwell says. "I remembered The Golden Dawn and I thought, what a weird thing, this spiritualist, this guy who really believed in phenomena, wrote about this detective who really did not believe in phenomena and followed a logical explanation for everything. [Laughs] Wouldn't that be great for The Irregulars if we've got this clash of those two worlds, of the world Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about and the world that Arthur Conan Doyle actually lived in and his personality?"

And Bidwell actually began crafting that central idea for this series a long time ago. "That idea stayed with me for like a decade, at least, until it developed in my mind," he says. "When you're a young writer and you bring these big ideas that sometimes I think you're not quite ready to write them yet, maybe I've been kind of training my whole career to write The Irregulars and now I've finally made it!"

The Irregulars premieres March 26 on Netflix. Check out more first look photos from the new series below, like the Irregulars hanging out in their cellar home, talking out the particulars of their latest case:


 

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Discussion Starter #3
Who are The Irregulars? Everything you need to know about Netflix's new detectives

By Sydney Bucksbaum

You know who Sherlock Holmes is — but who are The Irregulars? Netflix's latest mystery series introduces a roster of young detectives who can't wait around for the legendary sleuth from 221B Baker Street to save the day. And while the dark, supernatural drama from creator Tom Bidwell is set within the familiar world of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, not even Holmes experts will recognize the main characters — because they're all completely new.

The Irregulars is based on three of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels that feature a group of street kids known as the Baker Street Irregulars. These kids would sometimes be employed by the titular detective in his cases to get information he wouldn't normally be able to access due to his appearance, class, and reputation. In Netflix's adaptation, the Baker Street Irregulars have been completely reimagined from the young gang of boys from the books into a slightly older group of teenage girls and boys who find themselves at the center of a supernatural mystery threatening to destroy London.

So who are these new budding heroes? Here's everything you need to know about the characters before starting your binge.

...

 

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'The Irregulars': TV Review

Netflix's latest drama is a Victorian mixture of Sherlock Holmes, 'Stranger Things' and 'Bridgerton.'

 

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The Influences Behind The Irregulars

We spoke to the creators of Netflix's supernatural mystery series, The Irregulars, to discuss where they drew inspiration for the show. From surreal '90s TV to historical figures, here are the influences behind The Irregulars. Sponsored by Netflix.

 

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Was looking for a new series to start and this one looked good. Watched the first episode last night. One of the characters was driving me nuts. He was so familiar, yet I couldn’t place him. Then it hit me towards the end. It’s The Hound from GoT. Always a pleasure to see him.
 

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Been tossing around to start watching this or not. I read some bad reviews and some good ones.

@Waboman what did you think of the first episode?
 

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It took me a little bit to get into it. The first episode is setting up all the characters. But by the end I was enjoying it enough. I would have watched episode 2 if that confounded sleep thing didn’t get in the way. Take this with a grain of salt as most of what I like are the opposite of the critically acclaimed darlings.😆
 

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It's a story of loss and the grief that results from the loss. I think some of the reviews I've read completely missed that aspect of the show.
 

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I couldn’t get through the first episode. I am impatient with fiction set in historical contexts that ignores history. I know it’s fantasy, but I just can’t suspend my disbelief sufficiently to believe in the characters. They just seem like pretty young actors playing Victorian dress-up.
 

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The Irregulars Cast Take The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes Quiz (Play Along At Home)

 

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I've watched the first two and I'm done. This show is terrible at everything. The writing, acting, plots. The creator said he was going for a modern take on how the characters spoke but how the hell did Bea know what a clone was? I mean come on.

I don't mind the supernatural elements, except for the fact that they're dull and uninteresting. The Ouija Board connections and Plague Mask apparition are not nearly enough to keep me interested.
 
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