Netflix Instant Pick vol. 5 – Sherlock and Doctor Who

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Steven Moffat, Doctor Who (Matt Smith)

Now that TV is in the summer doldrums, it’s time to peruse the Netflix archives and find something interesting to watch. I am recommending two TV shows because both of them have been penned by the magical, mystical, Steven Moffat.

I realize that most of my friends are already watching and already obsessed with both of these shows, but on the offchance that one of you hasn’t really dipped your toe in, here’s a primer for ya.

First off, I am going to recommend Sherlock because there are only three 90 minute episodes.  It’s such a breeze to watch them all, and once you do, you will be frothing at the mouth for  the next episode.  Sadly, they are only just now filming season 2, and it won’t air until next year.  (This is because the actors who play Sherlock and Watson are in some little movie called The Hobbit by some unknown director named Peter Jackson, or something.)

Sherlock is a modern take on the century-old beloved detective.  It’s funny how Dr. Watson can still be a veteran of the war in  Afghanistan, though, isn’t it?  Some things never change.  Because this is a modern update, there is plenty of technology such as smart phones, the internet and even blogging.  Yes, Dr. Watson is a blogger who writes about the cases he works on with Sherlock.  To the purist, this sounds terrible, but trust me, it works.

I’ll freely admit that before I started watching this show, I had never read any of the Sherlock stories or novels.  I am quickly getting caught up now, because after watching the series, I had an insatiable hunger for more stories.

Here’s a taste:

It doesn’t hurt that the actors are supremely tasty eye candy. Benedict Cumberbatch (yes, that is his real name, thankyouverymuch) has been described as having the voice of a “jaguar hiding inside of a cello”. He’s a tall, lanky and almost awkward slice of crumpet. And then we have Martin Freeman, the ever-cuddly, wide-eyed, sweater-clad teddy bear. Put them together and it’s like putting chocolate in my peanut butter . (Yes, I compare men to food. Shut up.)

Once you’ve had a taste of Steven Moffat’s amazing world, you will undoubtedly want to sample some more.  Lucky for you, he also works on the legendary Doctor Who series.  He took over the show last year, but had written a few episodes in previous seasons.  Honestly, it would be best if you watched all of the new episodes from the reboot, but I know how hard it is to find the time.  I will give you a list of all the episodes that Steven has written.  (They’re all the scariest ones anyway…and he wrote all my favorites.)

Doctor Who has been on BBC television for over four decades.  I know that it sounds daunting to even begin watching a show.  It seems like you’ll never catch up to what is happening.  Well, that’s just not true.  Here is all you need to know…the Doctor is a Time Lord who has been alive for over 900 years, and he travels through time and space in a little blue box called the TARDIS, that’s bigger on the inside.  Sometimes he travels alone, but he often has Companions that travel with him, and they’re usually from Earth.  The Doctor doesn’t die, he regenerates himself into a new body (right now he’s the Eleventh Doctor).

See how easy that was?

And now here is a little sneak peek to whet your appetite:

Again, I implore you to add Doctor Who to your Netlix queue and watch ALL OF THE EPISODES.  Since most people are lazy, I will provide a list of Steven Moffat episodes.  If you watch all of these, then you’ll know enough to follow along.  As I said before, he wrote my favorite episodes anyway…

Season One – The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances – This is a two parter that introduced me to a world of nightmares.  I saw someone wearing a gas mask at a comic convention and I got THE CHILLS.  You will understand why after you watch it.  Also, you’ll never want to hear, “Are you my mummy?” again.

Season Two – The Girl in the Fireplace – The Doctor has a torrid love affair with a French courtesan of the King Louis XIV. (Or is it XV? I forget.)  In true Moffat fashion, there is all sorts of messing around with the timeline.  He’s really good at that.

Season Three – Blink – SCARIEST EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO EVER.  If you blink, you die.  I don’t want to spoil it further for those of you who haven’t seen it.  Just watch it!  Watch it NOW!!  Oh, and this episode introduces the phrase “a big ball of timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly stuff” which really sums up Moffat’s viewpoint of time travel.  

Season Four – Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – Another two-parter that is notable for introducing River Song, arguably one of the greatest female characters in sci-fi history.  I am going to warn you right now that when you first meet her in this episode, you’re most likely going to detest her and wish you never saw her again.  Then you’ll see her again later and everything falls into place, and you’ll want to see her every week.  Alex Kingston, who plays River Song, is a goddess, and once again I beg the universe to allow her to be my BFF.

Once you’ve watched these episodes, you should watch the entirety of Season 5.  I’m sad to say that Season 6 is not yet available on Netflix.  Also, Season 6 is not quite over.  You can get the shows that aired so far this year by downloading them from iTunes (or other nefarious sites).  New episodes start airing this fall, so you have all summer to get this done!

Now don’t complain to me that you have nothing to watch.  Even if you’ve seen these before, you know you want to watch them again.  I know I do…

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2 thoughts on “Netflix Instant Pick vol. 5 – Sherlock and Doctor Who

  1. thethousandbookproject Post author

    this post is also awesome! I actually adore how close the Sherlock episodes are to the stories. I use this example all the time but it slays me that the whole spiel about Watson’s iphone is pretty much WORD FOR WORD from the text, just slightly tweaked to refer to an iphone rather than a pocketwatch. MOFFATT!

    also I agree with all those Doctor Who episodes.

    Reply
  2. mekkalekkah Post author

    Thank you!! When I was reading the stories, it was a real delight to see how closely the show stuck to the dialogue and to the story at times! Obviously it’s not 100% faithful but it’s really close.

    Reply

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