Review: The Irregulars Eps 4 - 8 (with spoilers)

Okay, so I've now watched the remaining episodes of The Irregulars. Has my opinion changed? Read on but note there are some SPOILERS below...

Yes and no is the irritating answer. The reason for this is that each of the remaining episodes has given me different feelings towards the show.

Let's commence with episode 4 which concerned a killer who stole the faces of victims. This story was notable for introducing and, fairly promptly, killing an extremely unlikable Inspector Lestrade. Furthermore this was a Lestrade that conducted himself as if he was in a Western rather than Victorian London. I was left hoping that this show did not plan to dispatch any more canonical characters even if they didn't resemble the originals too closely.

Holmes and Watson finally get their moment in the spotlight

Episode 5 finally started to dwell on Holmes and Watson, further demonstrating that the Holmes of this series is something of a homage to RDJ's Holmes. Not only is he scruffy but it turns out that he is a father as well which is enough to make adherents of the vanilla Holmes (such as myself) almost faint.

Episode 6 brought us a body snatcher who was, in fact, a body-part snatcher whose victims remained, sometimes inexplicably, alive. The episode was more than a nod to Frankenstein demonstrating how much this show is prepared to stray from the stories which form its foundation.

Episodes 7 and 8 brought the series to an end by focusing on the Linen Man who had been featuring sporadically in earlier episodes in scenes with Jessie. Turning out not to be the benevolent figure he appeared to be he sought power from the supernatural events in London and was prepared to do anything to get that power. The only question appeared to be would Holmes help or hinder him?

One great relief was that the class battle between Billy and Leo finally tailed off with them developing a firm respect for each other by the end. Leo and Bea's fledgling romance hit the buffers as their situations finally came between them and the hitherto underused Spike finally came into his own as the glue, and possibly conscience, of the Irregulars.

Holmes, who only really joined the series half-way through, left the stage in a dramatic way, with no obvious prospect of returning, leaving Watson as the sole occupant of 221B. It only remains to be seen if the series tries to endure minus the Great(ish) Detective. In my opinion it certainly can as Holmes was little more than a crutch for this series that was thrown away whenever it was not needed.

Will series two have Watson as an almost Fagin-like figure bringing adventures to the Irregulars? Will love find a way for Bea and Leo? Will Holmes return?

I guess we'll find out in series 2. I'll certainly be watching.

UPDATE: As we have all heard, the series has now been cancelled.

Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here