16 Awesome British Mysteries You Can Stream Right Now

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in “Sherlock” Season 3. (Photo: BBC/Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE)


This contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective stories made stars out of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman and turned a whole new generation of viewers into Sherlock Holmes obsessives. Cumberbatch plays an especially prickly, cerebral Holmes, who sports great hair and a truly fantastic overcoat. (The deerstalker only shows up occasionally.) Freeman is his loyal Watson, complete with PTSD, a blog and a constant need for excitement.

The series follows the formation of their friendship and general mystery solving partnership. They move in together, solve cases together, and get threatened with death together. BFFs forever! And Cumberbatch and Freeman are so great together, it’ll make you willing to handwave some of the series’ plot holes.

Sherlock was created by current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and frequent Who scribe Mark Gatiss. The series’ features their trademark snappy dialogue, quick wit and occasionally overly intricate storytelling. Each episode’s plot is a reimagining of an original Conan Doyle story (or sometimes elements of several mixed together), and provides plenty of wink wink nudge nudge moments for literary fans.

However, if you’re planning to become a Sherlock enthusiast, start preparing yourselves now for a lot of waiting around. The series’ production schedule is notoriously slow, and we generally get three episodes roughly every two years. And the hiatuses are probably only going to get longer now that the stars are involved in more projects. [Insert long-suffering sigh here.]

Number of Seasons: 3 (plus a one-off special episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix