Review: The Irregulars- Is it something new or is it regular Sherlock?

Rebecca Sykes doesn't need to follow many clues to realise how good The Irregulars is

Rebecca Sykes
25th May 2021
Credit: IMDb
Before university, I'd watch Sherlock or Supernatural with my Mum and we would talk a lot about it and overanalyse the plot. During a pandemic, unable to return to university, watching The Irregulars was much of the same, in all the best ways.
Royce Pierreson as Dr. John Watson, Credit: IMDb

The 8 episodes each have an enticing supernatural mystery that The Irregulars- orphaned street teens- led by Bea (Thaddea Graham), must solve for payment by a delightfully malicious Dr. John Watson (Royce Pierreson). Although the location is Victorian London, The Irregulars includes a modern soundtrack and dialogue, like Bridgerton, for a relevant and thrilling period drama. The overarching plot includes the unknown rift between the supernatural and human world, the mystery surrounding Jessie’s (Darci Shaw) psychic powers, and the love story between Bea and Leo (Harrison Osterfield- a friend of Spiderman’s Tom Holland).

Joining Bea are her sister, Jessie, her oldest friend from the dreaded workhouse, Billy (Jojo Macari), intelligent and fragile Prince Leopold known to The Irregulars as Leo, and the glue of the group, Spike (McKell David). There are references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock with twisted adaptations of Dr. Watson, Mycroft Holmes (Jonjo O'Neill), Inspector Lestrade (Aidan McArdle), and Mrs. Hudson (Denise Black) introduced in episodes 1-4. The grand reveal of the shattered and selfish Sherlock Holmes (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) shows how The Irregulars truly transforms Conan Doyle’s work to something unique and new.

"[Sherlock] is just a broken old man who is trapped in his memories" - Jessie

Jessie’s declaration that Sherlock is a shadow of his former self, and she couldn’t care about him displays how The Irregulars shines a light on the hidden, gritty, and mysteriously gruesome aspects of new and old characters behind Sherlock. It’s time for Bea, Jessie, Billy, Spike, and Leo’s story.

Character aspects, such as Dr. Watson’s love for Sherlock, the sisterhood of Jessie and Bea, and the trauma of living in Victorian London are emphasised. Sometimes, especially in episode 4, The Irregulars goes too gory and loses track of its characters. Luckily, episodes 3 and 5 stand out with great character moments and natural plot progression (who doesn’t like magical deaths staged to resemble tarot cards so an evil woman can steal a teenager’s power?!).

Thaddea Graham and Darci Shaw, credit: IMDb

It brings something exciting and new to the genre, even if it uses some cliches, and it succeeds with the stellar cast, supernatural murder mysteries, and subverting the common depictions of Sherlock.

With a 2nd season hopefully expanding on all of the characters and dealing with the fallout of the finale, you don't have to be a detective to realise that The Irregulars could go from great to brilliant.

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