When I interviewed for the position of pastor at MCC, I was asked what books I had been reading lately. My first response was “Agatha Christie.” They looked surprised, but I had to be honest, and usually you’ll find a good mystery in my reading pile. Right now (between responsibilities) I’m sipping my way through P.D. James’ Cover Her Face, which is a pleasant tale of gruesome death.
I’d love to offer some grand theological support for my love of mystery. I have always loved the mysteries of the faith, for instance. I have found deep intellectual comfort in the mysterious Triune nature of God, or in the mystery of God’s providence working through our willing choices, or even the deep mystery of regeneration. These please some part of me in a way that, say, questions of historical record do not. In any case, I love mystery, and so I think you should too. What’s that? You don’t? Well, then you’re just nutty.
This is all to say that I offer my hearty recommendation of the newest incarnation of the original detective. Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery is a blast. The premise is simple enough: Put Holmes in the middle of 2010 and let him have a run at the modern world. Now, this could be a miserable failure on so many levels, but I was pleased with the writing, the production, and the translation into modern times. The actors and writers don’t seem to be winking at us, the very campy possibilities are left to rot in the pile of unused bad ideas, and the integration of modern technology feels natural and unforced. The only significant downside is that the season is so short–only three 90 minute episodes constitute a single season–but a second is scheduled for Fall, 2011.
If you have a soft spot for Holmes & Watson, watch it for free until December 7th on PBS Online.