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Netflix’s Irregulars imagines a sinister Sherlock who steals credit for supernatural sleuthing

Netflix’s Irregulars imagines a sinister Sherlock who steals credit for supernatural sleuthing


The Baker Street Irregulars make their streaming debut on March 26th

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Image: Netflix

Netflix’s next Sherlock Holmes project, The Irregulars, just got a new teaser highlighting the dark, supernatural adventures yet to come on the eight-part series. The Irregulars, set to start streaming on March 26th, follows a group of “troubled street teens” who are “manipulated into solving crimes” by the “sinister Doctor Watson,” according to Netflix.

The Irregulars is based in part on the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of street urchins in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes novels that helped Watson and the famous consulting detective gain a street-level view on London and handle some of the busy work of solving mysteries. Netflix’s version, created by Tom Bidwell, seems to take things in a far moodier and spookier direction.

The Baker Street Irregulars have appeared in some Sherlock Holmes films and television shows over the years (recently reworked as a “Homeless Network” in BBC’s Sherlock), but The Irregulars choice to seemingly position Holmes and Watson as people taking advantage of these young kids seems ripe for some interesting stories. Bidwell summarized the idea in an interview with the BBC:

Sherlock Holmes had a group of street kids he’d use to help him gather clues so our series is what if Sherlock was a drug addict and a delinquent and the kids solve the whole case whilst he takes credit.

The Irregulars follows Netflix’s recent success with Enola Holmes, focused on the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes. The film prompted Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate to sue Netflix for depicting Holmes’ personality as too emotional, an aspect of the character they claim wasn’t invented until later Doyle novels that aren’t in the public domain.

The lawsuit was dropped, but it is a funny coincidence that the aloof, elusive, icy Sherlock Holmes who likely wouldn’t care about the supernatural danger the Irregulars will face also happens to be the Holmes in the public domain.

The Irregulars eight-episode series premieres on Netflix on March 26th, 2021.