The Irregulars

The Irregulars

The Irregulars is an attempt to do something new with Sherlock Holmes. Like, Enola Holmes and Sherlock. The results are… well, not good.


Bea is living in a leaky hole-in-the-wall in London with her sister Jessie and two friends. They try to keep their heads out of the gutter, but it is hard. Then Jessie starts having dreams of a scary person in a plague mask.

A mysterious Doctor Watson comes and hires Bea and her friends as irregulars to help with a strange murder case. It turns out something magical is afoot.

Meanwhile a young noble called Leopold, who has hemophilia, sees the irregulars from his carriage. He is so intrigued that he decides to go visit them. Because of his rich, sheltered life, he unfortunately has no idea what he’s doing. However, he does prove an invaluable source of knowledge for the group.

After that first case, more cases with supernatural substance present itself, and the sinister past of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson comes to light.

The link to Sherlock Holmes is a really tenuous one. The whole story has very little to do with the actual Sherlock Holmes stories, and the writers seem to have created a late-eighteenth-century urban-fantasy plot and just shoe-horned Sherlock Holmes into it.

The Characters

Bea is a very distrustful girl. On the one hand she is trying to look out for herself and her sister, but on the other, she seems hell-bent on swatting at the hand that feeds her. There is no clear reason why she dislikes Watson and just about everybody else, and there is also no clear reason for Watson to be such an asshole either. It creates a very strange let’s-be-assholes-for-assholes-sake atmosphere.

Jessie is psychic. That becomes clear quickly. What is less clear is why her friends would continually leave her alone in her sleep when they learn she has psychic dreams that can harm her. For a caring sister, Bea takes pretty bad care of her in any case.

Jojo and Spike are the muscle and charmer of the outfit. They walk around and do stuff, but ‘muscle’ and ‘charmer’ covers mostly everything you need to know about them.

Did I mention Leopold? Oh, wait, he was tacked on to the story for… reasons. I have no idea why. He’s the stereotypical spoiled brat, but with a disease. Or rather, a disease in name. It doesn’t really bother him all that much, until he jumps off a second story balcony, but that would get to the best of us.

Finally, there’s Sherlock and Watson. The premise of the show was apparently that Watson hired the Irregulars to solve crimes and Sherlock and Watson would take credit for it. That idea seems to have gone out the window somewhere, in favor of convoluted and unneeded backstory. The Irregulars are solving crimes, for reasons, and Watson is a dick about it, while Sherlock is on drugs. Then revelations about Watson and Sherlock and their connection to Bea’s mother arise. Also, there’s demon cult stuff. Or something. Like I wrote before, they seemed to be shoe-horned into an existing story. And not a very good one.

Wading into crap

The show started out okay, but each episode is slightly worse than the last. The show has mediocre mysteries, and suffers from quite some idiot plotting. There is some supernatural stuff going on, and that quickly turns into full-fledged fantasy stuff. Something-something rifts. And Watson is an asshole about it.

Sherlock’s role in the matter is even worse. At some point there is an episode where the two sisters have Sherlock in a bed, and he’s spilling his story — sorry, small spoiler here. For no reason at all, they keep interrupting the story by leaving Sherlock and running off. It’s extremely jarring. It also turns out, Sherlock is a weak-willed dipshit, and Watson becomes an even bigger asshole.

The problem is they go out of their way to be stupid assholes. It’s not some funny or clever take on the Sherlock Holmes stories, like Elementary. It’s just ‘let’s make Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson stupid and mean’. The whole mythos that the show tries to bring about is just silly and baffling. It’s just too much. Leopold’s involvement is randomly weird. And the whole tie-in with a mystical past of Sherlock and Watson that is nowhere close to anything in the books is just terrible. As if an inexperienced fan-girl wrote the plot after seeing Twilight.


Don’t. Just don’t. The show has not been renewed for a second season, and that seems better for all involved.

Martin Stellinga Written by:

I'm a science fiction and fantasy writer from the Netherlands