Friday, March 26, 2021

Mandatory blog post on Netflix's "The Irregulars"

 Bea, Jessie, Billy, Spike, and Leo . . . the new Irregulars.

No Wiggins, Cartwright, Simpson, no last names at all. And they were all a lot younger and cartoonier in the Dark Horse comic upon which it is based. 

Beatrice is the lead Irregular, the detective, the main character, if there is one, hired by an arsehole of a John Watson, to use Paul Thomas Miller's perfect word for him, to investigate supernatural crime. Billy and Leo are the romantic interests for Bea, the brawn and the knowledge. Jessie sees visions.

As much Stranger Things, X-Files, and Lovecraft Country as Sherlockian Canon. The closest predecessor is probably the Downey Sherlock Holmes, if it actually turned out that Lord Blackwood was supernatural. Except this isn't a Sherlock Holmes story at all. This is the story of Bea and her friends. Sherlock Holmes is just another mystery to chase, with Watson blocking their path.

As I made my way through it, and saw darker versions of all our usual Canonical friends appearing one by one, it started to see like a "Mirror, Mirror" universe to that of Sherlock Holmes, to use the classic Star Trek trope. And indeed it is. Where Sherlock Holmes's world is one of science and logic, the universe of these Irregulars is one of magic and monsters . . . a reversed image.

First names instead of last names. Magic instead of science. Watson more dominant than Holmes. 

Yes, these Irregulars are not anything close to Holmes's Baker Street urchins. But there's something worthwhile here. And some new things to explore about the old and familiar.

Oh, wait . . . there are unseen Cartwrights here, working for Mrs. Hudson. And an Alice that I think may have come with Hatty Doran from San Francisco. At least that's the way my headcanon is starting to weave it.

Of course, I'm only halfway through . . . .


  1. Watched the first, and, for me, the last episode of 'The Irregulars'. Don't hate it, just don't like it enough to waste my time. No ghosts need apply.

  2. Brad, I am not going to make it past episode 2 (despite no real sign of Holmes yet). I love reimagining Holmes, Watson, and the crew. I despise lack of research/homework. Why would Dr. Watson hand Beatrice a police report in ep. 1 and assume that she could read it? She's a street urchin--unless he knows her background, explaining where she learned to read. Why would Dr. Watson threaten her with a "District judge," who handles only civil cases? Why would Beatrice talk about "clones," years before the term came into use (in botany)? I'm all for diversity in casting, but why do Jessica and Beatrice obviously come from different parents--with no explanation? And since when did the peerage include a Black baron (and the military a Black captain)? Do your homework, folks! Poor writing takes all of the possible enjoyment away for me.