For over a decade, creator Tom Bidwell (Netflix’s Watership Down) has wished to turn The Irregulars into a series. Since he was a fan of their crime-solving abilities, he wanted to concentrate a Holmes novel around the gang of street youngsters frequently mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories. However, the Netflix series is more than a retread of Sherlock Holmes; the investigator takes a back seat in this plot.
The Irregulars is a Victorian supernatural mystery series, each episode focusing on a new paranormal crime. The first season gradually teases an overarching mystery, starting with gripping monster-of-the-week episodes. It builds to a satisfying climax in a way that feels, unlike any other rooted-in-reality Holmes Mystery.
The Irregulars is a film about a group of street teenagers led by Bea (Thaddea Graham). Jessie (Darci Shaw), her younger sister, is afflicted by strange nightmares, and the four of them are short on cash and fear being taken to a workhouse. Bea agrees to help Holmes’ accomplice John Watson (Royce Pierreson) supply intelligence on some illegal activities for Holmes (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) in exchange for a large quantity of money. However, as she and her pals delve deeper into the research, they discover supernatural forces are at work, transforming London as we know it.
As the series unfolds, we learn that Bea and her psychically gifted sister Jessie are linked to Holmes. Alice, their deceased mother, is likewise linked to the gentle folk at 221 B. Bea, Jessie, Billy, Spike, and Leopold have lovely chemistry.
This novel follows the tradition of YA fantasy by presenting a love triangle between Bea, the group’s muscle, and brainy Leopold. By casting color-blind actors, Sherlock can break away from its white male origins, while Bea brings a distinctly feminist component to the show.
Inspector Lestrade and Mycroft Holmes will be familiar to fans of Sherlock Holmes. Despite Victorian England appearing grim and grimy, the language and music sound oddly anachronistic.
The reasons for the various crimes are touching, following in the footsteps of The God of Small Things, and loving someone to death. “I may not be the hero of this novel,” Sherlock admits, but The Irregulars is a fun enough distraction for mystery and monster fans. The Irregulars is currently available to watch on Netflix.