Noob Reviews: The Irregulars (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
Who are The Irregulars?
Released only a few weeks ago on the 26th March, The Irregulars is a Netflix original series set in Victorian London that follows the adventures of a group of teenagers living beneath London's streets. However, when they are not taking part in underground fights and pickpocketing, the group are occasionally hired by a mysterious gentleman named Doctor Watson to help look into several criminal cases with supernatural elements.
Luckily for the Baker Street Irregulars, as they will come to be known, they are unknowingly uniquely equipped to deal with such challenging investigations as one of their group (Jessie) is an Ipsissimus. A magically imbued user with the ability to carry out a vast scope of tasks like bending reality to their will, astral projection and telepathy. For Jessie, though, as she begins to explore her powers, she is limited to only delving into and interacting with people's memories. But as she develops her gift, her abilities will become more potent.
In addition to the Baker Street Irregulars, The Irregulars also brings into the first season many fan favourite characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, including Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson themselves.
How many episodes are there?
There are eight episodes in total, each with an average runtime of around fifty-two minutes.
Has a second season been confirmed?
At the moment, there has been no official word on whether or not The Irregulars will be returning for a second season.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix's YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can also find The Irregulars on Netflix here.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Harrison Osterfield (Leopold)
Rory McCann (Bird Master)
Royce Pierreson (John Watson)
Thaddea Graham (Bea)
For a complete cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think about the first season of The Irregulars?
Please be advised that there are minor spoilers ahead.
Having been a massive fan of both fantasy and horror genres for many years, I was pretty excited to see what The Irregulars had on offer, especially as the series tied into the Sherlock Holmes universe. Unfortunately, I hand on heart feel like The Irregulars has done Sherlock Holmes a colossal disservice, and the show itself could have been so much better.
When it comes to the story, bar the Baker Street Irregulars and darker back story to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Many of the themes, such as supernatural menaces terrorising Victorian-era London, have been done before in both literature and on screen. And what could have been a vast wealth of material to draw on for the Sherlock Holmes aspects was essentially discarded and replaced with a poorly skilled, dim-witted drug user who is imprisoned by his own guilt and self-loathing. And even those aspects were very poorly executed. Sherlock just came across as an extra. Although Sherlock is meant to be the adopted father of Bae and Jessie, he really has a very minimal interest in either of them. And the times you see him in throwbacks to his better years, where he is happy with Alice (the girls' mum), he is supposedly meant to come across as a showboater who thrives on the praise of others. But in his scenes, he is always played out so awkward and reserved. Whilst on the story, there is a point during the series where Bae and Leopold take their relationship to the next level. Until this point, the entire relationship had been like a bad over the top teen romance where everything is questioned one minute and then heated and passionate the next. This pattern repeats after the two engage in an intimate union. It ruins the relationship's whole development by cheapening it and making it more childish/immature than I think was intended.
For the most part, I loved the Baker Street Irregulars cast, with Bae especially coming across as a strong lead female character. Jessie was the naïve youth struggling to deal with her powers who goes through a fantastic story arc during the first season. And I thought Spike really had a great sense of comedic timing and some excellent people skills. Unfortunately, Billy, who is the group's muscle, could have been so much more and, on many occasions, came across as a mindless thug. And when it comes to Leopold, I always felt his character arc was being pushed and pulled in too many directions at once. Meaning it quickly became unnecessarily complicated and messy towards the end. In addition to the Baker Street Irregulars, I also found that the Sherlock Holmes character was a complete waste of time, as you may have guessed. There was a very mediocre level of line delivery and screen time for that character which flies in the face of every other representation of Holmes I can recall and not in a good way. When it came to the Doctor Watson character, I found that Doctor Watson just irked me continuously as he had a powerful and somewhat intimidating character when dealing with Bae and the others. But never really built up any meaningful personality or presence you could come to care about until the penultimate episode. This repeated over and over again with supporting cast members and even some of the 'monsters' that popped up in the investigations. They could start off with an engaging presence but soon descended into overly complex plots that pulled themselves in too many directions or were just too poorly executed to make you bothered to follow along too closely. This made me feel that some of the episodes were too long and full of filler content between the actual story segments. A lot of this contributed to derailing plots as they would just begin to pick up, and then a new subplot would slide in and take your attention off on a tangent.
When it comes to the special effects, I really liked the first season's effects, especially with the flocks of attack birds in the first episode. The Plague Doctors' appearance. And screen time throughout, and I really loved how the dimensional rip between realms looked and reacted to people nearby. The filming locations were also fantastically chosen, and the props/wardrobe team had done an excellent job making every scene - from characters to room contents. Look and feel as if it was period-appropriate. I just wish this same level of care and attention to detail had been applied to other areas.
Overall, The Irregulars, when you go into it and try to ignore everything you know and love about Sherlock Holmes, is watchable, and it can be pretty fun if you do not try to overthink it. If you overthink it, you spoil the episodes for yourself, as many of the critical plot twists you can see coming a mile off. Unfortunately, it could have been so much better than it is. If the story structure, character development and way the supporting cast are portrayed is improved - I could see a second season of The Irregulars been a considerable success. On this hope, I would definitely watch a second season to see if things have improved.
What rating would you give the first season of The Irregulars?
I would rate the first season of The Irregulars as a moderate 3.4 out of 5 bananas.
With murky storylines, complicated subplots and interfering butlers, The Irregulars attempts to deliver a lot of content in a very loose format that is okay to watch and relatively easy to follow when you ignore everything going on around it. Still, in honesty, it could have been written and structured so much better. For the most part, the acting was mediocre, with only a few characters I could not pick fault with.
I wanted to love The Irregulars as it was part of the Sherlock Holmes universe, and I can really respect what they are trying to do with the series. However, there are just too many faults for me to rant and rave about how good the show is. It is definitely watchable and, for many, may even be highly enjoyable, but I hope it is a lot more polished should a second season be released, as I would love to see how the cast and story develop from here.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in The Irregulars and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion - you can find it on Netflix here.