I love British Crime Drama, and recently discovered the Netflix series that combines the detective work of Sherlock Holmes with good old fashion paranormal freakiness. What happens when a group of street urchins are hired by the mysterious Dr. Watson? We get a well written series called The Irregulars.
The Irregulars is an eight episode series developed by Drama Republic and based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Created by Tom Bidwell, the series follows a group of teenage street urchins, who having survived the horrors and abuse of the London workhouse, have joined forces just to keep a roof over their heads. They rely on odd jobs and thievery just to put food on the table. Bea (Thaddea Graham) is the leader of this little group. Bea has always looked after her younger sister Jessie (Darci Shaw) ever since their mother went mad and committed suicide. They live in a damp and smelly basement with two teenage boys, Billy (Jojo Macari) and Spike (McKell David).
We are accustomed in the Arthur Conan Doyle books for Sherlock to use local street urchins to sniff out information for him, but in this series, it is a rather cold-hearted and mysterious Dr. Watson (Royce Pierreson), who after observing the comings and goings of Bea’s group, hires the kids to find a missing girl. Four babies have been abducted, and the sister of one of the babies is missing. Bea accepts the job because the rent must be paid, or it is the streets for her and her friends. Even though Bea distrusts Watson, his request for her to “keep an ear open” is better than freezing to death with winter coming.
Bea takes the job, but she is also worried about her younger sister, Jessie, who has been having upsetting nightmares, and walking in her sleep. After Bea saves Jessie from a sleep walking event where Jessie is almost run down by a carriage owned by the youngest child of Queen Victoria, we are introduced to Leopold (Harrison Osterfield) who falls immediately in love with Bea.
Yes, I know….it sounds like a fairytale and you are most likely ready to nix the series, but don’t because the Leopold character is very interesting on its own, and Leopold actually helps Bea and her friends solve their first case.
Jessie (Darci Shaw), we learn in the first three episodes is a very strong psychic, and the nightmares that she has been experiencing, actually hold the secret to who is kidnapping the newborn children. She is able to pick up important information just by touching people. While this gift helps Jesse and the others learn who and why the infants are stolen, it leaves her open for manipulation from the other side.
After the team tracks down the sister of one of the missing infants, an unkindness of ravens attacked the group, killing the infant’s sister. Did you known that a group of ravens is called an unkindness? This is one of the names given to these beautiful black birds because it is thought that they associate with witches and death. A group of ravens is also called a conspiracy.
We do learn at the end of season one about the special relationship between Jessie and Sherlock (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), and the relationship between Watson and Sherlock.
Conclusion (with spoilers)
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this series. The entire cast brings their best game to the series, but especially Thaddea Graham. Each episode has the kids tracking down paranormal killers, which is definitely not appreciated by Scotland Yard. There is also an enemy known as the Linen Man (Clarke Peters) that is heading from America to London to take control of Jesse’s power with the intent of opening a portal between worlds. Bea and her friends must solve cases while trying to survive under the most horrid of conditions. Landing on the streets, or in a workhouse is a daily threat to Bea and her friends, but they have each other, and hopefully, there is a second season for us to watch.