THE IRREGULARS is a new Netflix horror-mystery series set in the world of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. The main characters are teenagers and you’ll come to love them soon enough. They’re better than most adults. Read our full The Irregulars season 1 review here!
THE IRREGULARS is a new Netflix series in the horror-mystery genres. The main characters are teenagers, but if we’ve learned anything from Netflix productions, it should be that they often have awesome teen characters. Especially when we’re talking genre productions.
In fact, the young characters in this Netflix series are much more likable than the adults – which feature the iconic duo of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. The teens are more fair and level-headed because they’ve had to be. Left to their own devices for various reasons (often after having been in workhouses first), they’ve created their own family.
Continue reading our The Irregulars season 1 review below. We’ve watched all eight episodes in the season for this review.
Starts well and keeps getting better
While season 1 of The Irregulars does start well, it only gets better in the final half of the season. Episode 1 is very much an “introduction” episode, and the story is somewhat light compared to what comes later.
Each episode of The Irregulars does tend to feature one new case – that is solved within the episode – while we also chase the “bigger picture”. The closer we get to see what the bigger picture (which is the thing that causes all these supernatural cases to occur) is, the darker this series gets. In a good way.
Remember that this is a supernatural horror-mystery while being set in Victorian London. Sherlock Holmes doesn’t really appear until the final half of season 1, which means Doctor Watson is taking point on the cases, to begin with. Speaking of Watson, he is grossly unlikable for the most part. And Sherlock Holmes doesn’t impress much either.
However, this is actually part of the point. The teens living on the street treat people right and are simply “good people” who also have street smarts. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are jaded adults who live in a world of money and security. And it shows!
Grimey Victorian London
One thing I have to highlight is the fact that the teens living almost on the street (they’re renting a dark and filthy basement) are always dirty. I hate it when characters go through hell from being on a deserted island or chased by zombies for years, and somehow still look very presentable.
In The Irregulars, the lead characters are constantly filthy. Their clothes are dirty and they have messy hair along with filthy hands and faces. It makes everything else work so much better. Including the supernatural elements, since we’re not already distracted by something in this world feeling off.
Okay, they do have nice teeth, which almost seems like an inside joke considering that the British are always accused of having awful teeth. Then again, an ugly smile would have taken too much focus, so I can easily accept this.
The cast of The Irregulars
The main cast of The Irregulars is lead by Thaddea Graham as Bea (Beatrice) and Darci Shaw as Jessie (Jessica). They are sisters and I completely buy this, since the characters seem to have an innate love and respect for one another. Along with intense protectiveness.
Thaddea Graham is remarkable as Bea. I can’t wait to see her act in more! She’s already been in several TV series including BBC’s Us mini-series and the Netflix series The Letter for the King. As Jessie, you’ll see Darci Shaw who ensures that the audience will root for this underdog character, who has a lot more power than she realizes.
Bea and Jessie have created a family of their own with a friend they met in the workhouse named Billy. Jojo Macari (Cursed) plays Billy and does a truly remarkable job. Rounding out their little “chosen family” is Spike who came along after the three left the workhouse. Spike is portrayed by McKell David (the Snatch series) who makes sure you can’t help but love Spike from the beginning.
Leopold quickly joins the little family but comes from an entirely different world – one of wealth and power. Harrison Osterfield (Catch-22) plays Leopold and, just like with every other young character, makes him very likable and trustworthy. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a series with more likable young characters. All the stupid teen tropes are avoided and I love it!
Supporting characters and guest stars
Then, of course, there is Doctor John Watson who is portrayed by Royce Pierreson (Istredd in The Witcher). To begin with, I’m not a fan of this Watson, because he seems arrogant and cruel in so many unnecessary ways. Of course, this is perfect for securing the audience has allegiance with the teens, so I get how that works.
Finally, we have Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve) playing Sherlock Holmes. As already mentioned, he doesn’t really appear until the final half of the series. As usual, he does suffer from arrogance as well and is a total egomaniac – in other words, a classic Sherlock Holmes in that sense.
In guest-starring roles, we also see many familiar faces. Starting with Rory McCann (“The Hound” from Game of Thrones), Craig Conway (Mara), and Aidan McArdle (The Fall). Also, both Alex Ferns (Chernobyl) and Clarke Peters (John Wick, The Wire) play recurring characters during season 1.
Will there be a season 2 of The Irregulars?
Rumour has it that season 2 of The Irregulars have already been greenlit prior to its season 1 release on Netflix. Not officially announced by Netflix yet, but the production is set to begin in Liverpool this summer.
Having watched all episodes in this first season, I am very happy that this series will continue. From production quality to storyline and casting, this Netflix series is definitely among the best of them.
Update May 5, 2021: Netflix has cancelled The Irregulars, so there will not be a season 2!
Watch Season 1 of The Irregulars on Netflix now!
Tom Bidwell is the creator of The Irregulars and he has done an excellent job of building this new universe. Please note that episode 1 is far from the strongest in the season, so do keep going if you’re mildly curious. This series gets darker throughout the season and the characters only get more interesting.
Prior to creating this Netflix series, Tom Bidwell has written the My Mad Fat Diary TV series. Another example of a storyline with excellent teen characters, which is clearly paying off now. Season 1 was created by three directors; Joss Agnew directed four episodes and both Weronika Tofilska and Johnny Allen directed two each.
If you like horror, mystery, and supernatural series, then do check out this latest Netflix addition!
Season 1 is out on Netflix from March 26, 2021.
Creator: Tom Bidwell
Stars: Darci Shaw, Jojo Macari, McKell David, Thaddea Graham, Harrison Osterfield, Royce Pierreson, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Clarke Peters
Set in Victorian London, the series follows a gang of troubled street teens who are manipulated into solving crimes for the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious business partner, the elusive Sherlock Holmes. As the crimes take on a horrifying supernatural edge and a dark power emerges, it’ll be up to the Irregulars to come together to save not only London but the entire world.