Sunday, July 11, 2021

Professor T: Sherlock with a Different Name in the 2020s

Checking in with a quick review of Professor T, a British version of a Belgian TV series which debuted on PBS tonight.  It's quite good.  An idiosyncratic professor of criminology at Cambridge who is mildly OCD and very reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, called in to help the police with a variety of cases.

Of course the professor is reluctant but of course the professor agrees.  He's brilliantly perceptive, able to hypnotize a reluctant victim,  and bald-facedly lie to a suspect to secure a confession.  The Professor is backed up by a suitably modern of cast of police, ranging from those are thrilled to have him work with them to those who are threatened.

The Cambridge location is anything but modern, though, and that's a big part of the series' charm.  If you subtract the current cars and other 21st century, you could indeed be watching a story taking place in the 1890s or 1920s or 40s.  That's because, in addition to Cambridge, Professor T moves and talks in an ageless way.   Good job by Ben Miller (Bridgerton) playing the professor.

The series consists of new cases in every episode -- rather than an investigation that continues across episodes -- and while I usually prefer the continuing format, the standalone episode format is part of the old fashioned charm of this series, too.  It's on a little too late for me to brew a pot of tea and sip it as I watch the show -- with mik, thank you -- but I'll think of Professor T when I have cups in the morning and during the day, will look forward to watching it on Sunday evening, and will do my best to report back to you about it later that night or straightaway on the next day.

                   another kind of police story 


Unknown said...

I watched this episode earlier today and have also had the pleasure of watching all 3 seasons of the Belgian original. I think they have done a very good job of being true to the nature of original characters (although he is much more neurotic in the original) and storytelling methods (seeing him see the class as chickens for example). Even though the show (original version) is a case a week there are some overarching story lines as well as you really get to know all of the characters quite well through the series. All 3 seasons are on PBS passport which is their streaming library for anyone who supports PBS. In fact all 6 episodes of the new series are available now. If you get the chance and have the inclination I highly recommend watching the original. I've watched a lot of shows and Professor T is one of the most entertaining and certainly the most unique shows I have ever seen. As an added "push" I will tell you that I completely agree with you that Bosch is the best Police genre show ever.

Paul Levinson said...

Thanks for your comment -- I'm definitely going to watch the Belgian version, after I finish the British. And I think I will get the PBS streaming passport, too. (We already have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, and I'm enjoying the free year of Apple+ I got with my new Mac Air last summer. We've been trying to keep the number of these subscriptions in check, but PBS increasingly is one of our go-to channels.) Glad you agree about Bosch!