‘The Irregulars’ reviews round-up: Netflix drama is ‘Buffy meets Sherlock Holmes’

Netflix’s new supernatural period drama series The Irregulars premieres tomorrow!

The latest twist on the Sherlock Holmes stories follows the ‘Baker Street Irregulars,’ rather than focusing on The Great Detective himself.

The official synopsis reads: “Set in Victorian London, The Irregulars follows a gang of troubled delinquent teens who are manipulated into solving crimes for the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious business partner.

“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 London, each other, and potentially the entire world.”

Watch the trailer:


The Irregulars stars Indian Summers actor Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Sherlock Holmes, with Royce Pierreson (Judy) playing John Watson, and Aidan McArdle (The Fall) playing Inspector Lestrade.

However, the main focus of the eight-part series is on the titular group of misfits working to solve supernatural crimes at the behest of Watson and Holmes.

The cast features Thaddea Graham (Us) as Bea, Darci Shaw (Judy) as Jessie, Jojo Macari (Sex Education) as Billy, Mckell David (Snatch) as Spike, Harrison Osterfield (Catch 22) as Leopold, and Clarke Peters (His Dark Materials) as The Linen Man.

We’ve rounded up a selection of reviews to help you decide if you’d like to watch the series:


“The series isn’t perfect; it’s tonally confusing, the pacing is wonky and the gleefully hammy horror scenes and adolescent love storylines place it firmly in the teen category, bringing to mind wholesome BBC series such as His Dark Materials and Doctor Who.

“Darker themes, however, suggest it is also trying to hook adult audiences. (Not to mention the fact that its gorier moments will traumatise the hardiest of grown ups, let alone children.)

“Nevertheless, Bidwell has created an utterly immersive new take on the Sherlock universe and delivered a dynamic, compulsive set of mysteries…

“Supernatural horrors and a cracking young cast make for compulsive viewing.” ★★★★ – iNews


The Irregulars is very much a high-concept fantasy series, so if resurrections, seances and tarot magic doesn’t appeal, it’s probably not going to be for you…

“The writing is rote, the emotional beats sanitised and it’s never as gothic as you want it be. Still, most of the characters are engaging, the production values look great, its colourblind casting is fresh and there’s enough impetus in the central mystery to keep casual fantasy fans on the hook.” – News.com.au


“Once all these elements start to converge, the story takes hold, bringing with it an overarching mystery that might not knock your socks off but offers more than enough intrigue to warrant hoovering up the show’s entire eight-episode run.

“A supernatural spin on Sherlock’s sidekicks that, while far from ground-breaking, is a big step up from The Baker Street Boys.”★★★ – Empire


“The finished effect is something of a mixed bag, falling somewhere between Ripper Street and The X-Files as our heroes tackle demonic forces, super-powered villains and occult magic while also existing in a fairly gritty vision of late-1800s London…

“Sometimes, this series is great, escapist fun. Sometimes, it’s a bit of a muddle … The Irregulars has a lot of good qualities and some fun ideas, but as a whole it doesn’t quite mesh. Clearly, this particular case was a tough one to crack.” ★★★ – Radio Times


“Tom Bidwell’s new Netflix production The Irregulars not only puts the young street gang at the head of their own series, but it also catapults Holmes’ usually straightforward detective work into the realm of the supernatural, a move that the afterlife-fascinated Doyle probably would have applauded.

“The crimes are clever, based on modern myths with an intensified, nightmarish supernatural twist…

“Veering on the horrific side of picturesque, The Irregulars’ gore stretches the limits of its TV-14 rating, which is unfortunate, because without all the carnage, The Irregulars would have made a fun watch for tweens.” – The AV Club


“The Netflix series, a mix of horror, fantasy, class struggle and steampunk accouterments, reimagines almost the entire Holmesian universe, and a few others as well, to questionable advantage.” – The Wall Street Journal


“Tom Bidwell’s spin-off of Arthur Conan Doyle’s London will upset Sherlock purists, but this giddy vision for Netflix is perfectly watchable… The Irregulars is a thunderingly competent re-imagining.” ★★★ – The Telegraph


“Does the world need another Sherlock spin-off? The litany of adaptations makes it tempting to answer no – but with millions settling down to watch Enola Holmes, a one-off feature about Sherlock’s teenage sister, also on Netflix, last year, it’s hard to claim our appetite for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Baker Street sleuth is waning.

“Besides The Irregulars – written by My Mad Fat Diary’s Tom Bidwell – offers a bold new take on the stories.

The Irregulars also stands out for its supernatural element. Without blundering into spoiler territory, the show’s crimes have a gruesome, sci-fi edge…” – iNews


“Netflix’s latest teen drama The Irregulars is just like any of the platform’s other series aimed at young adults: a ragtag group of hormonal adolescents work together to fight some form of dark presence.

“While the likes of Stranger Things, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale have shown that the streaming giant is both experienced and capable in delivering exceptional content of this type, the first two episodes of their newest dark teen fantasy fall flat in every respect.” ★★ – The Upcoming


“Netflix’s latest drama is a Victorian mixture of Sherlock Holmes, Stranger Things and Bridgerton.” – The Hollywood Reporter


The Irregulars is fairly regular. Which isn’t to say it’s bad, just expected…

“Take pretty much any established cultural touchstone — here it’s Sherlock Holmes — add a group of teenagers and you’ve got a TV show. To play it safe, inject the storylines with supernatural mumbo jumbo for color and special effects. Voila, it’s Netflix-ready … The first episode is shaky, but the series stabilizes as it progresses.” – The Detroit News


“With an easy elevator pitch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Sherlock Holmes (especially easy thanks to the literal presence of Sherlock Holmes), The Irregulars comes loaded with procedure. But as with all good magic shows, it comes with some pivotal twists…

The Irregulars manages a difficult task: finding mutual ground between reality and fantasy. The CGI-heavy effects help reinforce this idea, creating a grimy and dirty environment right at home with the show’s London slums…

“Though The Irregulars is technically a Sherlock Holmes-universe story, it stands on its own two feet as a genre-bending supernatural show that gives some much-needed attention to the parts of society other Victorian shows shy away from.” – Inverse


The Irregulars premieres exclusively on Netflix around the world on Friday 26th March.

The complete Sherlock box set is available on DVD on Amazon.