The Irregulars is a what-if riff on the Sherlock Holmes universe with an array of supernatural and mysterious plots tossed into a stew featuring a group of street kids. The series is streaming on Netflix.
The Irregulars uses street-smart kids, which Arthur Conan Doyle called the irregulars, and included in several of his stories. In this series, the kids are the main characters. Instead of all boys, two of the kids are girls. I consider Bea (Thaddea Graham) and her sister Jessie (Darci Shaw) to be the series leads. Bea had the guts and gumption, Jessie had the supernatural powers.
The sisters grew up in a workhouse, where they bonded with Spike (McKell David) and Billy (Jojo Macari). Also in the photo above is Royce Pierreson as Dr. Watson and Prince Leopold (Harrison Osterfield).
Leo spots Bea on the street and falls for her. He tries to become part of their gang like a regular guy who is not the Queen of England’s son. I didn’t think Bea would be interested in a boy at first because she looked and acted on the masculine side, but she fell for him.
Sherlock Holmes (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) doesn’t show up until well into the story. He turns out to be disappointing, egotistical, wanker. Most of the important things he contributes to the story are told in flashbacks as we learn about Bea and Jessie’s past and where Jessie’s powers come from.
The throughline plot is about a ‘rip’ in the fabric of the universe. If it isn’t repaired the world as it exists in London in 1870 and the supernatural world beyond will merge. The world will be destroyed.
Thaddea Graham as Bea was the standout for me.
In the process of repairing this rip there are many dangerous monsters to dispatch, many secrets about the past to learn, and personal traumas and dilemmas to deal with among the teens. Most of the series is nightmarish and dark. The search for the rip in the universe happens in underground sewers and caves. Everything is lit by candlelight and even outside the sky is dark from coal smoke.
I thought the episodes were too long and things were dredged up again and again to fill in the time. The series didn’t create the compelling drive to keep binge watching that a lot of supernatural thrillers manage. It was more a sensation of wondering when an episode would finally end. Tightening up would have helped.
I did like the inclusive nature of the cast. All the characters were well cast and turned in fine performances. Clarke Peters as The Linen Man was excellent and the only familiar face in the cast. Thaddea Graham as Bea was the standout for me.
Check out the trailer.
What do you think? Does look like a series you would enjoy?