The Irregulars S01E01 Review and Recap

Where Can I Watch The Irregulars S01E01

The Irregulars is a British Young Adult Detective meets Supernatural Horror TV show. It was produced by Drama Republic for Netflix. It’s loosely based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world of Sherlock Holmes. It features a group of teenagers living on the streets of Victorian London known as the Irregulars, who work for John Watson, to solve increasingly supernatural crimes, while Sherlock Holmes gets credit for their work.

Season 1 of The Irregulars is available now to stream on Netflix.

The Irregulars S01E01 Cast

McKell David – Spike
Thaddea Graham – Bea
Jojo Macari – Billy
Harrison Osterfield – Leopold
Darci Shaw – Jessie
Clarke Peters – The Linen Man
Royce Pierreson – John Watson
Rory McCann – The Bird Master/Arthur Hilton

The Irregulars S01E01 An Unkindness in London Recap
The Irregulars S01E01 An Unkindness in London Recap

The Irregulars: An Unkindness in London Recap

The Irregulars introduces us to the world of a downtrodden 19th Century Victorian London where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In the case of the protagonists in this series: Spike (played by McKell David), Bea (played by Thaddea Graham), Billy (played by Jojo Macari) and Jessie (played by Darci Shaw), who are struggling just to survive, this London is a dark world filled with maniacal inventions (natural and otherwise) which are sure to bite back if they’re not too careful.

Episode 1 starts off by introducing us to Shaw’s character Jessie, stuck in a spooky and haunting catacomb, surrounded by hundreds of bones and skeletons. A graveyard of sorts, before she is woken up by Bea. We soon learn that Jessie is the supposed ‘weak link’ of the group of teenagers who are doing their best to stay afloat despite their economic crisis of being almost 2 months behind in their rent. While Bea looks for ways for the four teens to make money we see Spike accompany Billy look to a bare-fisted boxing match – one that Billy is hopelessly outmatched and ill prepared for.

While looking for other ways to make money, Bea looks over yonder at an apartment across the road from their own hovel: 221B Baker Street. An obvious easter egg of sorts as that’s the famous address of one Sherlock Holmes and his odd couple companion Doctor Watson (played by Royce Pierreson). Although we never see Holmes in this first episode, Watson invites Bea over for a quick chat which results in Bea and her companions being “hired” to look into strange occurrences happening in London. Namely, babies being abducted from their cribs in the dead of night.

After looking into the case with her friends, Bea comes to the realisation that the babies are being abducted by crows. Crows which are being controlled by a humanly force in the guise of The Bird Master (played by Rory McCann) who seems to have supernatural abilities. Abilities which Bea, Billy and Spike are unaware of, save for Jessie who seems to have the uncanny power to read people’s minds and astro-project herself to other locations.

Jessie begins to explore her power when an odd African-American man called The Linen Man (played by Clarke Peters) pulls her spirit to his side of the world in Louisiana and give her some secrets about her powers and tasks her to find out how The Bird Master has been gifted his supernatural abilities. A chance meeting between Bea and Leo (a royal of some title) leads the episode comes to a head when the Five Teenagers to track down The Bird Master to his secret hideout which is a bird sanctuary. With the help of Jessie, they are able to piece together the mystery of why he’s abducting babies in London, and help him mend his tortured soul.

With the mystery solved, Bea receives payment from Watson for a job well done and negotiates them being put on a retainer to help Watson and Holmes solves future strange occurrences of a dark and supernatural nature. The Irregulars S01E01 ends on an eerie note that Watson knew about Jessie’s strange abilities the whole time because “it’s easy to spot an angel in a world of darkness.”

The Irregulars Trailer

The Irregulars S01E01 Review

The Irregulars S01E01 creates an interesting and dark world of 19th Century London while providing enough chewable morsels for the most avid fan of Sherlock Holmes. While it’s not a Holmes story, strictly speaking, it does follow similar absurdist tropes of Detective Storytelling even though its often more macabre than absurd.

The mystery around The Bird Master and his controlling of ravens and crows creates a dynamic akin to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys if Nancy Drew were trapped in 19th Century London and had to beg for scraps. There are plenty of elements in this story that will appeal to the younger audience from its younger casting decisions to the anti-authoritarian vibe and the recruitment of a certain royal to assist ‘the gang’ (although we know not who Leo actually is).

It’s comforting that the finality of the third act in this episode is resolved through words and not the bloated underpinnings of an unnecessary action sequence.

The Irregulars S01E01 Overall

The Irregulars starts off with an intriguing tale to thrust us into this dark underbelly world of the poor and lower class. An underbelly that is both fun, adventurous and collectively charming. Would I recommend this show to an over 40s audience? Definitely not.

The fear I have here is, like a Netflix show, The Irregulars has all the usual ingredients which will probably only see it through to lasting 2 Seasons. A sad reality for fans of the show. But this is the streaming world we live in.

Rory McCann as The Bird Master in The Irregulars Episode 1
Rory McCann as The Bird Master in The Irregulars Episode 1

The Irregulars S01E01 Stray Thoughts

  • The adage of 221B Baker Street is a neat little addition to introduce the world of Sherlock Holmes and its proximity to The Irregulars events
  • The CGI that often appears around Jessie is absolutely horrible. Here’s hoping this improves as The Irregulars progresses.
  • Towards the end of Episode 1 we witness Dr Watson get struck by an unseen assailant. Could this be the Showrunner exploring the overbearing and borderline abusive relationship he had with Sherlock Holmes?
  • Rory McCann, who portrayed The Hound on Game of Thrones, portrays The Bird Master and the antagonist in this episode. Despite what you might think about this episode of The Irregulars, there’s an amazing display of emotional range in McCann’s acting chops. Something that’s worth viewing.
  • 60 minutes as total runtime seems like a bit of overkill for a first episode. So you’ll notice a bit of unnecessary scenes required to connect the dots in this Irregulars mystery from the start to the finish.

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