Most everyone is familiar with director Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. That franchise offers an “updated” take on the iconic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character – one that still retains the original Victorian-era setting of the author’s source material, but brings a modern-day Hollywood blockbuster sensibility to the proceedings.

However, fewer people have yet to watch the first season of Sherlock, a BBC TV mini-series adaptation of Doyle’s creation that takes place against a contemporary backdrop, as co-conceived by current Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat and actor/writer Mark Gatiss.

Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as the modern-day incarnation of Mr. Holmes, a brilliant consulting detective whose working relationship with the police is all the more volatile because of his anti-social tendencies and outside-the-system working method. Joining Sherlock on his adventures is his roommate and Afghanistan “peace-keeping” war veteran, Dr. John Watson (The Hobbit‘s Martin Freeman).

Check out a handful of trailers for the second season of Sherlock below:

Those who enjoy the Holmes-Watson dynamic and faster pacing of Ritchie’s films, but have longed for a variation that both “modernizes” the classic Doyle property AND features more fully-realized character development, carefully-constructed mystery plot mechanics, and fewer bombastic action sequences – Sherlock is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

One of the key components that made the first season of Sherlock both a fan and critical success (and helped the show earn a BAFTA for Best Drama Series) is that Moffat and Gatiss directly drew directly upon Doyle’s original text for inspiration – in terms of both characters and storylines.

That will also be the case for season two, which will reportedly feature plots inspired by well-renowned Holmes short stories/novels such as “A Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Hound of the Baskervilles” – not to mention, an episode based on the famous showdown between Holmes and his arch-nemesis Moriarty at The Reichenbach Falls.

Look for the second season of Sherlock to begin airing on BBC One on January 1st, 2012.

Source: BBC (via The Guardian)