Why does Vienna Blood seem like Sherlock Holmes met Dr. Sigmund Freud? Move the writer of Sherlock to 1906 Vienna and “Voila!” A protege of the founder of psychoanalysis wants to study the criminal mind. Police Commissioner Strasser grants a favor to a family friend and orders a reluctant Inspector Oskar Reinhardt to cooperate. Yet, it is not just the police who are skeptical of the “disreputable science,” the medical community and the general public are as well.
Masterpiece, available on Amazon Prime, scores again with Vienna Blood and its three murder mysteries, ninety minutes each. For those who’ve never been there, Vienna is another of the charming European cities. The director takes full advantage of its beauty. Like Sherlock, the writing is terrific, the costumes detailed, and the production is BBC quality. Unlike Sherlock, the actors are not household names, but the cast does not disappoint. I give Vienna Blood 4.0 Gavels and it receives a 7.4/10 IMDb score.
Max Liebermann is a young doctor, unhappy with the “electro-shock” teachings of his professor-mentor. He often skips classes to attend the lectures of Dr. Freud. Thought insufferable by Reinhardt, eventually Max convinces him that he can “paint a portrait of the killer.” When a young girl is shot in the chest, but no gun, no bullet, and no method of entry can be found, the inspector needs Max. Or, as they say, “welcome to the case.” For his part, Max is eager dig in.
Acting since he was two years old, Matthew Beard‘s most well-known movies are An Education and The Imitation Game. His Max is an amalgam of various Sherlocks observed over the years. Until now, mostly seen in Germany and Austria, Jurgen Maurer is Inspector Reinhardt, a man with his own personal struggles. The two ladies that have the eye of Max are Luise von Finckh (Clara) and Jessica De Gouw (Amelia). Let’s just say Max has a complicated love life. Episode Two begins with “man is never so weak as when he is in love.”
“Children are the land to which we can never return” begins Episode Three. After his nephew slits his wrist, Max notes, “guilt, more than anything else, changes a person.” Just what happened at the boy’s military academy? Max will need the assistance of a former patient, Miss Lydgate.
“The chemistry between the two is wonderfully subtle, the older man slowly thawing under the younger man’s psychoanalytical gaze,” praises The London Evening Standard. The Wall Street Journal agrees. “There’s also enough that’s novel about the show’s cerebral gumshoes to keep viewers rapt, and likely hoping for more.” Move over, Sherlock. Max is on your tail.