Iterations of Sherlock

by , Wednesday January 11, 2017
Iterations of Sherlock

Iterations of Sherlock

A blog looking at the different forms of Sherlock that show up in our pop culture these days...



Sherlock Holmes is the James Bond of the detective world. It’s doubtful that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knew he was creating a character that would go on to be played by over 70 different actors in more than 200 different movies - not to mention TV shows and other written stories. Regardless, with A Study in Scarlet, Conan Doyle launched a legacy that would make both him and his detective a household name. An incredible amount of authors and producers would then go on to create tales about the adventures of the genius Sherlock Holmes. Here are a few of the more popular modern interpretations that owe their stories to this 1800s author:



Elementary (TV Show)

      “Elementary, my dear Watson!” is a phrase that, while often quoted, has no direct sources from the original cannon by Doyle. Regardless, it lends itself well to title the TV show starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as the famous Sherlock/Watson duo. This show is interesting not only in its cultural change - setting the story in NYC rather than England - but also in the gender bend of Dr. John Watson into Dr. Joan Watson. While it’s clear that the roots of the show are in the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, it is definitely different enough to keep things interesting.


BBC’s Sherlock (TV show)

      Perhaps currently the most popular of the Sherlock adaptations, this Emmy award-winning show starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman has kept watchers intrigued and on the edge of their seats since 2010. Though less than a dozen episodes exist so far, each one is its own cinematic masterpiece. Between the acting, the filming, the music, and the writing, each episode plays more like a mini movie than a single episode of any other show. While this, too, is set in modern times, it retains the air and some of the key elements of the original - 221B Baker Street being one example. All in all, it’s a wild ride of intrigue and suspense, and a worthy show to binge watch on Netflix.


Sherlock Homes (2009 Film)

      With Robert Downey Jr. Taking the role of genius detective, accompanied by Jude Law as Watson, this film was bound to be interesting. Rather than creating yet another modern adaptation, this movie retained its setting in the 1890s. Drawing in supernatural aspects, a film score by the famous Hans Zimmer, and critic approved action sequences, this film did well enough to warrant a sequel - Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. For any RDJ fans, it’s worth a watch!


The House of Silk (2011 Book)

      Winning the approval and full endorsement of Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider series, has released a brand new story featuring Sherlock Holmes. It is hailed as one of the first times such an endorsement has been garnered from the estate, and Horowitz aimed to capture the style of Conan Doyle’s original stories. This novel was met with good reviews, and led to Horowitz publishing a second novel called Moriarty, for anyone interested. Though Horowitz is one of the few endorsed, dozens of other writers have taken a crack at a Sherlock Holmes story - from Neil Gaiman to Mark Twain to Stephen King.


Do you have any favorite Sherlock stories? Let us know in the comments!


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