Description: In this modernized version of the Conan Doyle characters, using his detective plots, Sherlock Holmes lives in early 21st century London and acts more cocky towards Scotland Yard’s detective inspector Lestrade because he’s actually less confident. Doctor Watson is now a fairly young veteran of the Afghan war, less adoring and more active.
Creators: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
- The Game is On
- A new sleuth for the 21st Century
- The world’s favourite detective has emerged from the fog…this is Sherlock for a new generation.
- The character of Greg Lestrade is a combination of Inspectors Gregson and Lestrade. In the books, the latter character’s first name is said to begin with the letter G, but is never revealed. This is why Sherlock is always forgetting Lestrade’s name.
- The role of Molly Hooper was never in the books or short stories and was only meant to be a one-off character to further indicate Sherlock’s lack of social skills, particularly addressing any romantic encounters. However, Steven Moffat and other producers loved Louise Brealey’s performance so much that they decided to expand her character.
- Many of the crew in Sherlock (2010) are related. Sherlock’s parents are actually actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton; Amanda Abbington (Mary Morstan) and Martin Freeman (John Watson) were real-life partners; producer Sue Vertue is writer Steven Moffat’s wife, and co-producer and writer Beryl Vertue is his mother-in-law; writer Mark Gatiss’ husband is the barrister in Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall (2012); Steven Moffat’s son plays Sherlock Holmes as a child in a few episodes.
- When Martin Freeman arrived for his first audition, he just had his wallet stolen. He was in such a bad mood that the producers thought he wasn’t interested in the role. Luckily, for the next audition he was fine, and got the role.
- Sherlock sometimes uses a memory technique that he calls a “Mind Palace.” This is not an invention of the screenwriters; rather, it is a method of aiding memory that dates back to Ancient Rome called the “Method of Loci”. One of history’s most famous real-life practitioners was the sixteenth-century Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, who introduced the method to China.
- As part of his preparation after being cast as Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch read every original Conan Doyle story.
- In this series, Watson was wounded in the shoulder but has psychosomatic/psychogenic pain in his leg. This is a sly reference to the original stories in which Arthur Conan Doyle was inconsistent about the location of Watson’s war wound.
- The usage of the saying “the game is on” is the modern equivalent to Doyle’s saying “the game is afoot, ” which was borrowed from Shakespeare’s “Henry V.”
- Through the series, several Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle are alluded to, either as episode names or in passing. For instance, “A Study in Scarlet” becomes “A Study in Pink”, “The Greek Interpreter” becomes “The Geek Interpreter” etc.
- The actual address used for filming the exteriors of 221B Baker Street is 187 North Gower Street, London NW1.
- Benedict Cumberbatch was cast after Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss watched his performance in Atonement (2007). They thought he looked like a perfect Holmes.
- Many versions of the coat that Sherlock wears are used in filming, but the original, used in the pilot, was bought by Mark Gatiss who later gave it to Benedict Cumberbatch as a birthday present.
- Benedict Cumberbatch is distantly related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the original Sherlock Holmes books. They are 16th cousins twice removed and their common ancestor is John of Gaunt.
- During the hiatus between the first and second series, Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch were both cast in Peter Jackson’s films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). This time Freeman took the lead as Bilbo, and Cumberbatch provided the motion-capture and voice for Smaug the Dragon and The Necromancer.
- Both Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss dye their hair black for their roles as Sherlock and Mycroft. They’re both naturally ginger (Gatiss)/brown haired (Benedict) .
- As in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, the term “deduction” is misused. Like medical diagnosticians, hunters and yes, detectives, what Holmes actually uses a form of inference called “abductive reasoning,” which is neither deductive nor inductive.
- “Reichenbach” is the name of the waterfall where Sherlock and Moriarty fight in the novel.