Sherlock – 2010
Who’d have thought it, some 130 years after the publication of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes book the character would still capture the imagination.
Since the first publication there have been an incredible 25,000 Sherlock Holmes-related productions and products. This latest BBC adaptation caught the viewers imagination with the third series screened in early 2014 becoming the most watched drama series since 2001.
Sherlock is the BBC crime drama written by Stephen Moffatt and Mark Gatiss that presents the classic detective stories in the modern day. By 2017 the series had ran for nine feature length episodes over four series and been sold to over 200 territories.
Writers Moffat and Gatiss, both who are frequent Doctor Who writers and Sherlock Holmes fans had discussed a proposed project for a Sherlock Holmes adaptation during their numerous train journeys to Cardiff where Doctor Who production is based. It was during a Monte Carlo for an awards ceremony that Moffatt’s wife, producer Sue Vertue, encouraged Moffat and Gatiss to develop the project themselves before someone else had the same idea. A third writer Stephen Thompson, was invited to write for the series in 2008.
It was at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2008, that a 60 minute drama production entitled Sherlock was announced with broadcast scheduled for late 2009. The original intention was to screen a pilot episode and if reception was good a series of six 60 minute episodes would follow. Various rumours began to circulate that Sherlock was a disaster and therefore the pilot was never screened (although it can be found on the DVD of Series One). The creative team on a DVD commentary maintain the BBC were happy with the pilot but asked to change the format. The result was the first series of Sherlock hit TV screens in July 2010 in the now established format of three ninety minute episodes.
As to the future of the series, back in 2014 writer Stephen Moffatt stated that a fifth series had been plotted by himself and Gatiss; however, by the time the fourth series was screened in January 2017, they had not yet decided whether or not to produce it.
Cumberbatch and Moffat in particular are said to have expressed interest in continuing at some point in the future, but there were no immediate plans. Writer Mark Gatiss stated that due to the conflicting schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman, a potential fifth series is still up in the air.
The adaptation is based around the books but brings the stories right up to date. For example, Martin Freeman’s Watson has returned from military service in Afghanistan. In the original books Watson was invalided home after serving in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–1880), Sherlock uses a the modern day modern technology, such as texting, the internet, and GPS, to solve crimes. Just as the original used every method at his disposal.
The update maintains some traditional elements of the stories, such as the Baker Street address and Holmes’s adversary Moriarty.
Original Transmission Dates: 25th July 2010 – 15th January 2017