Sherlock (TV series)

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Sherlock
A view of the London skyline, with the word "Sherlock" in black letters
GenreCrime drama
Created by
Based onSherlock Holmes 
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Written by
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes8 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Sue Vertue
  • Elaine Cameron
Editor(s)
  • Charlie Phillips
  • Mali Evans
  • Tim Porter
Cinematography
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Steve Lawes
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time85-90 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channel
Picture format576i
1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original run25 July 2010 (2010-07-25) – present
External links
Website
 
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Sherlock
A view of the London skyline, with the word "Sherlock" in black letters
GenreCrime drama
Created by
Based onSherlock Holmes 
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Written by
Directed by
Starring
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes8 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Sue Vertue
  • Elaine Cameron
Editor(s)
  • Charlie Phillips
  • Mali Evans
  • Tim Porter
Cinematography
  • Fabian Wagner
  • Steve Lawes
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time85-90 minutes
Production company(s)
Broadcast
Original channel
Picture format576i
1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original run25 July 2010 (2010-07-25) – present
External links
Website

Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Nine episodes have been produced, the first three of which aired in 2010. Series two aired in 2012, and a third series started to air in 2014. A fourth series was confirmed by Cumberbatch. The series has been sold to over 200 territories.[1]

The show was conceived by Moffat and Gatiss during train journeys to and from the Doctor Who production base in Cardiff, where they were both writers. They aspired to produce a modern-day version of Conan Doyle's stories in which Sherlock uses the technologies that are available to him today in order to help him solve crimes. Credited as co-creators, Moffat and Gatiss each write one episode per series, with the other written by Stephen Thompson. Hartswood Films produced the series for the BBC and co-produced it with WGBH Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series. The series is primarily filmed in Cardiff, although the production also uses a variety of other locations. North Gower Street in London was used for exterior shots of Holmes and Watson's 221B Baker Street residence.

Sherlock depicts "consulting detective" Holmes, assisting the Metropolitan Police Service, primarily Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves), in solving various crimes. Holmes is assisted by his flatmate, Dr John Watson, who has returned from military service in Afghanistan. Although the series depicts a variety of crimes and perpetrators, Holmes' conflict with his archnemesis Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) is a recurring feature. Pathologist Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) assists Holmes in her laboratory. Other recurring roles include Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson, Holmes and Watson's landlady; and co-creator Mark Gatiss as Sherlock's brother, Mycroft Holmes.

After an unaired pilot in 2009, the first series of three 90-minute episodes was transmitted on BBC One and BBC HD in 2010, with a second series of three episodes first broadcast in 2012. Critical reception was extremely positive, with many reviews commending the quality of the writing, performances and direction. Sherlock has been nominated for numerous awards, including BAFTAs and Emmys, winning several across a variety of categories. The first two series have been released on DVD and Blu-ray, alongside tie-in editions of some of Conan Doyle's original books. Soundtrack albums from series one and two have also been released.

Production[edit]

Conception and development[edit]

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, both Sherlock Holmes fans with experience adapting or using Victorian literature for television, devised the concept of the series.[2][3] Moffat had previously adapted the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the 2007 series Jekyll,[4] while Gatiss had written the Dickensian Doctor Who episode "The Unquiet Dead".[5] Moffat and Gatiss, both Doctor Who writers, discussed plans for a Holmes adaptation during their numerous train journeys to Cardiff where Doctor Who production is based.[6] While they were in Monte Carlo for an awards ceremony, producer Sue Vertue, who is married to Moffat, encouraged Moffat and Gatiss to develop the project themselves before another creative team had the same idea.[7] Moffat and Gatiss invited Stephen Thompson to write for the series in September 2008.[8]

Gatiss has criticised recent television adaptations of the Conan Doyle stories as "too reverential and too slow", aiming instead to be as irreverent to the canon as the 1930s and 1940s films starring Basil Rathbone, which were mostly set in the then-modern post WWII era.[2] Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock uses modern technology, such as texting, the internet, and GPS, to solve crimes.[2] Paul McGuigan, who directed two episodes of Sherlock, says that this is in keeping with Conan Doyle's character, pointing out that "[i]n the books he would use any device possible and he was always in the lab doing experiments. It's just a modern-day version of it. He will use the tools that are available to him today in order to find things out."[9]

The update maintains some traditional elements of the stories, such as the Baker Street address and Holmes's adversary Moriarty.[10] Although the events of the books are transferred to the present day, some elements are incorporated into the story. For example, Martin Freeman's Watson has returned from military service in Afghanistan.[11] While discussing the fact that the original Watson was invalided home after serving in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–1880), Gatiss realised that "[i]t is the same war now, I thought. The same unwinnable war."[2]

Sherlock was announced as a single 60-minute drama production at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2008,[3] with broadcast set for mid to late 2009.[10] The intention was to produce a series of six 60-minute episodes should the pilot prove to be successful.[7][10] However, the first version of the pilot—reported by The Guardian to have cost £800,000—led to rumours within the BBC and wider media that Sherlock was a potential disaster.[12][13] The BBC decided not to transmit the pilot, requesting a reshoot and a total of three 90-minute episodes.[12][13] The original pilot was included on the DVD of the first series. During the audio commentary, the creative team said that the BBC were "very happy" with the pilot but asked them to change the format.[7] The pilot, observes critic Mark Lawson when it was released on DVD, was "substantially expanded and rewritten, and completely reimagined in look, pace and sound".[13] In July 2009, the BBC drama department announced plans for three 90-minute episodes, to be broadcast in 2010.[14] Moffat had previously announced that if a series of Sherlock was commissioned, Gatiss would take over the duties of executive producer so that he could concentrate on producing Doctor Who.[3]

Cast and characters[edit]

Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Martin Freeman (right) during filming of Series 1

Moffat and Vertue became interested in casting Cumberbatch as the title character after watching his performance in the 2007 drama/war film Atonement. The actor was cast after reading the script for the creative team.[15] "Cumberbatch", says The Guardian, "has a reputation for playing odd, brilliant men very well, and his Holmes is cold, techie, slightly Aspergerish".[16] Cumberbatch said, "There's a great charge you get from playing him, because of the volume of words in your head and the speed of thought—you really have to make your connections incredibly fast. He is one step ahead of the audience, and of anyone around him with normal intellect. They can't quite fathom where his leaps are taking him."[16] Piers Wenger, Head of Drama at BBC Wales, described the series' rendering of Sherlock as "a dynamic superhero in a modern world, an arrogant, genius sleuth driven by a desire to prove himself cleverer than the perpetrator and the police—everyone in fact".[10] Addressing changing social attitudes and broadcasting regulations, Cumberbatch's Holmes replaced the pipe with multiple nicotine patches.[9] The writers believed that Sherlock should not talk like "a completely modern person", says Moffat, but were initially intent that "he never sounded like he's giving a lecture". However, Moffat turned the character "more Victorian" in the second series, capitalising more on Cumberbatch's "beautiful voice" to make it sound like "he's giving a lecture".[17]

In an interview with The Observer, co-creator Mark Gatiss says that they experienced more difficulty finding the right actor to play Dr John Watson than they had for the title character.[2] Producer Sue Vertue said, "Benedict was the only person we actually saw for [the part of] Sherlock... Once Benedict was there it was really just making sure we got the chemistry for John [Watson]—and I think you get it as soon as they come into the room, you can see that they work together".[18] Several actors auditioned for the part of Watson,[7] and Martin Freeman eventually took the role. Steven Moffat said that Matt Smith was the first to audition unsuccessfully. He was rejected for being too "barmy", as the producers required someone "straighter" for Watson.[19] Shortly after, Moffat cast Smith as the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who.[19]

The writers said that Freeman's casting developed the way in which Cumberbatch played Holmes.[7] The theme of "friendship" appealed to both Gatiss and Moffat.[20] Gatiss asserted the importance of achieving the correct tone for the character. "Watson is not an idiot, although it's true that Conan Doyle always took the piss out of him," said Gatiss. "But only an idiot would surround himself with idiots."[2] Moffat said that Freeman is "the sort of opposite of Benedict in everything except the amount of talent... Martin finds a sort of poetry in the ordinary man. I love the fastidious realism of everything he does."[7] Freeman describes his character as a "moral compass" for Sherlock, who doesn't always consider the morality and ethics of his actions.[15]

Rupert Graves was cast as DI Greg Lestrade. The writers referred to the character as "Inspector Lestrade" during development until Gatiss realised that in contemporary England the character would have the title "Detective Inspector". Moffat and Gatiss pointed out that Lestrade does not appear often in the stories and is quite inconsistently portrayed in them. They decided to go with the version that appeared in "The Six Napoleons": a man who is frustrated by Holmes but admires him, and whom Holmes considers as the best person at Scotland Yard.[7] Several candidates took a comedic tack in their auditions, but the creative team preferred the gravitas that Graves brought to the role.[7] His first name is revealed to be Greg in "The Hounds of Baskerville".[21]

Andrew Scott made his first appearance as Jim Moriarty in "The Great Game". Moffat said, "We knew what we wanted to do with Moriarty from the very beginning. Moriarty is usually a rather dull, rather posh villain so we thought someone who was genuinely properly frightening. Someone who's an absolute psycho."[18] Moffat and Gatiss were originally not going to put a confrontation into these three episodes between Moriarty and Sherlock but realised that they "just had to do a confrontation scene. We had to do a version of the scene in 'The Final Problem' in which the two archenemies meet each other."[22]

The remainder of the regular cast includes Una Stubbs (who has known Cumberbatch since he was four years old, as she had worked with his mother Wanda Ventham)[23] as Mrs Hudson and co-creator Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes.[24] Vinette Robinson, Jonathan Aris and Louise Brealey play the recurring roles of Sergeant Sally Donovan, Philip Anderson and Molly Hooper, respectively.

Guest appearances included Phil Davis as Jeff,[25] Paul Chequer as DI Dimmock,[26] Zoe Telford as Sarah,[26] Gemma Chan as Soo Lin Yao,[26] John Sessions as Kenny Prince,[27] Haydn Gwynne as Miss Wenceslas,[27] Deborah Moore[22] as one of Moriarty's victims and Peter Davison as the voice-over in the planetarium.[22] Series two's "A Scandal in Belgravia" featured Lara Pulver as Irene Adler,[28] while "The Hounds of Baskerville" featured Russell Tovey as Henry Knight.[29] In the final episode of series 2, the role of Max Bruhl was played by Edward Holtom. The first episode of series 3 featured Derren Brown.

Production design and filming[edit]

A street, with crew members looking towards a cafe and a house
North Gower Street in London was used for exterior shots of the location of Holmes' "Baker Street" residence[30]

The show was produced by Hartswood Films for BBC Wales, while BBC Worldwide also provided co-production funding.[3][31] PBS-funded company Masterpiece co-produced the series.[32][33] Filming of the pilot episode, written by Moffat and directed by Coky Giedroyc, commenced in January 2009.[34] The following January (2010), the first set of three episodes entered production. Paul McGuigan directed the first and third episodes and Euros Lyn directed the second.[35][36] The three episodes were filmed in reverse order of their broadcast.[22]

Gatiss says that they wanted to "fetishise modern London in the way that the period versions fetishise Victorian London".[15] Production was based at Hartswood Films' Cardiff production unit, Hartswood Films West, which was opened in late 2009 to take advantage of the BBC's planned Cardiff Bay "drama village". Production of the first two series was based at Upper Boat Studios, where Doctor Who had been produced.[37][38] Cardiff was more economical than in London, with some good matches for parts of London.[15] However, some architecture could not be faked, so location shooting in the English capital was necessary.[15] The location shots for 221B Baker Street were filmed at 187 North Gower Street[30] – Baker Street was impractical because of heavy traffic,[39] and the number of things labelled "Sherlock Holmes", which would need to be disguised.[22] Executive producer Beryl Vertue explains how it was important to design the entirety of Sherlock's flat as a contemporary set, yet still convey his eccentricity. He would not, she says, live somewhere "too suburban" or "too modern".[15]

Costumes for the pilot were designed by BAFTA Cymru award-winning costume designer Ray Holman.[40] Cumberbatch wore a £1,000 Belstaff coat in the series.[41] Sarah Arthur, the series' costume designer, explained how she achieved the detective's look. "Holmes wouldn't have any interest in fashion so I went for classic suits with a modern twist: narrow-leg trousers and a two-button, slim-cut jacket. I also went for slim-cut shirts and a sweeping coat for all the action scenes—it looks great against the London skyline."[41]

The writers say that they did not want to force modernity onto the story.[7] There were some creative challenges, such as the decision to include the sign "221B" on Holmes' front door. Gatiss and Moffat reflect that in the modern world the door would only display the number of the house, and there would be doorbells for each flat. The full house number is so iconic that they felt unable to change it.[7] The writers also decided that the lead characters would address each other by their first names, rather than the traditional Holmes and Watson.[7] This was also reflected in the title of the series. Director Paul McGuigan came up with the idea of putting text messages on the screen instead of having cut-away shots of a hand holding the phone.[7]

The producers found it difficult to coordinate the schedules of the principal players and Moffat and Gatiss for a second series. Cumberbatch and Freeman both worked on the 2012 film The Hobbit, and Moffat continued as Doctor Who's head writer. In response to the time pressure, The Guardian asserted, the series "features reworkings of three of Conan Doyle's most recognised tales".[42] Gatiss says that there had been an argument for producing these tales over three years, but Moffat explained that they rejected "deferred pleasure".[42] The relationship between Holmes and Watson developed during the second series, with Watson being less amazed by Sherlock's deductive abilities; Watson acted as the primary detective in the second episode, "The Hounds of Baskerville".[42] The cast and production team were more confident during the second series' production following the positive audience and critical reaction to the first series.[17][43]

Music[edit]

The theme and incidental music was composed by David Arnold and Michael Price.[15] Arnold explains that he and Price worked with the producers to "come up with a central theme and character" for the series, then found what was "going to be the defining sound of this show".[15] Pieces were often constructed using synthesizers, but the tracks used for the show were recorded using real musicians, Arnold says, to bring the music "to life".[15] Similarly, Price comments that the musicians can adapt their performance of a score by responding to footage from the show.[15]

Episodes[edit]

Three series, each consisting of three episodes, have been produced. The first series was initially broadcast in July and August 2010 on the BBC, later premiering on co-funders Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States in October 2010.[44] A second series of three episodes was first broadcast in the UK in January 2012, and then in the U.S. during May 2012.[45] The third series premiered in the UK on 1 January 2014 and will premiere in the US on the 19th. The series has been sold to over 200 territories.[46]

Series 1 (2010)[edit]

The first episode, "A Study in Pink", loosely based upon the first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet, was written by Moffat and directed by Paul McGuigan. The story depicts the introduction of Holmes to Watson, and them entering a flatshare at Baker Street in London, and then their investigation into a series of deaths, initially believed to be suicides. The episode was first broadcast simultaneously on BBC One and BBC HD on 25 July 2010.[47][48]

The second episode, "The Blind Banker", was first broadcast on 1 August 2010. Written by Stephen Thompson and directed by Euros Lyn, the episode depicts Holmes being hired by an old friend to investigate a mysterious break-in at a bank in the City.[49]

The first series concluded with "The Great Game", which was first broadcast on 8 August 2010. The episode introduces the character of Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) to the series, who sets Holmes deadlines to solve a series of apparently unrelated cases. Written by Mark Gatiss and directed by McGuigan, "The Great Game" ends in a cliffhanger in which Sherlock and Moriarty reach a standoff involving a bomb removed moments earlier from Watson.[50]

Series 2 (2012)[edit]

After the high ratings for "A Study in Pink", the BBC were reportedly eager to produce more episodes.[51] On 10 August 2010, it was confirmed that Sherlock had been renewed for a second series.[18] At the 2011 convention, Gatiss confirmed which stories would be adapted, and that the writers of the first series would each write an episode for series two.[52] Acknowledging that "A Scandal in Bohemia", "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Final Problem" are amongst the best-known Holmes stories, Gatiss explained, "We knew after having a successful first run that the natural order would be to do three of the most famous [stories]."[52] "There's the question of how to go out on a cliffhanger and then the thematic things of the three stories, where we were trying to get to and what Sherlock and John's relationship is a little further on. You can't just go back to: 'You have no emotions.' 'I don't care.' You've got to move on somewhere and make sure the other characters have something of a journey too."[52] Paul McGuigan directed the first two episodes,[53] and Doctor Who director Toby Haynes handled the last one.[54] The second series of three 90-minute episodes was initially planned to air in late 2011,[55] but was delayed until early January 2012.

"A Scandal in Belgravia", written by Steven Moffat and directed by Paul McGuigan, was first broadcast on 1 January 2012. Loosely based on "A Scandal in Bohemia", the episode depicts Holmes's quest to retrieve compromising photos of a minor royal held on the camera phone of Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), a ruthless and brilliant dominatrix who also trades in classified information extracted from her rich and powerful clients.[56]

Mark Gatiss wrote "The Hounds of Baskerville", which investigates the strange activities at a military base. Aware that The Hound of the Baskervilles, first published in 1902, was one of the most famous of Conan Doyle's original stories, Gatiss felt a greater responsibility to include familiar elements of the story than he does when adapting the lesser-known stories.[57][58] Russell Tovey appeared as Henry Knight, a man whose father was ripped apart by a gigantic hound on Dartmoor twenty years earlier. Directed by McGuigan, the episode was first broadcast on 8 January 2012.[59]

The resolution of Sherlock's faked suicide from the roof of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London attracted speculation in social media and newspapers.

The second series concluded with "The Reichenbach Fall". Steve Thompson wrote the episode, which was directed by Toby Haynes, who had previously directed many of Moffat's Doctor Who episodes. First broadcast on 15 January 2012, the episode follows Moriarty's plot to discredit and kill Sherlock Holmes, concluding with Holmes faking his suicide as Watson looked on.[60] It was based upon Conan Doyle's story "The Final Problem", in which Sherlock and Moriarty are presumed to have fallen to their deaths from the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Moffat felt that he and co-creator Gatiss had outdone Conan Doyle in their version of Holmes' fall and Moffat added that, in that much-discussed sequence, there was still "a clue everybody's missed".[61]

Christmas mini-episode (2013)[edit]

BBC One premiered a "Sherlock" mini-episode over the 2013 Christmas period entitled "Many Happy Returns". The episode is available via its online and interactive television services (available only in the UK) and acts as a prequel to the upcoming third series.

The synopsis for the episode reads "Sherlock has been gone for two years. But someone isn't quite convinced that he's dead."[62] The 'someone' turns out to be Anderson, the forensics technician from series 1 and 2. He had a long standing mistrust of Sherlock, yet is now one of the few people who believe Sherlock is alive, and is tracking him via various mysterious events from New Delhi to Germany in which he seems to be involved; incidents which are getting progressively closer to London.

Series 3 (2014)[edit]

After the end of the final episode of the second series, Moffat and Gatiss both announced on Twitter that a third series had been commissioned at the same time as series two,[63] and a part of the resolution to "The Reichenbach Fall" was filmed concurrently with series two.[60] Gatiss confirmed that he would write the first episode of the third series, and that it would be "loosely based" on "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which Conan Doyle revealed that Holmes had faked his death.[64] Gatiss wanted to have Watson react very differently from the original character at the discovery of Holmes's return in series three; "I always found it a little unlikely that Dr Watson's only reaction was to faint for instance—as opposed to possibly a stream of terrible swear words," he said.[65]

Moffat tackles the fact that eventually Watson will be living apart from Holmes, though he was at first uncertain whether he will have Watson get married in this adaptation.[17] Moffat also wanted to use other villains and adversaries from Conan Doyle's original stories. Without revealing whether Moriarty also faked his own death at the end of series two, Moffat has suggested that Moriarty will not feature heavily in future series of Sherlock.[66][67]

Moffat and Gatiss have announced three words that allude to the content of the third series. These words were, "rat, wedding, bow". Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2012, Moffat said that these words "may be misleading, are not titles, are only teases or possibly clues, but might be deliberately designed to get you into a lather".[68] The titles of the episodes were later revealed as "The Empty Hearse",[69] written by Gatiss, "The Sign of Three",[70] written by Thompson, and "His Last Vow", written by Moffat.[71][72] On 29 July 2013, producer Sue Vertue announced via her Twitter page that Lars Mikkelsen would appear in series 3 as the villain Charles Augustus Magnussen.[73]

Production was originally set to begin in January 2013,[71] but the availability of Cumberbatch and Freeman dictated that the series would begin shooting on 18 March.[74] On 23 May, production finished on the second episode.[75]

On 1 September 2013, the principal photography of the third series had been completed.[76] On 29 November, the BBC announced the UK release date of series three to be 1 January 2014 and was unveiled by a hearse that drove through London, displaying the date of the premiere. This relates to the first episode of the third series, "The Empty Hearse". It will be broadcast in the United States on PBS over two weeks later, on 19 January.[77][78][79]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The show launched to critical acclaim, sustaining positive reviews across its two series. Series one holds a Metacritic score of 85/100, based on 17 reviews, while series two scored 91/100, based on 24 reviews.[80] Both series hold a 100% rating at critical aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.[81] The first episode rated highly on the Appreciation Index.[82][83] The Observer said the show was "a cross between Withnail and I and The Bourne Ultimatum, there is also a hint of Doctor Who about the drama; hardly surprising, since it has been written and created by Doctor Who writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat."[2] The Guardian's Dan Martin said, "It's early days, but the first of three 90-minute movies, 'A Study In Pink', is brilliantly promising. It has the finesse of Spooks but is indisputably Sherlock Holmes. The deduction sequences are ingenious, and the plot is classic Moffat intricacy."[84] Tom Sutcliffe for The Independent wrote, "Sherlock is a triumph, witty and knowing, without ever undercutting the flair and dazzle of the original. It understands that Holmes isn't really about plot but about charisma ... Flagrantly unfaithful to the original in some respects, Sherlock is wonderfully loyal to it in every way that matters."[85] The lead actors were commended. Critic Victoria Thorpe said, "Freeman's dependable, capable Watson unlocks this modern Holmes, a man who now describes himself as 'a high-functioning sociopath'."[2] Following the second series' opening episode, Sarah Crompton, for The Telegraph, asserts that "Cumberbatch is utterly credible as a man who lives entirely in his cerebellum with little regard for the world outside, mak[ing] Sherlock the perfect depiction of Holmes for our times".[86]

Conan Doyle fans were generally appreciative. Gwilym Mumford, for The Guardian, suggested that "this has to do with the fact that Moffat and Gatiss are enormously knowledgeable about Conan Doyle's work, and their reimagining incorporates big- and small-screen adaptations of Holmes as well as the original stories. As Gatiss puts it: 'Everything is canonical.' "[42] Sarah Crompton, for The Telegraph, identifies some of the jokes and allusions intended for fans.[86] Commenting specifically on the second series' finale "The Reichenbach Fall", The Guardian's Sam Wollaston praised the show's faithfulness to Conan Doyle, but also how "it will wander, taking in mobile phone technology and computer hacking ... But it doesn't feel like cheating; more like an open relationship, agreed by both parties."[87]

Ratings[edit]

The second series obtained consistently higher audience figures than the first. According to overnight data provided by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB), the highest overnight figure from the first series of Sherlock was 7.5 million for the opening episode, "A Study in Pink", whereas the second series averaged over 8 million viewers.[88] The three episodes of series two were the three most watched programmes on iPlayer, the BBC's video-on-demand service, between January and April 2012.[28] Its opening episode, "A Scandal in Belgravia", attracted controversy from the tabloid newspaper Daily Mail, which reported that Irene Adler's nude scene early in the episode had been met with disapproval from some viewers who were concerned that it had been shown before the 9:00 pm watershed hour, before which adult-orientated content is not supposed to air.[89][90] Some critics also took exception to Moffat's treatment of Irene Adler, arguing that she was sexualised,[91] an argument rejected by others, including Moffat.[92][93] The series' conclusion, "The Reichenbach Fall", in which Sherlock fakes his suicide by jumping from St Bartholomew's Hospital, led to speculation on forums, social networking sites and in newspaper articles about its resolution.[93]

Accolades[edit]

The series has been awarded and nominated for numerous awards. The series won the BAFTA award for Best Drama Series, while Freeman won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr Watson alongside Andrew Scott, who portrayed the role of Jim Moriarty and was awarded the following year, and Cumberbatch was nominated for Best Actor. The show was also nominated for the YouTube Audience Award.[94] Andrew Scott won Best Supporting Actor for his work in the second series, which was nominated in other categories.[95] The first series also won the Arqiva award for the "best terrestrial show" at the 2011 Edinburgh International Television Festival.[96] "A Study in Pink" and "A Scandal in Belgravia" were nominated for Emmy Awards in a variety of categories.[97][98] The series won several BAFTA Cymru awards: television drama, Director: Fiction (Euros Lyn), Director of Photography: Fiction (Steve Lawes), Production Design (Arwel Wyn Jones), and Make Up & Hair (Claire Pritchard-Jones).[99] Charlie Phillips won the 'Editing: Fiction' category at the British Academy Television Craft Awards.[99]

The show's popularity resulted in enquiries for coats similar to Sherlock's, reported retailer Debenhams. Garment manufacturer Belstaff put the wool trench coat worn by Benedict Cumberbatch back into production before the series had ended.[100] The Independent reported, "designer Paul Costelloe moved to meet the demand, offering tailored coats and scarves based on the series, while Savile Row bespoke tailor John Pearse said many of his clients were inquiring about the actors' clothes."[41] Journalist Alexis Petridis commented, "[Y]ou can see why men wanted to get the look. Perhaps they noted the effect Cumberbatch, by no means your standard telly hunk, had on lady viewers... and decided it must have something to do with the clobber. So it is that Britain's latest men's style icon is a fictional asexual sociopath first seen onscreen hitting a corpse with a horse whip. Surely not even the great detective himself could have deduced that was going to happen."[100] Publishers and retailers reported a 180% rise in sales of Sherlock Holmes books during the first series' broadcast.[101] Speedy's, the sandwich shop below the flat used as Holmes' residence, reported a sharp rise in new customers who recognised it from the show.[39] BBC Online published several tie-in websites relating to the show's fictional world. These were written by Joseph Lidster, who had also contributed to the Doctor Who tie-in websites.[102] In March 2012, Sherlockology, an unofficial website dedicated to the series, was named the Best Fan Site in Social Media at the Shorty Awards.[103][104][105]

Home release and merchandise[edit]

The first series was released on disc by 2entertain in the United Kingdom on 30 August 2010, in Australia on 4 November,[106] and the United States on 9 November 2010. The first and second series are also available on Netflix.[107] The release included the three episodes and several special features. "A Study in Pink" featured audio commentaries by Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, while Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Mark Gatiss comment on "The Great Game". The release included the pilot episode, a 60-minute version of "A Study in Pink" directed by Coky Giedroyc.[108][109] Critic Mark Lawson called the decision to include the pilot "commendable and brave".[13] The British Board of Film Classification rated the pilot and the three episodes as a 12 certificate for video and online exhibition.[110][111][112][113] The release also contained a 32-minute documentary about the production called "Unlocking Sherlock".[114]

The second series disc was released in the United Kingdom on 23 January 2012.[115] The second series is also available on Netflix.[107] The release included an audio commentary for "A Scandal in Belgravia" and "The Hounds of Baskerville" and a documentary called "Sherlock Uncovered".[116] The soundtrack album for the first series was released by Silva Screen on 30 January 2012, and for the second series on 27 February 2012.[117][118]

BBC Books published some of Conan Doyle's original collections and novels as tie-in editions, with cover art featuring Cumberbatch and Freeman. A Study in Scarlet and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were released in Autumn 2011, with introductions by Moffat and Gatiss respectively.[20][119] The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes were released in March 2012, with introductions by Cumberbatch, Freeman and Thompson respectively.[8][120][121] According to Radio Times, the popularity of Sherlock has led to a resurgence in the sales of the original Conan Doyle stories.[122]

Sherlock: The Casebook, an official companion book to the series written by Guy Adams, was published by BBC Books in the United Kingdom in October 2012.[123][124] The book was republished in the United States under the title The Sherlock Files: The Official Companion to the Hit Television Series in July 2013.[125]

In Japan, a manga adaptation of the series illustrated by Jay has begun serialization in Kadokawa's Young Ace magazine from 4 October 2012.[126] In October 2012, Winning Moves sold a Sherlock-themed edition of Cluedo.[127]

In Greece, OTE TV has bought the rights of the series and it will premiere on OTE Cinema 1 on 24 June 2013.

SeriesEpisodesTitleDVD
Region 2Region 1Extra Features
13Sherlock: Series/Season One30 August 20109 November 2010
  • Audio commentaries "A Study in Pink" and "The Great Game"
  • "Unlocking Sherlock" documentary
  • Original pilot version of "A Study in Pink"
23Sherlock: Series/Season Two23 January 201222 May 2012
  • Audio commentaries "A Scandal in Belgravia" and "The Hounds of Baskerville"
  • "Sherlock Uncovered" documentary

Tie-in media[edit]

Sherlock Holmes's homepage, The Science of Deduction, as well as John Watson's blog are available online for the public as tie-in media. They feature the events from the show in the form of puzzles and case-summaries, often with comments (e.g. by John Watson's sister, Harry). Also, there are several blogs about 'unseen' cases that do not feature on television. Similar to the broadcast cases, these also retain familiar elements from classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories: 'The Geek Interpreter' instead of The Greek Interpreter and 'The Six Thatchers' instead of The Six Napoleons.[128] On the websites links can be found to Molly Hooper's diary and the official website of Connie Prince.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]