S is for Sherlock Holmes

Posted April 22, 2014 in A-Z Challenge / 0 Comments

Today I’m continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I’m doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter ‘S’ I have chosen Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by the British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes is famous for his fantastic logical reasoning and methods of “deduction”, forensic science skills and the ability to adopt amazing disguises.

Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street, London, with his close friend Dr. Watson who helps him to solve cases. The stories are written from Watson’s point of view, as if he is chronicling Holmes’ adventures. Holmes has a cold, calculating exterior and is something of a loner-his extreme intellect and arrogant persona marginalises him from the rest of society. But occasionally he does reveal his fondness for Dr. Watson.

He is also described as an eccentric who lives a ‘bohemian’ lifestyle, is skilled at bare-knuckled fighting and even dabbles in addictive drugs. Here is Watson’s description of Holmes from The Musgrave Ritual:

Although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind… [he] keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece… He had a horror of destroying documents…. Thus month after month his papers accumulated, until every corner of the room was stacked with bundles of manuscript which were on no account to be burned, and which could not be put away save by their owner.

Ten Interesting Facts about Sherlock Holmes:

So much win!

2) The catchphrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” is never actually uttered by Holmes in any of the sixty Holmes stories written by Conan Doyle. He often remarks that his logical conclusions are “elementary” and refers to the Dr as “my dear Watson”, but the two phrases never appear together.

3) Holmes is also never described in the books as wearing the famous deerstalker cap and cape.

4) Sherlock Holmes is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “most portrayed movie character” with more than 70 actors playing the part in over 200 films.

5) For many years, Abbey National employed a full-time secretary to answer mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street.
6) Sherlock Holmes was originally going to be named ‘Sherrinford Holmes’ and Dr. Watson was going to be ‘Ormond Sacker’!
7) Police forces in the UK use an information system called “HOLMES 2” named after Sherlock. (HOLMES stands for Home Office Major Enquiry System).
8) There are numerous connections between Sherlock and other TV series such as House M.D, Star Trek and Dr. Who:

  • Gregory House is inspired by Sherlock Holmes, who in turn was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, a real life surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle worked as a clerk. Bell could famously diagnose patients just by looking at them. 
  • Dr. Who is in fact a medical doctor as well, and is well known for his deduction skills.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Holmes in the BBC drama Sherlock, also plays Khan in Star Trek (Mr. Spock’s adversary, also known for his brilliant logical abilities) and he turned down the role of Dr. Who.
  • As we saw in fact #1, Spock is a descendent of Sherlock Holmes. Star Trek quotes Sherlock Holmes, and vice versa.
  • There is an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where the holodeck version of Moriarty tries to take over the ship and Data takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes.
9) In the BBC drama “Sherlock”, John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington) are married in real life.
10) In 2002, Sherlock Holmes became the first fictional character to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Wikipedia-Sherlock Holmes

Which film, book or TV show is your favourite portrayal of Sherlock Holmes?

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