After the third season of the popular TV series ‘Sherlock’ ended, a leading English daily in India reported that the BBC TV series, ‘Sherlock’, a British television crime drama based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories, is one of the most popular English fiction shows in India.
One of the earliest television appearances of this 221B Baker Street resident was in the 1951 BBC mini-series, Sherlock Holmes
, starring Alan Wheatley as Holmes and Raymond Francis as Watson.
In the 1960s, there was another BBC TV series entitled ‘Sherlock Holmes’, where Douglas Wilmer played the role of Sherlock for the first season of the show, which continued from 1964-65. For the second season, which aired in 1968, Peter Cushing played the lead role.
In 2007, BBC released a children’s series entitled, ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars’, starring Jonathan Pryce
The latest adaptation of the stories came in 2009 with BBC began making Sherlock, a contemporary remake of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘
s famous detective, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor Watson.
Three seasons of three 90-minute episodes each, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, are combinations of two or three stories each based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Apart from BBC series, in 1982, Granada Television aired an eight-part series entitled ‘Young Sherlock: The Mystery of the Manor House’ which starred Guy Henry as Sherlock Holmes.
Even in 2012, CBS premiered the series ‘Elementary’, which is another contemporary remake of the character, Holmes, set in the United States, starring Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson.
Though the earlier seasons of Sherlock Holmes were well-received, the series ‘Sherlock’ became more popular with the youth. The earlier series were mostly based in the period when the book was written, hence, making it a bit difficult for today’s youth to relate it with the contemporary society. The language used in the series, the backdrop and setting chosen of those series were set in a Victorian society.
In the modernized version, Sherlock Holmes lives in early 21st century London and Doctor Watson is now a fairly young veteran of the Afghan war, less adoring and more active.
The main reason behind the increasing popularity of 2009 series is its modern-day rendition of the original crime-thriller. Maintaining the original address of Holmes, the show is based in present day London, hence blending a modern story with the traditional theme. This show has successfully applied the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the current scenario of crimes.
Many might argue that the archetypical portrayal of the classic character was more appealing, but that anyhow cannot stop today’s young generation from waiting eagerly for the return of Sherlock Holmes in the fourth season of the TV series ‘Sherlock’which shall make its debut next year.
-By Shreejata Niyogi