"There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before." -Sherlock Holmes, A
Study in Scarlet
The story of Sherlock Holmes has certainly been done before. Since the first novel was originally written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, Holmes's adventures have been recreated time and time again; there have been plays, books, and hundreds of movies retelling Holmes's tale. One such recreation is BBC's Sherlock, a televised mini-series based on Doyle's works. I started watching the show after hearing the rave reviews of many of my friends, and I was enamored with it before the end of the first episode. I was first drawn in by the fascinating characterization of Sherlock himself. He is not at all your standard hero - in fact, he's really not a hero at all. BBC's Sherlock is tactless, abrasive, arrogant, unsympathetic, and astoundingly brilliant. Everywhere he goes, he leaves a trail of indignant, grudgingly awestruck people in his wake.
The mysteries he unravels are every bit as clever as he is, however. The plotlines invariably engage, intrigue, and challenge the viewers with their attention to detail and unexpected twists. The show takes place in present-day London, and the modern setting is wonderfully reflected in the witty dialogue. I found myself wondering if the show is really as fresh and original as I experienced it, or if it is simply a retelling of an original story that manages to retain its appeal throughout the years. Although I had never read any of Doyle's books prior to starting my research, I was aware that each episode of Sherlock is loosely based on one of Doyle's stories. I was inspired to learn more about Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes, so I composed two questions to investigate: How faithful is BBC's...