Book to Screen: Sherlock in the Modern World

“I’m an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Book to Screen: Sherlock in the Modern World

Without a doubt, Sherlock Holmes is the single most famous fictional detective in literature. Even 130 years after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote him into existence, Sherlock is continuing to make a mark on mainstream culture. I first encountered the eccentric detective as middle schooler when my dad began exposing me to mysteries. Along with Agatha Christie, Doyle’s The Complete Sherlock Holmes quickly became a mainstay in my reading library. I still re-read his stories today.

Over the years, I’ve read and watched many an adaptation of the impressive works. I’ve read spinoffs including The Baker Street Letters, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (my favorite of the adaptive series) and later this month, I’ll be reviewing the newly release A Study in Charlotte. I’ve seen Sherlock portrayed by Basil Rathbone, Jeremey Brett, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Downey Jr. In my opinion,  the BBC’s version of Sherlock, as portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, is the most impressive Mr. Holmes to date.

The BBC series takes place in modern London and covers the same mysteries (for the most part) as the book series but with a twist of their own – Study in Pink,  The Sign of 3, etc. Each episode has a completely new takes on the basic facts of the original premise. The unexpected outcomes keep even the most devoted Sherlock Holmes fans guessing. Martin Freedman’s Dr. Watson is better that Doyle’s original. He takes Doyle’s bumbling and often obtuse side-kick and turn him into an asset and partner that enhances Cumberbatch’s Sherlock even more. Cumberbatch in turn, brings a more emotional depth to his portrayal of the cold, distant detective.

The most exciting part is how the show incorporates the deductive reasoning of yesteryear with tracking devices and modern technology. Each season contains three 1 1/2 hour episodes. The 4th season  just wrapped but I  SOOO encourage you to watch them if you haven’t already! The last episode of this season was some of the best work yet.

Are you a Sherlock fan? What was your favorite of the series? How do you think it compares with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work?

Book to Screen: Sherlock in the Modern WorldThe Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleSir Arthur Conan Doyle
Published by Doubleday on 1930
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Traditional British, Classics, Short Stories (single author)
Pages: 1122

Here, collected in one volume, are all four full-length novels and 56 short stories chronicling the colorful adventures of Sherlock Holmes--every word Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote about Baker Street's most famous resident.