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Submitted on
January 6, 2013


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Today is the assumed date of birth of perhaps the world's greatest, and definitely most well-known detective, Sherlock Holmes.

created in 1887 by Arthur Conan Doyle, the great detective first appeared in Beaton's Christmas annual, in a Story called 'A Study in Scarlet'. He would move on to cheat death, be beaten by a woman, and appear in 56 short stories, and four novels total before his author stopped writing his advantures. Nearly all the stories are narrated by Holmes' friend, companion, and flatmate, Doctor John Watson. Although holmes has had much to grumble about Watson's writings, he is known perhaps best for his friendship with the man (along with his fondness for pipes, wearing a deerstalker and inverness cape, and saying the words 'Elementary, My dear Watson).

A fun fact is, that Holmes was never mentioned to have worn the atire we so often associate with him, or to have even said his most famous words. This is all part of the legend of Sherlock Holmes.

Soon after Doyle was done with him, Holmes was kindly taken up by hundreds of authors, playwrights, filmmakers, and television show hosts, along with radio shows, and different products for advertising.
And through all this, a kind of legend was created.

Most commonly known are the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce films of the 1930s and 40s. Easily the most prolific duo, these films set the bar for many who took up the name afterward. They also managed to make Watson into a more duller character than doyle had written, but the spirit of their friendship from the stories is still there.

Also well known is Jeremy Brett, who had played watson in a stage adaptation, and went on to play Holmes in Granda's adaptation of the Canon. Brett is the actor who has been closest to filming every doyle story, but sadly, died before he could. He is known to some as the definitive Holmes, and indeed, looked very much akin to Sidney Paget's original illustrations. His Watsons were both brighter than most previous, and were very much the friend and companion of the books.

And now today, Sherlock Holmes has taken a different, more modern turn. Robert Downey jr has starred in two adaptations. Jude Law as his Watson is very much in the spirit of the books, though some of the characters, and even Holmes himself is a bit off. But these films have their credit of introducing Holmes to a modern generation.

Even now, Holmes is modernised in both America and Britain, with Johnny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch playing the great detective. Miller's is a great American crime show, with fun illusions to the canon, for those who can spot them. Cumberbatch's is closer to Doyle's, but with some marvellous modern twists.

However you Know sherlock Holmes on film, any adaptation is worth the watch as there have been over 70 actors to play the man. (I've included a pretty complete list)

Also of note are some of the many books (pastiches) that are written. From Laurie R King's Mary russell novels (set in Holmes' retirement) to Neil Gaiman's short stories, to even a few children's and young adults books, Holmes is everywhere in print.

Also of note are the Sherlock Holmes societies, the most well-known being the Sherlock Holmes society of London, and the Baker Street Irregulars (in the US). These are the people know as Holmesians, or Sherlockians, who have spent their time researching and writing upon the great detective. Leslie S Klinger, Laurie R King, and David Stuart Davies are three of the well-known ones (Klinger did a fantastic annoted Canon, King, as mentioned had written the Mary Russel series, and edited a book with klinger, entitled 'a Study in Sherlock', and Davies is known for several novels, and a book on the many screen and stage adaptations).

Sherlockian, or just a fan, Sherlock Holmes is a fascinating character, with much to offer to all audiences. I for one look forward very eagerly for the upcoming years of Sherlock Holmes.

Below is a list of films and TV for anyone interested (all images were brought up by google image search):

Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900)
Sherlock Holmes: unknown

A Study in scarlet (1914)
Sherlock Holmes: James Bragington

The Valley of Fear (1916)
SH: HA Saintsburg

The Aventures of Sherlock Holmes (1921)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1921)
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1922)
The Last Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1923)
The Sign of Four (1923)
SH: Ellie Norwood

Moriarty [US title: Sherlock Holmes] (1922)
SH: John Barrymore

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1929)
SH: Clive Brook

The Speckled Band (1931)
SH: Raymond Massey

The Sleeping Cardinal (1931)
The Missing Rembrandt (1932)
The Sign of Four (1932)
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935)
Silver Blaze [US title: Murder at the Baskervilles] (1937)
SH: Arthur Wonter

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1931)
SH: Robert Rendel

Sherlock Holmes (1932)
SH: Clive Owen

A Study in Scarlet (1933)
SH: Reginald Owen

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
The Voice of Terror (1942)
The Secret Weapon (1942)
Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)
The Spider Woman (1944)
The Scarlet Claw (1944)
Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)
The Pearl of Death (1944)
The House of Fear (1945)
The Woman in Green (1945)
Pursuit to Algiers (1945)
Terror by Night (1946)
Dressed to Kill [Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Code] (1946)
SH: Basil Rathbone

Sherlock Holmes (1953-54)
SH: Ronald Howard

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
SH: Peter Cushing

Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
SH: Christopher Lee

Sherlock Holmes (1964-65)
SH: Douglas Wilmer

A Study in Terror (1965)
SH: John Neville

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (1968)
SH: Peter Cushing

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
SH: Robert Stephens

They Might Be Giants (1971)
Justin Playfair (believes himself to be SH): George C Scott

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1972)
SH: Stewart Granger

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
SH: Douglas Wilmer
(Sigerson: Gene Wilder)

The Seven Per-Cent Solution (1976)
SH: Nicol Williamson

Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976)
SH: Rodger Moore

Murder by Decree (1979)
SH: Christopher Plummer

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (1979-80)
SH: Geoffrey Whitehead

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (1979-86)
SH: Visaly Vivanov

Young Sherlock (1982)
SH: Guy Henry

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1982)
SH: Tom Baker

The Sign of Four (1983)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983)
SH: Ian Richardson

The Baker Street Boys (1983)
SH: Roger Ostime
(Wiggins: Jay Simpson)

Sherlock Holmes (1984)
SH (voice): Peter O'Toole

The Masks of Death (1984)
SH: Peter Cushing

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984-85)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986-88)
The Sign of Four (1987)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988)
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1991)
The Master Blackmailer (1992)
The Last Vampyre (1993)
The Eligible Bachelor (1993)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994)
SH: Jeremy Brett

Young Sherlock Holmes [Young Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of fear] (1985)
SH: Nicholas Rowe

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Basil (voice): Barrie Ingham

The Return of Sherlock Holmes ((1987)
SH: Michael Pennington

Without a Clue (1988)
SH: Michael Cain

Hands of a Murderer (1990)
SH: Edward Woodward

The Crucifer of Blood (1991)
SH: Charlton Heston

The Four Oaks Mystery (1992)
SH: Jeremy Brett

SH: The Golden Years:
The Leading Lady (1992)
Incident at Victoria Falls (1992)
SH: Christopher Lee

1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns (1993)
SH: Anthony Higgins

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (1999-2001)
SH (voice): Jason Gray-Stanford

Sherlock Hound (2001)
Animated, Japanese anime and US cartoon

Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes (2000-2001)
Arthur Conan Doyle: Robin Laing, Charles Edwards

The Hound of the Baskervilles (2000)
The Sign of Four (2001)
The Royal Scandal (2001)
The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire (2002)
SH: Matt Frewer

Sherlock-Case of Evil (2002)
SH: James D'Arcy

The Hound of The Baskervilles (2002)
SH: Richard Roxburgh

The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle (2005)
Doyle: Douglas Hemshall

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004)
SH: Rupert Everett

Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars (2007)
SH: Jonathan Pryce

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
SH: Robert Downey Jr

Sherlock (2010-?)
(Series 3 in the works now)
SH: Benedict Cumberbatch

Elementary (2012-?)
SH: Johnny Lee Miller

Sherlock Holmes (2013)
SH: Igor Pentrenko

A View from the Landing at 221b Baker Street
(in talks currently)

And if you read this whole thing or at least skimmed it, I love you :sherlock:

Happy Birthday Sherlock Holmesby Rowlingson39

Journals / Personal©2013-2014 Rowlingson39
Add a Comment:
Aeidhryn Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013

And I suppose it goes without saying that you all should watch the BBC Sherlock, but just in case you haven't, do that too.

Thanks for the interesting basics of the general fandom.
Rowlingson39 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013   General Artist
Watch it all, everyone (Thats what I always say :D)

Glad you read it all :D
Kornmod Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
Right a few more Sherlock Holmes facts, but by all that you have written it is quite possible you know them already.
1) The cloak and deer-stalker is Sidney Padget's fault (he's the one that illustrated the first Holmes stories in The Strand). It was later popularised by Mark Gillette (the first actor to portray Holmes on stage)
2) Gillette is also to blame for the characteristic pipe (can't remember the English name for it). The reason for him using that particular pipe was that it was the only one with which he could have in his mouth and speak clearly at the same time.
3) Gillette is probably also to blame for the words 'Elementary, my dear Watson', though this is slightly contested. Holmes does in fact only say the word 'elementary' once in the stories, and without the add-on. Or maybe it's one of those 'Beam me up Scotty' that no one really knows where came from.
4) When Gillette made his play a year or so after the Holmes stories had made it to the US, he was American, he wrote ACD for permission to let Holmes fall in love with the female main character. He didn't have to do this since copyright laws were different back then, but he considered it good manners. Doyle's answer shows very well his attitude towards his creation. 'You may murder him, or marry him, or do whatever you please with him'. And so Gillette did, and so many after him :D
5) That the scene at St. Bart's has only been shown in film or series twice, one of the being in the BBC version. Can't rememver which of the versions of A Study in Scarlet contains the scene, but the other has it cut out for some reason :confused:

Sorry, after reading your entry, I just couldn't stop myself. Please ignore me :)
And thank you for the list of films.
Rowlingson39 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013   General Artist
Yes haha
Sidney Paget's brother was supposed to Illustrate, but the letter ended up addressed to Sidney instead, and he used his brother for the model.
Gillette is to blame for 'Elementary my dear watson', he was the first to use it in his play.
(Beam me up scotty was used in the original star trek series, Kirk said it to scotty)
(Doyle hated Holmes, you're right, that was why he killed him off :))
No Film has ever shown the meeting between Holmes and Watson, but BBC's and the 1930's series starring Ronald Howard are the only two (that I know of) that have it.

No I'm glad you read :D
(It shows someone puts up with my nonsense :D)
10qwertyuiop10 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are perfect. Oh my I-don't even. :faint:
Rowlingson39 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   General Artist
t-thank you :D
10qwertyuiop10 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My pleasure.
staticfan101 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I've now made it my new years resolution to watch each one of these at least once. Honestly, I think my biggest challenge will be tracking down some of them.
Happy (late) Birthday Sherlock!:iconhappybirthdayplz:
:D :heart::heart:
Rowlingson39 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013   General Artist
That's been my biggest challenge: finding them all :D
I want to watch them all and read all the pastiche's and stuff, but yeah. takes longer to track them down then it does to actually watch/read
Katesmile Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Student Writer
You've done a great job, my friend:tighthug: Happy Birthday, Mr. Holmes))
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