The Game Is On

The BBC Series 'Sherlock' Adapts Holmes and Watson for 2010

by Rachel Michaels

4 August 2010

Hardly relics of the British Empire, this Holmes and Watson are thoroughly modern men thriving in our fast-paced, modern world.
Benedict Cumberbatch as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson 


The BBC’s three part series Sherlock embeds Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson firmly within the London of 2010. This Holmes and Watson are not relics of the British Empire but thoroughly modern men thriving in our fast-paced, modern world. They have the contemporary tools of texting, GPS, email, the Internet, PDAs and, of course, forensic science at their fingertips, but it is how Sherlock uses these tools that continues to set him apart as the world’s only “consulting detective”.
The series draws attention to the similarities of life in both 1888 and 2010 (including a war on Afghanistan, criminal intentions, London locations, and the use of cabs) while allowing viewers to become participants in the unlocking of the mysteries through the use of text detailing Sherlock’s thought processes on screen.

Every fan who has access to the Internet may now read The Personal Blog of Dr. John H. Watson, as well as Holmes’ personal website, The Science of Deduction, allowing us to get inside the mind of Sherlock Holmes and his uncommon thought processes regarding common things.

The first of the series, the 90-minute “A Study in Pink”, an adaptation of the first Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet”, prominently features modern technology and postmodern techniques to tell the story of the Holmes and Watson’s first adventure together. The following episodes, “The Blind Baker” and “The Great Game” will be aired on 1 and 8 August, respectively.

Through updating their surroundings, language, and technologies, but keeping their characters intact, Sherlock argues that Holmes and Watson can be as much an organic (and eccentric) part of 2010 as they were at the fin du siècle.

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