Happy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Day! As someone who's rewatched the BBC Sherlock series countless times, it seems fitting to do a quick overview on some of my favorite adaptations over the last couple of decades.
BBC’s Sherlock (2011)
What more can be said about this? It’s been over a decade since the pilot aired and six years since Season 4 came out, but it’s still a joy to watch every time. Critically acclaimed and beloved by fans worldwide, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss bring the brilliant detective and the hardy doctor to life for a whole new generation of fans in modern-day London.
Enola Holmes (2020)
Enola Holmes provides a fresh twist on the 19th-century setting of the original stories, choosing to focus on Sherlock’s younger sister, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown). The Netflix movies explore the limitations of gender for even the brightest, spunkiest mind that England has to offer. Adapted from Nancy Springer’s children’s series, this is the latest installation in the long line of big-name Sherlock Holmes adaptations. It’s refreshing to see Enola tackle issues for a hidden half of society.
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Grittier than the other entries in this list and somewhat thematically darker, Sherlock Holmes (2009), directed by Snatch director Guy Ritchie, is a must-watch if you want to enjoy the detective stories in their original time period. Robert Downey Jr. brings a more whimsical air to Holmes, and Jude Law’s Watson is quietly amusing. With Rachel McAdams as the iconic Irene Adler, it’s hard to not enjoy this more scientifically-focused storyline.
House, M.D. (2004)
Maybe not obviously a Sherlock adaptation, but once the connection is made, it’s difficult to deny that this procedural is based on Doyle’s stories. David Shore’s House, M.D. ran for eight years on Fox. Starring Hugh Laurie as an acerbic doctor with addiction issues, the show’s formulaic approach can grow tiring, but it’s always a pleasure to watch House reluctantly treat his waiting room patients though despite his repugnant personality. Watson is embodied in Dr. James Wilson, the hospital’s head of oncology and House’s best friend, whose administrative pull is often just enough to keep his friend from being sacked. Consider watching this with your pre-med friend––I did it, and it was incredibly entertaining.