Feed Your Sherlockian Mind with These 7 “Sherlock Holmes” Adaptations

Words by Nicole Andrea Simbulan of Eugenio Lopez Jr. Center for Media Arts Senior High School

Calling out all the Sherlockians out there! Since it’s Sherlock Holmes Day today, we’ve prepared a list for y’all to indulge yourself in.

But before that, did you know that Sherlock Holmes’ character was based on a real person? Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle molded Holmes from a renowned forensic scientist at Edinburgh University named Dr. Joseph Bell, whom Doyle studied under.

Numerous adaptations of Sherlock Holmes’ character and story have emerged over the years. Here, we give you a list of movies and TV shows to binge-watch!

Sherlock (2010)

rsz sherlock

This TV series stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the incomparable Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as the reliable John Watson. The show was produced by BBC and set in the modern-day, with London as the location. It ran for four seasons, with two to three episodes each. This multi-awarded show covers a lot of fun and action-packed scenes, with the classic deductive capabilities of Sherlock Holmes.

The story revolves around, of course, Holmes and Watsons’ journey in investigating a series of deaths that were initially believed as suicides.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

sherlock holmes 3 robert downey jr

Robert Downey Jr.’s charisma gave more flavor to his portrayal of the classic detective. Playing alongside RDJ is Jude Law as Dr. Watson. This version of Guy Ritchie is far from the original. Nevertheless, the film and its sequel, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” was filled with fun and entertainment.

Witnessing Holmes’ deduction cases unfold was a real pleasure for fans and it was so satisfying to see Holmes’ thinking as well as the speed at which he processed his thoughts, visually presented as scenes slowing down while Holmes made his narrations.

Mr. Holmes (2015)

sherlock mr holmes

Adapted from Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind,” this film revolves around the 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes, played by Sir Ian McKellen, suffering from his failing memory and struggling to remember details from his past. Contrary to the perception we have of Holmes being a near-flawless detective, this film portrayed the character in such a way that will make the viewers realize that he is also human just like us.

This film might have opened up a new perspective about Holmes, but it still stayed true to the character that Doyle created.

Elementary (2012)

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This CBS series has twisted a few things about the classic Sherlock Holmes stories we knew. The story is set in New York, with Holmes, played by Jonny Lee Miller, being a recovering drug addict. Another surprise is the presence of a woman in a male-dominated role. Lucy Liu takes on the part of Dr. Joan Watson who lost her medical license. Together with Holmes, they solve crimes opposite to the NYPD. Overall, it’s a refreshing take on Doyle’s masterpiece!

Without a Clue (1988)

sherlock without a clue

“Without a Clue” gives a hilarious reimagining of the famous detective. In here, Dr. John Watson, played by Ben Kingsley, was deemed the world’s greatest detective, and Sherlock Holmes, portrayed by Michael Caine, was his bumbling partner. This adaptation was such a fun and amusing take on the classic story!

Sherlock Holmes (1916)

sherlock silent holmes

Let’s get a trip down memory lane with the first movie adaptation ever made of Sherlock Holmes. This silent film starred William Gillette as Holmes. Basing off of three of Doyle’s stories, namely “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Final Problem,” and “A Study in Scarlet,” Gillette, who wrote the adaptation himself, made this film an original, exciting, and innovative mystery.

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

sherlock young sherlock holmes

This movie takes on another perspective on the famous detective. In here, teenaged Sherlock Holmes, played by Nicholas Rowe, enters the prestigious Brompton Academy and befriends John Watson, played by Alan Cox, there. This adaptation was directed by Barry Levinson and written by Chris Columbus.

(ALSO READ: What Happens When Sherlock Holmes Meets Jose Rizal? This Horror E-book Will Tell You)

Who’s your favorite Sherlock? Let us know in the comments!

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