Sherlock Holmes is a well-loved and popular fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The character first appeared in Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet in 1887. Ever since then, countless stories of Holmes’ adventures has been published. Eventually, these stories spurned a number of adaptations – books, films, TV shows – that the people still enjoy up to this day. Other than adaptations, there are also a number of spin-offs of the Sherlock Holmes series, and several shows that take inspiration from the famous character. In fact, Netflix is releasing a spin-off film titled, Enola Holmes, which centers around Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister.
Spin-offs are an interesting take on a story that has been told over and over again. We’ve listed down some of the best Sherlock Holmes spin-offs that does exactly just that.
Elementary is 2012 Sherlock Holmes spinoff TV show that gives a modern take on Sherlock Holmes. Jonny Lee Miller takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes who relocates to New York from London. As he goes around New York City solving crimes and helping the New York City Police Department, he is accompanied by Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), his sober companion. Just like a classic Sherlock Holmes story, they investigate and solve crimes together. Of course, there are also underlying plots within the story such as Holmes’ rivalry with Moriarty. His brother, Mycroft Holmes, also makes an appearance in the series.
The show ran for seven seasons from 2012 to 2019 with 154 episodes overall.
Miss Sherlock is a short 8-episode Japanese drama where the main characters are women. The main characters are obviously based on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson – they just have different names: Sara “Sherlock” Shelly Futaba and Dr. Wato Tachibana. Just like any Sherlock Holmes plot, Sara assists the police in investigating crimes in Tokyo, Japan. Together with her is her roommate, Dr. Wato. At the same time, they are also fighting a secret organization, Stella Maris, who is revealed to be a mastermind of some of the crimes they have investigated.
The show has received much praise for its casting decision. Since its airing in HBO Asia, the show has been recommended to Sherlock fans, or to anyone who loves TV shows in general.
Mr. Holmes is a 2015 film that reimagines Sherlock Holmes as a 93-year old man. Set in 1947, the film shows Sherlock Holmes as an old man who struggles to remember his last unsolved case because of his aging mind. Mr. Holmes is a refreshing take on the character of Sherlock Holmes as it focuses more on him as a person and his emotional journey. It also helps that Ian McKellen, the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes in the film, was able to excellently portray his character – switching from being an old man to showing glimpses of the brilliant mind the detective Sherlock Holmes has.
The Adventures of Shirley Holmes
The Adventures of Shirley Holmes is an old Canadian TV show that aired from 1996 to 2001. Sherlock Holmes does not appear in this show rather, the show follows Shirley Holmes – Sherlock’s great-great-niece. Shirley inherited her great-great-uncle’s brilliant mind and sleuthing skills and goes around the city of Redington, Manitoba solving mysteries. Just like Sherlock, she also has her own partner-in-crime that goes by the name of Bo Sawchuk, an ex-gang member and Shirley’s schoolmate. Another significant character that appears in the show is Molly Hardy. Her name is a play on the name Moriarty, which obviously means that she is Shirley’s nemesis.
The show ran for four seasons with 52 episodes overall.
Not much is known yet about The Irregulars as it is an upcoming American-British TV series produced by Netflix. The show takes off its focus on Sherlock Holmes and instead, turns toward the Baker Street Irregulars. These are a group of street children famous for helping Sherlock in his cases in the books. However, the creators of the show will be putting a twist in the story. The Irregulars will be portrayed as a, “gang of troubled delinquent teens who are manipulated into solving crimes for the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious business partner”. Furthermore, they will be portraying Sherlock as someone who takes credit for their achievements. There are also supernatural elements to expect in this show.
There is still no exact date as to when The Irregulars will premiere on Netflix.
Bonus: House M.D.
While not exactly a spin off, the medical drama House M.D. obviously takes inspiration from the characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Instead of solving crimes and murders, House M.D. follows Dr. House and his diagnostic team as they try to solve cases that other departments in the hospital cannot figure out. Dr. House also has characteristics that Sherlock is also known to have: most obvious ones are drug addiction and the ability to play an instrument. Dr. House also has a partner-in-crime named Dr. Wilson, an oncologist from the same hospital.
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