I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes for as long as I can remember, which is odd considering I’ve never read a single book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For decades the only Sherlockian tale I ever knew about was The Hound of the Baskervilles, and that was purely thanks to Wishbone, a 90s children’s television series the featured a book-loving Jack Russel Terrier as the main character. I found the idea of Sherlock fascinating, the world’s greatest detective who could catch a criminal simply by observing how dust settled. Then I saw 2009’s Sherlock Holmes.
I really liked Robert Downey Jr.'s rendition of Sherlock Holmes. It was fun and the chemistry between Downey and Jude Law was exactly as I’d imagined, but only months later the BBC series Sherlock blew the movie out of the water.
I don’t remember how I heard about Sherlock so quickly. The series only aired on BBC One and BBC HD, meaning only the most affluent of Americans were able to watch the series as it aired. Although even back in 2010 I’d forsaken traditional cable television and started watching everything online for free. I downloaded a commercial-free 1080p version of “A Study in Pink” shortly after it aired and was quickly blown away by the modernization of Sherlock Holmes.
I remember thinking I’d just witnessed the definitive version of Sherlock Holmes, and it only got better from there. The eighteen-month wait for the second set of episodes felt excruciating but was well worth it as the series routinely outdid itself.
When CBS announced Elementary I echoed the multitudes of doubters at the time. It looked like a sad attempt at competing with the BBC juggernaut and the only thing I remembered seeing Lucy Liu in was 2000’s Charlie’s Angels. The series turned out surprisingly good though, and it distanced itself so well from the Sherlock series that comparing the two just doesn’t seem right.
Throughout the early 2010s we’ve gone through a Sherlockian renaissance of good television and motion picture renditions of the world’s greatest detective. Yet, despite rave reviews by fans and critics alike, the last episode of Sherlock aired in January 2014, the third Robert Downey Jr. movie has been “on the way” since 2013, and it’s been almost six months since Elementary’s season finale.
There’ve been no Sherlock Holmes sightings in quite a while, leaving the obvious question:
Where Is Sherlock?
The question is rhetorical. I know where Sherlock is and the answer isn’t hanging out with Waldo down the street at 7/11 buying Lotto tickets.
Most of you are probably aware the fourth season of Elementary is starting back next week on November 5th. The series is a staple in CBS’s lineup and has continuously garnered favorable reviews and high ratings. But let’s face it, the show is little more than an appetizer for fans of Sherlock, tiding us over with a bit of unique Sherlockian drama until Cumberbatch and Freeman decide to take a vacation from being blockbuster movie stars and grace the small screen once again. (Although honestly I’d pay movie ticket prices to watch each episode in theaters.)
Luckily there’s good news on the horizon. A Sherlock New Year’s special is set to air New Year’s Day. The special, which doesn’t take place in the series timeline, is a quite literal appetizer to tide fans over since the fourth series has been pushed back to 2017.
It’s not ideal, but as a fan I’ll take what I can get and be grateful.
Oh, and the third Downey movie is still basically in development limbo.