So you think you know Sherlock Holmes? Well, hold on to your deerstalker hats because The Real Sherlock Holmes, a new fast-paced documentary directed by Gary Lang, provides compelling evidence that the famous fictional sleuth has influenced the 21st century in ways that few could possibly imagine. Airing the day after the debut of Global’s much buzzed about new Sherlock series Elementary, The Real Sherlock Holmes makes its world broadcast premiere, Friday, September 28 at 9pm ET on HISTORY.
With help from a dynamic cast of real-life characters and a visual style designed to provoke and amuse, The Real Sherlock Holmes dares to deduce that modern crime-solving, forensic science, espionage and even space travel might have evolved in much different ways were it not for Holmes.
It’s no mystery that Sherlock Holmes is one of the most enduring pop culture characters—the first ever to become more famous than its creator. The consulting detective first entered the crime scene in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet” (1887) but it was his adventures in wildly popular stories first published in The Strand Magazine, between 1891 to 1926 that sealed his fame. Since then, Doyle’s Holmes tales have never been out of print.
Sherlock Holmes is also the most adapted literary character in history—his trusty comrade and chronicler Dr. John H. Watson always along for the ride. Their most recent screen adventures include two Sherlock Holmes features films directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, the BBC-TV series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and the new Global series Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.
“You could go back and say that Holmes was the Model T of all modern science fiction, of mystery fiction, of genre fiction,” says pop culture critic Scott Brown in The Real Sherlock Holmes.
But the unparalleled influence of Doyle’s stories on crime fiction is merely the most obvious clue. In The Real Sherlock Holmes, director Lang extends The Great Detective’s legacy beyond popular culture, taking a romp into the future to uncover Homes’ impact on late 20th and early 21st-century innovation and thinking.
The evidence is clear. The Real Sherlock Holmes is one of the most fascinating, insightful and rollicking documentaries on the great detective to hit the TV screen.