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Sherlock Holmes became the most famous detective of the 19th century through the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle. His existence as a real person was a matter of debate.

Gillian Petra described Holmes as "interesting without being terribly important to major world events". (PROSE: Erasing Sherlock)

Biography Edit

Life and career Edit

Holmes had several notable relatives, including his father, Siger, and his brothers, Sherringford and Mycroft. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire)

In 1887, he was asked by the Pope to investigate the missing books at the Library of St John the Beheaded. He went to the Library to investigate when the Seventh Doctor arrived at his house offering his services. He then investigated the crime syndicates which guarded the gang. When he learnt that Sherringford was involved, he accompanied the Doctor to Bombay, where he encountered Bernice Summerfield. Shortly afterwards, he was supposedly drugged and taken to the portal to Ry'leh. They then rode a Rakshassa through the portal. Holmes and Watson helped the Doctor battle the creature posing as the Great Old One known as Azathoth. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire) Later in 1887, Holmes and Watson travelled to Cheldon Bonniface on 24 April 2010 to attend the wedding of Bernice Summerfield and Jason Kane, uncovering the schemes of the Master during the festivities. (PROSE: Happy Endings)

In 1888, Holmes and Watson met up with Iris Wildthyme and her companion Panda. (PROSE: The Shape of Things)

In 1894, Holmes investigated the West End Horror and may or may not have encountered the Eighth Doctor at the time. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

Having completed a second run of Holmes stories for publication in The Strand, Conan Doyle got tired of writing stories about the detective, and wrote a story in which a villain, Moriarty, caused Holmes' death. This failed to stick. (COMIC: Character Assassin)

In 1911, Holmes prevented Alexander Korvo from destroying History of Earth Volume 36,379 that contained information about a Gomagog invasion of Earth. Unbeknownst to him, he was saved by Iris Wildthyme from being killed by a bomb during this adventure. In 1927, he attended Korvo's funeral, where he encountered Dorian Gray, who foiled Korvo's later plan. (AUDIO: The Adventure of the Bloomsbury Bomber, The Feast of Magog, Kronos Vad's History of Earth Vol. 36,379)

In the City of the Saved, Holmes and Watson were the most common Remakes. They collectively bound together to create the Great Detective Agency. (PROSE: Of the City of the Saved...)

Other information Edit

Minor references Edit

The Sixth Doctor and Frobisher came across an illusion of Sherlock Holmes in his study. The Doctor described Holmes as fictional. (COMIC: Funhouse)

The Seventh Doctor quoted a saying of Holmes', to which his companion Ace described him as a fictional character. The Doctor asserted that he could still have spoken with him. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation)

The Fifth Doctor lived for a year as practically a neighbour of Holmes as he lived in a house at 107 Baker Street in Victorian London. (AUDIO: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster)

Dyslexic child Elliot Northover often listened to audiobooks, including Sherlock Holmes. He once quoted Holmes, saying to Rory Williams, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." (TV: The Hungry Earth)

The Fifth Doctor claimed to be an old friend of Sherlock's. (PROSE: Warmonger)

The Second Doctor claimed to have met Sherlock. (PROSE: Heart of TARDIS)

The Eighth Doctor had read The Hound of the Baskervilles and quoted the book after being chased by a dog in Dartmoor. (PROSE: Camera Obscura)

General Alexander Bruce told John Matthews that Sherlock Holmes was not a fictional character. (AUDIO: The Roof of the World)

The Ninth Doctor referred to Ali as a "regular Sherlock Holmes," but as a Karkinian, she didn't understand the reference. (PROSE: The Beast of Babylon)

When Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart demanded the Third Doctor come up with better evidence he couldn't dismiss, the Doctor insultingly told the Brigadier that he was "not exactly a little Sherlock Holmes [himself]". (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)

The Master once claimed that the Seventh Doctor flattered himself by thinking of himself as being the Moriarty to the Master's Holmes when he actually provided merely "adequate opposition worthy of very little attention". (AUDIO: The Two Masters)

Holmes' status as fiction Edit

Different accounts attributed disparate levels of "reality" to Holmes, variously suggesting that he existed as a real person named Sherlock Holmes, some that he never existed, and others that Holmes and Watson were authentic historical figures under different names, whose identities Watson's literary agent Arthur Conan Doyle concealed. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire) To further disguise the identity of his clients, Conan Doyle instructed his illustrators to dress "Holmes" in the deerstalker and cape the Fourth Doctor had been wearing when the writer met him in 1880. (PROSE: Evolution)

Adding confusion to the matter was the fact that the most substantial evidence for Holmes' encounters with the Doctor and his companions was found in diary entries written by Bernice Summerfield and "John Watson". (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire, Happy Endings) These definitionally subjective entries made it hard to assert with certainty anything about their contents.

Other, more minor references, also seemed to hinge on individual opinion about the matter, rather than some sort of objective truth. Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart, who met Holmes, seemed to regard him as not quite real. (AUDIO: The Final Amendment) For his part, the Doctor, when talking about Holmes in his seventh and eighth incarnations, cryptically hinted at some kind of permeability between "fiction" and "reality". (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation, The Gallifrey Chronicles)

In the 1890s, Holmes and Watson's adventures were serialised in The Strand magazine. Henry Gordon Jago came to believe that he and Professor George Litefoot were the inspiration for the characters. (AUDIO: Jago in Love)

In 1892, Dr Walter Simeon opined that Conan Doyle was basing his stories on the adventures of Vastra and Jenny Flint. The Eleventh Doctor gained entrance to Dr Simeon's Institute by pretending to be Holmes, to the apparent confusion of Dr Simeon's assistant. Simeon angrily pointed out to the Doctor that Holmes was a fictional character in The Strand. Strax was also familiar with Holmes. (TV: The Snowmen)

During the reign of King Edward VII, Martha Jones met Doyle, who discussed having "killed off" Holmes. (PROSE: Revenge of the Judoon)

Sherlock Killer App

A poster of Sherlock, broadcast on BBC One. (COMIC: Killer App)

Sometime in the 2010s, a teenager had a poster of a television show named Sherlock, seemingly featuring the titular character. (COMIC: Killer App)

Owen Harper once sarcastically said "No shit Sherlock" to Gwen Cooper when she made on obvious discovery about a Weevil victim. (TV: Combat)

By the age of nine, Melanie Bush had read the entire Sherlock Holmes canon. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!)

Behind the scenes Edit

General information Edit

Many commentators, including Colin Baker, have noted a similarity between the characters of the Doctor and Holmes. Both character have enjoyed rare levels of popularity and longevity as British fictional characters in multiple media. Tom Baker played Holmes in a 1982 television serial adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. According to Doctor Who producer Barry Letts, both Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks believed the relationship between the Third Doctor and the Brigadier had developed into one like Holmes and Watson. Both Letts and Dicks concurred that the Master was created as a "Moriarty" for the Doctor as a result of a discussion between Letts and Dicks. (DOC: Life on Earth)

In the script of Deep Breath, Vastra is described as having her "fingers steepled in the Sherlock Holmes manner."

The version of Sherlock Holmes depicted on the cover of All-Consuming Fire is based upon arguably the most famous cinematic portrayer of the role, Basil Rathbone.

Crossovers in other works Edit

The Kim Newman short story collection Secret Files of the Diogenes Club, a work which mixes the Sherlock Holmes and other continuities, features Newman's creation the Cold from his Time and Relative, set in the Doctor Who universe.

The Doctor, the TARDIS and Holmes (as well as his brother Mycroft and archnemesis Moriarty) all co-exist in Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen universe.

Big Finish's Sherlock Holmes Edit

Beginning in 2009, Big Finish Productions began releasing a range of Sherlock Holmes audio dramas.[1] In the first two episodes Roger Llewellyn played an older Holmes reflecting on his past adventures, with Nicholas Briggs playing the detective in more traditional Holmes adventures from episode three onward. Many cast and crew from the Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories have contributed to the range.

In 2015, Big Finish's Sherlock Holmes crossed over with elements of the Doctor Who universe in The Worlds of Big Finish, which included Bernice Summerfield, Iris Wildthyme, Abby, and Zara.

Briggs played Holmes in a Doctor Who production once again in the audio adaptation of All-Consuming Fire.

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock Edit

In 2010, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss created the BBC Wales series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and also featuring Gatiss, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves, Phil Davis, Russell Tovey, Gemma Chan, Lindsay Duncan, Tim McInnerny and Toby Jones in supporting roles. As of January 2017, it consists of thirteen 90-minute episodes written by Moffat, Gatiss and Steve Thompson.

Matt Smith had auditioned for the role of Watson, but was turned down before Steven Moffat cast him as the Eleventh Doctor.[source needed]Benedict Cumberbatch was rumoured to have been offered the role of the Eleventh Doctor and turned it down.[2] He denied the rumour, claiming never to have been offered the role.[3] He has expressed his interest in appearing in Doctor Who, but said that he doesn't want a one-off part.[source needed] Several reviews of The Snowmen have pointed out that a refrain [which?] from the theme music for Sherlock is heard when the Doctor visits Simeon while impersonating Holmes.[disputed statement] [source needed]

The Twelfth Doctor met this version of Sherlock Holmes in Sprout Boy meets a Galaxy of Stars.

Doctor Who actors who have played Sherlock Holmes in other media Edit

Cleese, McKellen, Pryce, Rupert Everett, Matt Frewer, Christopher Lee, Alfred Molina and Peter O'Toole, all of whom have played Sherlock Holmes, were all considered for the role of the Eighth Doctor in the TV movie [4].

Non-narrative info Edit

  • According to The Brilliant Book 2012, a book that contains non-narrative based information, in an alternate universe where all history occurred at once, Holmes hosted a reality TV show called Detects Factor. The book also states that the Eleventh Doctor feared that wearing a deerstalker hat may make people confuse him for Sherlock.
  • The reference book Doctor Who: The Secret Lives of Monsters includes an excerpt from a book called A Study in Green in which Vastra, Jenny and Strax encounter Holmes and Watson. Jenny bought all 200 copies of the book to keep it off the shelves.

External link Edit

Footnotes Edit

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