Source: Pexels

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been a mainstay of popular fiction for over 100 years. First appearing in print in 1887, the character became a national hero using his cunning intellect to solve seemingly unsolvable crimes with his sidekick Dr. Watson.

His tales of sleuthing in Victorian England have become famous across the globe. With Doyle’s four novels and over 50 short stories inspiring everything from literary pastiches and stage adaptations to TV dramas, games, and blockbuster movies.

Furthermore, demonstrating Holmes’ contemporary appeal, Netflix recently announced a new spin-off. Much like the BBC’s critically acclaimed Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch in the eponymous role, and the pair of Hollywood movies directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr., this latest murder-mystery adventure will reveal a unique interpretation of the character. Titled “The Irregulars”, the series will focus on a bunch of street urchins who help Holmes solve crimes that he ends up taking credit for.

Enola Holmes joins the collection of upcoming small and big screen outings for the famous sleuth

Clearly The Irregulars isn’t enough Victorian sleuthing for today’s audiences, as Netflix is also preparing Enola Holmes, a film based on the novels by Nancy Springer concerning Sherlock’s sister who also has a penchant for solving crime.

Reminding those old enough to remember the coming of age fantasy-drama Young Sherlock Holmes from 1985, the film is expected to appeal to new audiences ready for a fresh take on this iconic British crime-fighting world.

With director Dexter Fletcher preparing to shoot a third movie in the Robert Downey Jr.-fronted film franchise next year, Netflix’s decision to keep Sherlock’s candle burning makes sense.

Netflix’s The Irregulars
Source: Tyla

Around 11 million watched the BBC’s four-season TV series, while Guy Ritchie’s pair of Hollywood movies earned over $1 billion worldwide. Elsewhere, Frogwares’ video game, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments continues to be a big seller on console and PC. Holmes’ adventures also continue to live on in literary form, through the books of G. S. Denning (“The Sign of Nine), Sherry Thomas (“The Art of Theft”), and others.

Conan Doyle was clearly on to something when he created the character. While the setting of those original stories may be of an era long ago, we’re still fascinated by it. A historical setting did no harm to the multi-award-winning hit Game of Thrones, for example.

The fact contemporary entertainment has seen 221b Baker Street’s justice served in everything from board games and comic strips to radio plays and music helps to illustrate that, aside from the big and small screens, Sherlock’s intrinsic characteristics continue to be inherently compelling in any shape and form.

Furthermore, Doyle’s sleuth is responsible for numerous slot games, with Gameplay Interactive’s modern-day adventure Sherlock, Red Rock Gaming’s The Sherlock Files, Playtech’s Sherlock Mystery and IGT’s A Game of Shadows just some of the ways the online casino industry's popular “reels” take their cues from the Victorian crimefighter. That’s just a tiny proportion of Ronald B. De Waal’s claim in the exhaustive compendium, the Universal Sherlock Holmes, that Doyle’s hero is the basis for over 25,000 related products and productions.

Sherlock Holmes is here to stay

It wasn’t long ago – 2016 to be exact – that the BBC’s Jennifer Keishin was musing on the idea that Sherlock Holmes has literally changed the world. She concluded by exampling Benedict Cumberbatch’s seeming demise as the eponymous character in the British TV series, with viewers seeing him falling to his death. Of course, it was all part of a clever plot twist. But, as Keishin says, pushing Holmes off a cliff “has no chance of killing him” because his fans will command he returns in some form or another. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen; reincarnated, reconstituted, or re-imagined for page, screen, stage, video game, and a whole lot more.

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