10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sherlock

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Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous fictional characters of all time. Since his first appearance in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories and novels, he has went on to star in further books, plays, television series and even feature films. Perhaps the most famous of these, and one of the most loved by fans, is Sherlock. The modern interpretation of the character was created by Doctor Who writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss for the BBC in 2010 and has become one of the most watched shows in the world. Here are some things you may not have known about Sherlock.

Riots Interrupted Filming In 2011

The 2011 Tottenham riots in the middle of London meant that filming of several scenes had to be abandoned and delayed until after the violence had ended. Co-creator Mark Gatiss tweeted about the problem saying, “This is a new one on me. Scene incomplete owing to approaching looters. Unbelievable times.”

While Sherlock has seen huge success with Western audiences, regularly getting 10 of millions of viewers in the United Kingdom and the United States, it has become something of a phenomenon in Asia. China and South Korea are particular fans of the series, so much so that the stand-alone episode The Abominable Bride actually opened in cinemas around both countries, taking around $10 million on its opening day.

And They Hate That It Takes So Long To Make

The global success of Sherlock has meant that its two stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have become established and in-demand actors. Combined with the fact that each episode runs for a feature-length 90 minutes it means that filming a new series is very difficult. This has led to significant gaps between seasons, causing anger in China. Some fans even asked Prime Minister David Cameron to try to speed up the process during an official visit in 2013.

Mrs Hudson Knew Sherlock From Childhood

Mrs Hudson is probably the closest thing to a mother that Sherlock Holmes has in the series and this actually reflects the relationship between actress Una Stubbs and Benedict Cumberbatch. When he was a child, Stubbs was a friend of his mother and only lived a short distance away from his house, meaning he spent plenty of time around her during his childhood.

Not Everyone Enjoyed Irene Adler

Lara Pulver’s portrayal of Irene Adler proved to be a hit with the vast majority of fans, yet the character still attracted some criticism. More than 100 people complained about a scene in which she appears nude, while others argued that she was shown in a way that was sexist.

The Set Has 17 Steps Leading To The Flat

The staircase inside the set for 221b Baker Street has 17 steps on the staircase leading up to the flat that Watson and Holmes live in. This is a reference to a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when the detective mentions to his friend that their home has that many steps. It probably also had something to do with avoiding angry letters from fans too.

Matt Smith Auditioned For Watson

Matt Smith originally auditioned to play Dr Watson in the adaptation but Steven Moffat thought that he was too energetic and barmy to play the role, especially considering both those qualities were something he had in mind for the Sherlock Holmes. Despite the initial disappointment from this, Matt Smith was soon in a better mood as Moffat thought the actor was ideal to play the Doctor and he was awarded the title role in Doctor Who just a week later.

Benedict Cumberbatch Had Violin Lessons

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes works, the famous detective is an accomplished violinist. When the creators decided to incorporate this into the modern version, they actually arranged for Benedict Cumberbatch to have lessons by Eon Chater so that he could play a song and look as if he knew what he was doing during filming.

But He Hates The Character’s Hair

The actor also goes through a great deal of condition and preparation when it comes time to playing the great detective. This includes an exercise regime, swimming, and yoga, as well as cutting out smoking and drinking. Although he doesn’t mind doing those, he hates having to grow his hair as he believes it makes him look like a woman.

It’s A Family Affair

The show is something of a family affair. The parents of Sherlock Holmes that appear in season three are the real life mother and father of Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Both are professional actors and the makers thought it would help with the chemistry between the characters. Similarly, the actress who plays Dr Watson’s wife Mary Morstan, called Amanda Abbington, is the long-term partner of Martin Freeman.