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How Sherlock Changed the World (2013)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  October 2013 (USA)
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Special reveals for the first time the astonishing impact that Holmes has had on the development of real criminal investigation and forensic techniques.


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Credited cast:
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Sherlock Holmes is one of the great literary characters of all time, but his influence goes far beyond the artistic. Through the writings by author Arthur Conan Doyle, the great detective has also popularized a revolution in scientific criminal investigation. This series explores the world in which the Holmes stories and his forensic methods were created in response to it. Further, the series also explores how real life investigators were inspired by that franchise to solve their own cases with the same philosophies of Holmes. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

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Enjoyable, but biased
10 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes. Have been my whole life. Doyle's original stories were my constant bedside companions growing up, and I have been a big fan of many of the filmed offerings as well. I didn't care for Guy Richie's recent reinvention of him but I have always liked Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing as Holmes in the old films and I'm currently enjoying the hell out of Benedict Cumberbatch in "Sherlock". All brilliant portrayals but in my opinion no one captured Holmes better than the brilliant Jeremy Brett.

I also enjoyed this little two part homage, for the most part. The title pretty much lets you know what you're in for as a viewer from the get go, and it delivers on it's promise. Yet as a true fan of the genre I was more than a little irritated by the heavy handed, biased, self serving way they presented the material while blatantly suppressing some well known facts. I don't want to spoil it for anyone else who might enjoy it, but I will say that in the arc of these two episodes the producers might have at least mentioned or gave a a few minutes worth of props to a few who came before. Since they didn't, I will: Poe's Dupin. Collins' Blake and Cuff. Adams' Henderson.

I won't get into a debate about who should truly be regarded as the "first analytical detective" in fiction, and I'm definitely not saying that any of these creations were greater than the mighty Holmes, but as any true fan knows Doyle himself was definitely aware Holmes wasn't the first. Watson even brings up Dupin to Holmes in "A Study In Scarlet".

Does it take anything away from Doyle or Holmes to give these other writers and their creations the slightest nod, some honorable mention? I don't think so but apparently the producers felt it undermined their production. So they ignore what all us Sherlock fans already know so they can hammer home their message that Doyle and Holmes came first.

I'm sure they knew otherwise, if they didn't they need to be better detectives themselves before they produce a show on history's most beloved sleuth.

As Holmes himself states in "A Scandal In Bohemia":

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

Or maybe better yet, from the afore mentioned "A Study In Scarlet":

"There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before."

I rate it 8/10: (7+1 bonus point for having Andrew Lincoln from "The Walking Dead" narrating in his natural voice).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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