Click To Play: Web Adaptations of Sherlock Holmes
The English-speaking market currently has three Sherlock Holmes adaptations on our screens. The Russians have a new version… so do the Spanish… and India. It’s fairly safe to say that Sherlock Holmes is in a renaissance, and as more and more Holmesian pastiches hit the literary market and we count down the days until our favorite adaptation returns to our screens (big and/or small), one has to wonder what else has sprung up.
What about the web?
Web series have really started to be mass consumed thanks to the success of such ventures as The Guild (which is on its SIXTH season!), Video Game High School, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Naturally these are only a taste of the dozens and dozens of excellent web shows out there, and with the medium gaining so much popularity (Burning Love is actually being put on TV), it was only a matter of time before we had a delicious crop of Sherlock Holmes adaptations for us to click and play.
Below are three series that are going on at the moment… well, two that are currently running and one in production. We know of another two, but they’re still in pre-production and we won’t be revealing them just yet! And before you ask, no, we aren’t doing one. Kafers & myself DID have plans for a dramedy parody of Sherlock called Femlock: It’s Sherlock But With Boobs, but we never actually got to working on it other than making a tumblr.
It focuses on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson transported by means of demonic ritual from 1895 to the post millennium era where they face a continuous struggle to keep their past a secret and battle against the villainous criminal organization, The Red Headed League, as well as trying to come to terms with the peculiarities of the modern day way of life.
No Place Like Holmes has been around the longest by far, as in it started in 2009! The series is the brainchild of Ross K Foad, the show’s main actor (portraying Sherlock Holmes) and Script Writer/Director/Producer and Video Editor.
The show currently has three series under its belt, telling the story of how Holmes & Watson are transported to the 21st Century. You can check out all the episodes [here]. While Watson was originally played by Sam Cole, the part was taken over by Mike Archer in 2011. Other cast includes Tamzin Dunstone, Kelsey Williams, Angela Holmes,
NPLH also has a spin-off of sorts, The Great Hiatus Years, wherein Foad’s Holmes and Irene Adler adventure together after the events at the Reichenbach Falls. There’s two 45-minute specials called Holmes In Time For Christmas and The Creature In The Rye. Irene Adler is played by Karin Rydle, Mycroft by James Ian Gray, and Mark Ian Ridley as Colonel Sebastian Moran.
In addition to the time traveling journeys of the consulting detective and his doctor friend, NPLH is home to The Mary Morstan Mysteries, a mini-series off-shoot. According to the website,”[i]t follows the tales of the rarely mentioned fiance and later wife of Dr Watson – Miss Mary Morstan and the exploits , adventures and mystery’s she finds herself embroiled in along the way.” The latest in that series is Morstan vs Milverton, which should make for some interesting viewing! Mary Morstan is played by Lexi Wolfe and Mrs. Hudson by Linda-Jean Barry.
More info can be found at www.nplh.co.uk
Focusing on the companionship of pop-culture’s most famous investigating duo: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The series puts an emphasis on the home-life of the classic “odd couple”. Showing the dangerous life style Watson gets himself into living with Holmes after recently returning from Afghanistan. The period piece revolves around the mental trials Holmes puts Watson through in their Victorian London flat, keeping the doctor constantly on his toes. The series features guest characters including the faithful landlady Mrs. Hudson and the nefarious villain, Professor James Moriarty.
221B is a new Canadian web series that’s currently just over halfway finished featuring a young female Sherlock Holmes and her older male Watson. Developed by filmmaker Carter deLaat (House of Wolves, Mad Dog), it stars Jaspar Mitchell as Sherlock Holmes, J.P. Beaudoin as Doctor John Watson, Charlotte Empringham as Mrs. Hudson, and Eddie Greer as Professor James Moriarty. When it’s complete, 221B will only be five episodes long, so while it’s not a long-running series, it’s still very much so, a worthwhile web adaptation.
Each episode is between five and ten minutes long, so they’re much shorter than No Place Like Holmes, but still pack lots of character, some laughs, and some darkness as Episode 3’s title, Seven Percent, indicates. It’s nice to see a female Sherlock Holmes, plus I like her hair.
The final two episodes are to be released on August 13th and 20th, but in the meantime, you can catch up with the series and learn more about those behind it at 221bwebseries.blogspot.com.
In a single moment, a promising medical student drops out of her classes in England to rush to the side of her terminally ill brother in Toronto. When she arrives, she finds herself alone, with no job, no money, and no family. Luckily, a friend of her brother’s recalls the recent complaints of another young woman at pains to find a roommate. Soon, Jane Watson wonders just what the hell she’s gotten herself into.
Another 221B and more Canadians! A project of love and feminism, Karen and Hannah started production on 221B after being successfully funded on IndieGoGo. It’s unclear now, but it looks like the canon of 221B will be directly influenced by its fans, which is a fun way to go about it.
On their IndieGoGo page, Karen & Hannah state that through the process of developing their series, there were four main issues they wanted to address:
1. To demonstrate that stories are universal, regardless of gender
2. To increase the exposure of women, and different sexualities in media
3. To put Toronto on film as itself, instead of an anonymous city
4. To challenge the border between “creator” and “audience”
This 221B is just starting production, so it may be a little bit before these two lovely ladies grace our computer screens. However, we have a sneak peek for you! We’ve been sent two pages of the script so you can get a little bit of the feel of this series!
Just click on the page to enlarge it.
I found this shindig after I realized I enjoyed chatting about Sherlock Holmes with people I liked. So other than doing the podcast, I’m an ardent traveler and have been to twenty-eight countries and have no plans to stop. I’m a vegan, a hipster, an author, a dreamer, and have crazy curly ginger hair. You can find out all you’d like to know about me at my website or follow me on twitter @CurlyFourEyes.