68 Little-Known Sherlock Facts About The Classic BBC Series

Sherlock is the critically acclaimed British that premiered in 2010 with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. Based on the iconic detective stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the show brings a modern twist to the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman). Our Sherlock facts (BBC 2010) include how much Sherlock’s iconic coat cost, which Doctor Who actor nearly played Dr. John Watson before Martin Freeman and which classic board game was rereleased with a Sherlock theme.

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Sherlock is the critically acclaimed British that premiered in 2010 with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. Based on the iconic detective stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the show brings a modern twist to the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman). Set in contemporary London, Sherlock captivates audiences with its brilliant storytelling, intricate mysteries, and dynamic characters.

Cumberbatch's portrayal captures Sherlock's razor-sharp intellect, keen observational skills, and eccentric personality, making him a fascinating and complex character to watch. Freeman brings warmth and humility to the character, serving as a relatable audience surrogate amidst the extraordinary world of Sherlock Holmes. Rupert Graves, Andrew Scott, Louise Brealey, Mark Gatiss and Amanda Abbington also star.

Each episode presents a standalone case, often adapted from the original Conan Doyle stories, but woven into a larger narrative arc that explores the complexities of Sherlock's mind and his relationships with those around him. 

Our Sherlock facts (BBC 2010) include how much Sherlock’s iconic coat cost, which Doctor Who actor nearly played Dr. John Watson before Martin Freeman and which classic board game was rereleased with a Sherlock theme.

1. Sherlock Was A Collaboration Between The UK And USA

Thirteen episodes have been produced, divided into four three-part series that aired from 2010 to 2017, along with a special episode on 1 January 2016. While the series is primarily set in the present day, the special episode delves into a Victorian period fantasy reminiscent of the original Holmes stories.

Produced by the British network BBC in collaboration with Hartswood Films, the series also received support from the American station WGBH-TV Boston, airing as part of the Masterpiece anthology series on PBS in the United States.

2. Filming For Sherlock Predominantly Took Place In Wales

Filming predominantly takes place in Cardiff, Wales, with North Gower Street in London serving as the exterior location for Holmes and Watson's residence at 221B Baker Street.

3. Sherlock Was The Most Watched Drama Since 2001

The exceptional quality of writing, acting, and directing in Sherlock had widespread acclaim. The series has received numerous award nominations, including Emmy Awards, BAFTAs, and a Golden Globe, and has emerged victorious in several categories.

At the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, it triumphed in three categories, with Benedict Cumberbatch winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, Martin Freeman securing Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, and Steven Moffat earning recognition for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special. Two years later, the show claimed the Outstanding Television Movie award. Furthermore, "Sherlock" was honoured with a Peabody Award in 2011. 

The third series achieved record-breaking viewership in the UK, becoming the most-watched drama series since 2001. The popularity of Sherlock extends worldwide, as it has been sold to 180 territories.

4. There Is A Sherlock Mobile App

Fans can enjoy the complete series on DVD and Blu-ray, which are accompanied by tie-in editions of selected original Conan Doyle stories. The show also boasts an original soundtrack composed by David Arnold and Michael Price. 

In January 2014, "Sherlock" launched its official mobile app titled "Sherlock: The Network," further engaging viewers in the detective world.

5. Sherlock Was Created By Two Big Names From Doctor Who

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, avid Sherlock Holmes fans with a background in adapting Victorian literature for television, conceived the idea for the series. Drawing on their respective experiences with shows like "Jekyll" (2007) and "Doctor Who," where Moffat adapted "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" and Gatiss wrote the Dickensian episode "The Unquiet Dead," the two writers frequently discussed their plans for a Holmes adaptation during their train journeys to Cardiff, the production base of Doctor Who.

During their time in Monte Carlo for an awards ceremony, producer Sue Vertue, who is married to Moffat, encouraged them to develop the project themselves before someone else had a similar idea. This prompted Moffat and Gatiss to invite Stephen Thompson to join the writing team in September 2008.

6. Mark Gatiss Found Other Sherlock Adaptations Too Slow

Mark Gatiss expressed his criticism of recent television adaptations of Conan Doyle's stories, deeming them overly reverential and slow-paced. Instead, he aimed to emulate the irreverence found in 1930s and 1940s films featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, which were set in the contemporary interwar era. 

7. Sherlock Incorporates Modern Technology In This Adaptation

Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Sherlock incorporates modern technology, such as texting, the internet, and GPS, to aid in his crime-solving endeavours. Director Paul McGuigan noted that this utilisation of technology aligns with Conan Doyle's character, as Holmes would employ any available device and conduct experiments in the original stories. 

8. There Are Some Main Similarities Between Sherlock And Conan Doyle’s Work

The updated series Sherlock maintains key elements from the original tales, including the iconic Baker Street address and Holmes's arch-nemesis Moriarty. 

Some of these elements are reimagined in the present day, such as Martin Freeman's Watson having returned from military service in Afghanistan. In reflecting on the parallel between the original Watson being invalided home after the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-80) and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, Gatiss shared in interviews that he felt this change was poignant because, 'It is the same war now, I thought. The same unwinnable war.'"

9. Sherlock Was Originally A Standalone 60 Minute Drama

Sherlock was initially announced as a standalone 60-minute drama during the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2008, with the plan to air it in mid- to late 2009. 

10. An Unaired Sherlock Pilot Cost Around £800,000

The intention was to develop a full series consisting of six 60-minute episodes if the pilot received a positive response. However, the first version of the pilot, reportedly costing £800,000, generated concerns within the BBC and the media, leading to speculations that Sherlock might be a potential failure. 

As a result, the BBC opted not to broadcast the pilot and instead requested a reshoot, expanding the format to three 90-minute episodes.

11. The Original Unaired Pilot Was Released On The Sherlock Season One DVD

The original pilot, which didn't air, was later included on the DVD release of the first series. In the audio commentary, the creative team mentioned that the BBC was "very happy" with the pilot but requested changes to the format. 

Critic Mark Lawson notes that the aired version underwent significant expansion, rewriting, and a complete reimagining in terms of visual style, pacing, and sound. 

At that time, Steven Moffat had already revealed that if a series of Sherlock were to be commissioned, Mark Gatiss would assume the role of executive producer, allowing Moffat to focus on producing Doctor Who.

12. Sherlock Producers Chose Cumberbatch After His Performance In Atonement

Moffat and Vertue were drawn to the idea of casting Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character after being impressed by his performance in the 2007 film Atonement. Cumberbatch secured the role after reading the script for the creative team. 

Unlike Doyle's portrayal of a primary psychopath, the character in the series is depicted as a charismatic secondary psychopath or a "high-functioning sociopath," which allows for more ambiguity and opportunities to explore traits of empathy. 

The Guardian describes Cumberbatch's portrayal as cold and tech-savvy highlighting his reputation for playing eccentric and brilliant characters.

13. Benedict Cumberbatch Found Playing Sherlock Exhilarating

Cumberbatch himself expressed the exhilaration of playing Sherlock, with the character's rapid thoughts and intricate connections requiring quick thinking. He is portrayed as always one step ahead, outsmarting those around him with average intellect. 

Piers Wenger, Head of Drama at BBC Cymru/Wales, describes Sherlock as a dynamic superhero in a modern world, an arrogant and genius sleuth driven by the desire to prove his intellectual superiority to both criminals and the police. 

14. Sherlock Holmes Swaps His Pipe For Nicotine Patches

To adhere to changing social attitudes and broadcasting regulations, Cumberbatch's Holmes replaces the traditional pipe with multiple nicotine patches.

15. Steven Moffat Wanted To Still Include A Victorian Feel

The writers aimed to give Sherlock a unique voice, blending elements of the modern world with a Victorian touch. Moffat initially wanted to avoid making him sound like he was delivering a lecture but decided to capitalise on Cumberbatch's "beautiful voice" in the second series to create a more Victorian feel, as if he were indeed giving a lecture.

16. Sherlock And Watson’s Chemistry Was Key

While casting the character of Dr. John Watson proved to be more challenging, co-creator Mark Gatiss revealed in an interview that Benedict Cumberbatch was the only person they saw for the role of Sherlock. Once Cumberbatch was on board, the chemistry between him and potential Watson actors became crucial. After numerous auditions, Martin Freeman was eventually chosen for the role. 

17. Matt Smith Auditioned For Dr. John Watson

Matt Smith, who auditioned unsuccessfully for Watson, was later cast as the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who, a role Moffat had also taken on.

18. Dr. John Watson Had To Be Played As Clever

Martin Freeman's casting had a significant impact on how Cumberbatch portrayed Holmes, according to the writers. The theme of friendship was an appealing aspect for both Gatiss and Moffat. Gatiss emphasised the importance of striking the right tone for Watson's character, stating that while Conan Doyle often mocked him, Watson is not actually an idiot. 

"But only an idiot would surround himself with idiots," Gatiss added in press interviews. Moffat praised Freeman's ability to find poetry in ordinary characters, highlighting the fastidious realism he brings to his performances.

19. Rupert Graves Was Chosen Due To His Seriousness

Rupert Graves joined the cast as DI Greg Lestrade, initially referred to as "Inspector Lestrade" during development until Gatiss realised that the character would hold the title of "Detective Inspector" in contemporary England. 

Moffat and Gatiss acknowledged that Lestrade's portrayal in the original stories was inconsistent, but they decided to base their version on the one from "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons." 

In this interpretation, Lestrade is frustrated by Holmes yet admires him, and Holmes regards him as the best person at Scotland Yard. While some auditioned for the role with a comedic approach, the creative team preferred the gravitas that Graves brought to the character. Lestrade's first name is revealed to be Greg in "The Hounds of Baskerville."

20. Andrew Scott’s Psychotic Performance Inspired “The Final Problem”

Andrew Scott made his debut as Jim Moriarty in "The Great Game." Moffat expressed their intention to create a truly frightening and genuinely psychotic version of Moriarty, who is often depicted as a dull and posh villain. Originally, they hadn't planned to include a confrontation between Moriarty and Holmes in the initial three episodes. However, after witnessing Scott's audition, they were compelled to include a confrontation scene, inspired by "The Final Problem" where the archenemies meet each other.

21. Amanda Abbington And Martin Freeman Dated For 16 Years

Amanda Abbington, who was Freeman's partner at the time, portrayed Mary Morstan, Watson's girlfriend and eventual wife. Freeman and Abbington dated from 2000 until 2016 and have two children together.

22. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Parents Play Sherlock’s Parents

In the third series of Sherlock, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton, Cumberbatch's actual parents, joined the cast as Sherlock and Mycroft's parents.

23. Sherlock Had Notable Guest Appearances

The series also included notable guest appearances: 

  • Phil Davis appeared as Jefferson Hope 

  • Paul Chequer as DI Dimmock 

  • Zoe Telford as Sarah

  • Gemma Chan as Soo Lin Yao

  • John Sessions portrayed Kenny Prince

  • Haydn Gwynne played Miss Wenceslas

  • Deborah Moore appeared as one of Moriarty's victims

  • Peter Davison provided the voice-over in the planetarium

  • Lara Pulver took on the role of Irene Adler

  • Russell Tovey portrayed Henry Knight

  • Edward Holtom portrayed Rufus Bruhl

  • Katherine Parkinson played journalist Kitty Riley

  • The first episode of series three featured a guest appearance by Derren Brown.

24. Euros Lyn (Heartstopper) Directed The Second Episode

Filming for the pilot episode, written by Moffat and directed by Coky Giedroyc, began in January 2009. The production of the first set of three episodes commenced a year later in January 2010, with Paul McGuigan directing the first and third episodes, and Euros Lyn directing the second. Interestingly, the three episodes were filmed in reverse order of their broadcast.

25. The Creators Wanted To Romanticise Modern Day London

The creators aimed to highlight and romanticise modern-day London in the same way that period adaptations romanticise Victorian London. 

The exterior shots of Sherlock's residence at 221B Baker Street were filmed at 187 North Gower Street, as using the actual Baker Street was impractical due to heavy traffic and the abundance of Sherlock Holmes-related signage that would need to be concealed. 

The production team aimed to design Sherlock's flat as a contemporary set that would still convey his eccentricity, avoiding a suburban or overly modern aesthetic.

26. The Sherlock Sandwich Shop Increased In Business

The real-life sandwich shop called Speedy's, located below the flat used as Holmes's residence, experienced a significant increase in customers who recognised it from the show. Some fans have even donated their Sherlock fan art, which the Sherlock fan-art to the restaurant, which the owners put on display.

27. Benedict Cumberbatch Wore A £1,000 Belstaff Coat In Sherlock

The costumes for the pilot episode were designed by Ray Holman, a BAFTA Cymru award-winning costume designer. In the series, Cumberbatch wore a £1,000 Belstaff coat. 

Dr. John Watson’s famous black jacket costs £750, his shoes £175, the knitted jumper over £200, and his watch an astonishing £3000. Sherlock's iconic coat also comes with a hefty price tag of £1,750.

Sarah Arthur, the series' costume designer, discussed her approach to creating Sherlock's look, explaining that she opted for classic suits with a modern twist: narrow-leg trousers, a two-button slim-cut jacket, and slim-cut shirts. For action scenes, she chose a sweeping coat that complemented the London skyline.

28. It’s Sherlock And John Not Holmes And Watson

A departure from tradition in this Sherlock adaptation was having the lead characters address each other by their first names rather than using the traditional "Holmes" and "Watson." This modernization was also reflected in the series' title. 

29. Paul McGuigan Chose To Display Text Messages On Screen

Director Paul McGuigan introduced the idea of displaying text messages on the screen instead of using cut-away shots of a hand holding a phone.

30. Coordinating Benedict Cumberbatch And Martin Freeman’s Schedule Was Hard

Coordinating the schedules of the principal actors, Moffat, and Gatiss for the second series proved challenging. Cumberbatch and Freeman were both involved in the 2012 film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, while Moffat continued his role as showrunner and head writer for Doctor Who. 

In response to the time constraints, the series incorporated reworkings of three of Conan Doyle's most well-known tales. Gatiss explained that although there was an argument for spreading out these stories over three years, they opted against deferring the pleasure. 

31. Sherlock’s Score Was Meant To Sound “Vibrant And Life Like”

The captivating theme and incidental music of the series were composed by David Arnold and Michael Price. Collaborating with the producers, Arnold and Price aimed to create a central theme and character for the show, ultimately discovering the defining sound that would accompany it. While synthesisers were used in the construction of many pieces, the final tracks were recorded with real musicians to give the music a vibrant and lifelike quality. Price adds that the musicians had the ability to adapt their performances based on the footage from the show, enhancing the overall synergy between music and visuals.

32. There Was Meant To Be A Fifth Series of Sherlock

In January 2014, Moffat revealed that he and Gatiss had plotted a fifth series of the show. However, when the fourth series was released in January 2017, they had not yet made a decision regarding its production. While both Cumberbatch and Moffat have expressed their interest in continuing the series in the future, there are currently no immediate plans to do so. 

Moffat also acknowledged that the conflicting schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman pose a challenge for a potential fifth series. Freeman remains open to the idea of returning to the program if the quality of the material meets his expectations, suggesting that Sherlock is never completely off the table.

33. The Highest Overnight Viewing Figure For Season 2 Was 8 Million

Based on data provided by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB), the first series of Sherlock gained significant viewership. The highest overnight figure for an episode in the first series was 7.5 million, achieved by the opening episode titled "A Study in Pink." 

The second series, on the other hand, averaged over 8 million viewers, showcasing its growing popularity. Additionally, all three episodes of the second series were the most-watched programs on the BBC's iPlayer, a video-on-demand service, between January and April 2012.

34. Irene Adler’s Nude Scene Was Broadcast Before The Watershed

The opening episode of the second series, "A Scandal in Belgravia," generated controversy when the tabloid newspaper Daily Mail reported that some viewers were displeased with Irene Adler's early nude scene, as it was broadcasted before the 9:00 pm watershed hour, when adult-oriented content is typically not allowed. This led to discussions and differing opinions among critics regarding the sexualisation of Irene Adler, with showrunner Moffat defending his portrayal of the character. 

35. The Highest Viewing Figure In Season 3 Was 12.72 Million

The third series of Sherlock became the most-watched drama series in the UK since 2001, attracting an average of 11.82 million viewers. The first episode of the series drew approximately 12.72 million viewers, while the New Year's Day special in 2016 had11.64 million viewers.H

However, the fourth series experienced a decline in viewership. Although the first episode of the fourth series opened with 11.3 million viewers, the final episode recorded the lowest overnight viewership ever for the show, with 5.9 million viewers.

36. Sherlock Had Many BAFTA Successes

At the 2011 BAFTA Awards, Sherlock received recognition for its outstanding achievements. The show as a whole won the prestigious award for Best Drama Series, while Martin Freeman, portraying Dr. Watson, secured the award for Best Supporting Actor. Benedict Cumberbatch was also nominated for Best Actor. In the following year, Andrew Scott emerged victorious in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his remarkable performance in the second series, surpassing Freeman, and the show received nominations in other categories as well.

37. Sherlock Also Won Many Emmy Awards

Sherlock's excellence continued to be acknowledged on the international stage. It garnered multiple nominations at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards (2011) and 64th Primetime Emmy Awards (2012) and achieved significant success at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards (2014). 

Sherlock clinched several prestigious Emmys, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Cumberbatch, the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Freeman, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special for Moffat. Furthermore, it won the Emmy for Best Television Film at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards (2016).

38. The Royal Mail Released Sherlock Postage Stamps In 2020

To further honour the impact of Sherlock, the Royal Mail released a series of UK postage stamps in August 2020. These stamps featured characters portrayed by Cumberbatch, Freeman, Abbington, and Scott. Notably, under UV light, the stamps revealed secret storylines, adding an element of intrigue and delight for fans and collectors alike.

39. Only Sherlock Season One Was Released In 4K

In November 2018, the BBC released Series 1 of Sherlock in 4K UHD Blu-ray format. However, due to disappointing sales figures, it remains the only series available in 4K, with no current plans for future releases in this format.

40. The BBC Published Book Tie Ins With The Characters On The Front

To complement the television series, BBC Books published tie-in editions of some of Conan Doyle's original collections and novels, featuring cover art with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. In autumn 2011, A Study in Scarlet and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were released, featuring introductions by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, respectively. The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes followed in March 2012, with introductions by Cumberbatch, Freeman, and Una Stubbs. 

Prior to the premiere of the third series, two more books, The Return of Sherlock Holmes and His Last Bow, were released in December 2013, featuring introductions by Gatiss and Moffat.

41. The Series Renewed An Interest In Sherlock Holmes In Popular Culture

The impact of Sherlock on popular culture has sparked a renewed interest in the original Conan Doyle stories. According to the Radio Times, the sales of Sherlock Holmes books experienced a significant resurgence. Publishers and retailers reported a remarkable 180% increase in sales during the broadcast of the first series, reflecting the show's influence and popularity.

42. An Illustrated Manga Adaptation Of Season One Was Released

In Japan, an illustrated manga adaptation of the first series, illustrated by Jay, was serialised in Kadokawa's Young Ace magazine starting from October 4, 2012. An English translation of the manga series was released by Titan Comics in the UK and US, with the first volume published on June 8, 2016.

43. There Is Also A Sherlock Themed Cluedo Game

Winning Moves also released a Sherlock-themed edition of the popular board game Cluedo in October 2012. It incorporated elements from the show into the gameplay.

In The Hounds of Baskerville (2012), John mentions that he and Sherlock played a game of Cluedo, with Sherlock deducing that the victim was the murderer. In A Scandal in Belgravia (2012), a Cluedo board can be seen pinned to the wall near the mirror.

44. BBC Online Created Several Tie In Websites With Sherlock

BBC Online created several tie-in websites that expanded on the show's fictional world. These websites, written by Joseph Lidster, offered interactive content and additional case summaries. Two notable websites were and, which featured puzzles, case summaries, and comments from characters such as John Watson's sister, "Harry." Additionally, there were blogs dedicated to "unseen" cases that did not appear on television, incorporating familiar elements from Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories. Molly Hooper's diary and the official website of Connie Prince were also accessible through these websites.

45. Sherlock’s Popularity Also Increased Belstaff Sales

The popularity of the show led to a surge in demand for coats similar to Sherlock's iconic attire, according to retailer Debenhams. Belstaff, the garment manufacturer, even resumed production of the wool trench coat worn by Benedict Cumberbatch while the series was still airing. 

Designer Paul Costelloe and Savile Row bespoke tailor John Pearse also responded to the demand by offering tailored coats and scarves inspired by the show's aesthetic, as reported by The Independent. 

Journalist Alexis Petridis humorously observed that men were drawn to Sherlock's look, perhaps influenced by Cumberbatch's impact on female viewers, and credited the character's attire as a factor in his status as a men's style icon!

46. A Live Sherlock Game Opened In London In 2018

In June 2018, it was announced that Sherlock: The Game Is Now, a live Sherlock experience, would open in London. Created by Moffat and Gatiss, the immersive experience incorporated audio and video scenes featuring "original Sherlock cast members." Located in the West 12 shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush and designed by the creators of London's Time Run escape room, the experience started at 221B Baker Street and challenged teams to solve mysteries within a 60-minute game.

47. Greg Lestrade Is A Mash Up Of Characters

The character of Greg Lestrade in the series is a combination of Inspectors Gregson and Lestrade from the original books. While the latter character's first name is hinted to start with the letter G in the books, it is never explicitly revealed. This is why Sherlock often forgets Lestrade's first name.

48. There Are Many Family Ties Within The Sherlock Crew

Producer Sue Vertue is married to writer Steven Moffat, and co-producer and writer Beryl Vertue is Moffat's mother-in-law. Mark Gatiss, a writer on the show, has a husband who appears as a barrister in the episode "The Reichenbach Fall" (2012). Additionally, Steven Moffat's son portrays Sherlock Holmes as a child in a few episodes.

49. Molly’s Character Was Expanded Due To Louise Brealey’s Performance

Molly Hooper's character was not present in the original books or short stories and was initially intended to be a one-off character to emphasise Sherlock's social ineptitude, particularly regarding romantic encounters. However, Louise Brealey's performance impressed the producers, prompting them to expand Molly's character.

50. Dr. John Watson’s incongruous Injury Is A Call Back To The Novels

In the series Sherlock, Watson sustains a shoulder injury but experiences psychosomatic or psychogenic pain in his leg. This subtle reference to the original stories reflects Arthur Conan Doyle's inconsistency in depicting the location of Watson's war wound.

51. Sherlock’s “Mind Palace” Dates Back To Ancient Rome

Sherlock occasionally employs a memory technique known as the "Mind Palace," which he describes in the series. This method, dating back to Ancient Rome, is called the "Method of Loci" and aids memory. Notably, the sixteenth-century Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci popularised this technique in China.

52. Martin Freeman’s Wallet Was Stolen Before His Audition

During Martin Freeman's first audition, he had just had his wallet stolen, which put him in a sour mood. The producers initially thought he wasn't interested in the role. Fortunately, Freeman's subsequent audition went well, leading to his casting.

53. Benedict Cumberbatch Read All Of Conan Doyle’s Stories

As part of his preparation for the role of Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch read every original Conan Doyle story.

54. Conan Doyle Is Referenced In The Sherlock Episode Titles

Throughout the series, numerous Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle are referenced either in episode titles or in passing. For example, "A Study in Scarlet" becomes "A Study in Pink," and "The Greek Interpreter" becomes "The Geek Interpreter."

Similarly the phrase "the game is on" used in the series is a modern equivalent of Doyle's "the game is afoot," which was borrowed from Shakespeare's "Henry V."

Also linking to the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, the term "deduction" is used inaccurately. Holmes actually employs a form of inference known as "abductive reasoning," which differs from deductive and inductive reasoning.

55. Benedict Cumberbatch Is Distantly Related To Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Benedict Cumberbatch is distantly related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the original Sherlock Holmes books. They are 16th cousins twice removed, sharing a common ancestor in John of Gaunt.

56. Mark Gatiss Bought Cumberbatch The Original Sherlock Coat

While multiple versions of Sherlock's coat are used during filming, the original coat from the pilot episode was purchased by Mark Gatiss, who later gifted it to Benedict Cumberbatch for his birthday.

57. Benedict Cumberbatch Questionably Played Sherlock Autistic

In an interview with DigitalSpy, Benedict Cumberbatch shared that he portrays Sherlock in a way that allows him to be interpreted as either sociopathic or autistic, or both.

58. There Is Another Doctor Who Connection

The house where Irene Adler resides is the same house visited by Sally Sparrow in the Doctor Who episode featuring the weeping angels.

59. Sherlock Uses The London Underground Font

The typeface used for the overlays in the show is Johnston Sans, a well-known typeface associated with the London Underground.

60. There Is A Frankenstein Connection

In the summer of 2011, Danny Boyle directed a National Theatre production of "Frankenstein" in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated between the roles of the creator and the monster on different nights. Both actors later went on to portray Sherlock Holmes, another Victorian creation set in the present day, albeit on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

61. There Is A Basil Rathbone Connection

In the season 4 finale, Sherlock and Watson are seen fleeing from a building called "Rathbone Place," a nod to Basil Rathbone, one of the most renowned actors to portray Sherlock Holmes.

62. There Is A Connection With The Film The Imitation Game

In the Season 2 premiere, Sherlock mentions the "myth" about the Allies having knowledge of the Coventry bombing but allowing it to happen to keep the fact that they had cracked the Enigma code a secret. Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock, also portrays Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game (2014), where a similar scene is depicted.

63. There Is A Connection To “Lazarus”

At the end of season 2, Sherlock sends a text message with the word "Lazarus" to his brother, played by Mark Gatiss. In Doctor Who, Gatiss portrayed a character named Lazarus. Both Sherlock and Doctor Who are written by Steven Moffat.

64. Sherlock Holmes Is Britain’s Favourite Detective

According to a recent poll conducted by, Sherlock Holmes was voted as the favourite detective in Britain, receiving over 50% of the votes in the survey.

65. There Is A Sherlock, Marvel And DC Comics Connection

Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr., and Ian McKellen have all played the character of Sherlock Holmes and have also appeared in Marvel movies. Cumberbatch portrays Dr. Stephen Strange, Downey plays Iron Man, and McKellen portrays Magneto. On the other hand, Sir Michael Caine and Matt Frewer, who also portrayed Sherlock Holmes, have appeared in DC movies. Frewer portrayed the former villain Moloch in "Watchmen," while Caine played Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy.

66. Moriarty Is The Opposite Of Sherlock

The appearance of "Jim" Moriarty is subtly opposite to Sherlock's. Sherlock has long, curly hair, while Moriarty's hair is clean and neatly combed. Sherlock often wears an open collar, while Moriarty is always seen with a tie. Sherlock dons a long overcoat with a popped high collar, whereas Moriarty wears a shorter, trimmer jacket with a Nehru collar. Additionally, Sherlock is usually clean-shaven, while Moriarty sports a light five o'clock shadow.

67. Sherlock Foreshadows Culverton Smith

In the first episode of Series 4, "The Six Thatchers," there is a subtle foreshadowing of the main villain, Culverton Smith, who is portrayed by Toby Jones in later episodes. When Dr. John H. Watson (Martin Freeman) exits the bus and encounters E (credited as Elizabeth, played by Sian Brooke), a poster featuring Smith's face can be briefly glimpsed at the bus stop. Although the poster is only visible for a moment, the tagline can be read as "There will be murder in the [_]" before Watson's body obstructs the rest of the poster.

68. The Suspect Is Always A Cab Driver In “A Study In…”

In "A Study in Pink" (2010), one of the suspects is a cab driver. This could be a deliberate reference to the original story "A Study in Scarlet," where the culprit is also a "cab" driver.

BBC Sherlock Facts - 68 Little-Known Sherlock Facts About The Classic BBC Series

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