Creating Sherlock's 221b Baker Street "home"


In previous weeks, we’ve noted the painstaking efforts that writers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Steve Thompson went through to bring us television brilliance. Also, to no one’s surprise, the endless hours of prep the actors put in outside of just “learning their lines” to get it just right are well-documented. Benedict Cumberbatch not only learned to play the violin, but wanted to master every single nuance that one would expect from a true master of the violin such as how you hold the instrument, how you pick it up, put it down, etc.

That said, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals behind the scenes that lend their craft to the overall production that you never hear of, but you immediately notice their handiwork. Paul McGuigan work as director was perfection. Nothing short of a brilliant soundtrack by David Arnold and Michael Price goes largely unnoticed until you start thinking about it.

Sherlock viewers, unknowingly, are quite familiar with the work of production designer Arwel Wyn Jones. Work with a constant presence on screen, contributing to the overall success of the series. In a recent interview with Radio Times. Jones stressed a guiding principle from Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat that the series is to be “an adventure viewers get to go along with”. Therefore, he said: “…we wanted [221b Baker Street] basically to feel like [Sherlock and John’s] den, like a place you’d want to be and share with them and spend time in.”.

As you can imagine, creating a London flat that looks 30-40 years old from scratch is quite a chore. Not a stone unturned as not only did Sherlock’s chair come from a purchase on eBay, but Benedict suggested several of books that would, ultimately, line the great detective’s bookshelf. Jones even employed a dust machine that “…blows a little, gentle cloud of dust that settles down.”

After all is said and done, Arwel Wyn Jones’ thoughts on the newly created 221b Baker Street – “It’s kind of a cool place.” More insights with Sherlock production designer, Arwel Wyn Jones, can be found here in the Radio Times and some really cool set photos with background info here.

  • jt

    A “dust machine?!” I could have loaned them mine–an 82 lb. Labrador that runs up and down all day and scatters dust, and hair, everywhere!

  • Patty

    Whoa…whoa..whoa…is that MORIARTY having tea with Sherlock???!!