Unfortunately, with production set to begin in March 2013 at this point, we’re not talking about the Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss greatness and long-awaited premiere of series 3 of the BBC’s brilliant Sherlock series, even though it may still make it to telly by the tail end of 2013. But, we are talking Sherlock…albeit a bit of a different take on the world’s greatest consulting detective.
PBS has just announced the premiere of HOW SHERLOCK CHANGED THE WORLD, a two-hour special that will explore the world’s most legendary fictional detective — Sherlock Holmes. Produced for PBS by Love Productions and announced at this week’s Television Critics Association (TCA), the special will reveal for the first time the astonishing impact that Holmes has had on the development of real criminal investigation and forensic techniques. HOW SHERLOCK CHANGED THE WORLD will show that Conan Doyle’s hero not only revolutionized the world of fiction, but also changed the real world in more ways than many realize. Even though the Moffat/Gatiss Sherlock 21st century creation did frequently use a smartphone and, at least once, relied on the weather app (see, “A Study in Pink”), overall, Holmes was a scientist who used chemistry, fingerprints and bloodstains to catch an offender in an era when eyewitness reports and “smoking gun” evidence were needed to convict criminals. Police incompetence at the time meant that Jack the Ripper stalked the streets freely. In many ways, the modern detective can be seen as a direct extension of Conan Doyle’s literary genius.
Through the use of compelling archival material and reconstruction, HOW SHERLOCK CHANGED THE WORLD will tell the true stories of the scientists, detectives and even criminals who were inspired or influenced by the legend of Holmes. The program explores real crimes that were solved thanks to a piece of equipment Holmes used, a technique he popularized or invented, or even his method of reasoning. The 2-hour special will also assess the history of Holmes’ techniques from the 1880s to the present, showing how the scientific techniques Holmes introduced to the world have evolved into the stunning CSI-style forensic labs of Scotland Yard and the FBI.
“Sherlock Holmes is the grandfather of forensic science,” states top forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee. “Today when I go to a crime scene I use his logic, his method of deduction. That’s how we do it today, solving cases based on Sherlock Holmes’ logic.”
“It is clear, especially of late, the lasting impact that Holmes has had, both nationally and internationally,” added Trish Powell, Executive Producer at Love Productions. “The worldwide success of the BBC drama on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! and recent box-office hits Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows have proven Holmes to be a timeless source of entertainment“. HOW SHERLOCK CHANGED THE WORLD will demonstrate how the legacy of Holmes, as the first crime profiler, was not solely a reservoir of brilliant stories and wonderfully drawn characters, but that it has saved lives and led to the capture of some of the worst criminals in modern history.
Ok, so it may not be the Sherlock that we are all waiting (im)patiently for, but it looks like a pretty stellar special that will bridge the time until the return of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman to where they belong, BBC and PBS.