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The BBC’s revival of Sherlock Holmes has proven insanely popular, and it proves that the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are indeed timeless. While every one of the nine episodes are based on his iconic characters, nearly all of them are loosely based upon short stories or novels he penned over a century ago.
A Study in Scarlet
The first episode of the BBC series, titled A Study in Pink, takes its name and the general storyline from Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes novel, titled A Study in Scarlet, published in 1887
The Adventure of the Dancing Men
The second episode, titled The Blind Banker, drew its inspiration from the short story The Adventure of the Dancing Men, published in 1903.
A Scandal in Bohemia
In 1891, Doyle published A Scandal in Bohemia, featuring a character named Irene Adler. She also has a prominent and memorable appearance in the BBC episode A Scandal in Belgravia.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The episode that is inspired by The Hound of the Baskervilles also has a similar name — The Hounds of Baskerville. This particular novel was written after Sherlock’s supposed demise in an earlier story (although the tale actually took place before his “death”), and proved to be successful, leading to a rebirth of the detective’s stories. It appeared in the TV series chronologically, and the novel was published in 1902.
The Final Problem
The final episode of series two, The Reichenbach Fall, was based on a short story published in 1893 titled The Final Problem. In the story, Holmes and his enemy, Moriarty, supposedly fall to their deaths.
The Adventure of the Empty House
The television episode The Empty Hearse takes place two years after Sherlock’s supposed demise, and is loosely based on The Adventure of the Empty House, in which Doyle attempted to explain the death of Holmes and how he was able to fake it. It was published in 1903.
The Sign of the Four
The second episode of series three is titled The Sign of Three, which nearly mirrors the title of the novel it drew its inspiration from — The Sign of the Four. Published in 1890, the novel doesn’t bear a ton of resemblance to the episode, however,
His Last Bow
While the title of the final episode of series three, His Last Vow, resembles the title of Doyle’s short story His Last Bow, the episode’s pot elements were inspired by two different stories — The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton and The Man with the Twisted Lip.