According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed character in movie history—and that’s not even counting his appearances in literature, television, and even popular music. It’s no surprise that he’s one of our favourite characters at Krakit Vancouver Escape Game. He’s more of an inspiration, really.
5. Sherlock’s first appearance
In 1887, the first Sherlock novel was published. Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories would go on to be popular for 130 years (and counting), beginning with A Study in Scarlet, which includes the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes, his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, and even his archnemesis, Moriarty.
4. Basil Rathbone dons the deerstalker
What does Sherlock Holmes wear? A deerstalker hat and a cape, of course. This image comes courtesy of Basil Rathbone, who, beginning in 1939, played Sherlock Holmes in 14 films and over 200 times on radio. If there’s one man responsible for really searing the image of Sherlock into the pop cultural imagination (and launching 1,000 Halloween costumes in the process), it is definitely Sir Rathbone.
3. Sherlock gets a full-time secretary
Despite the fact that Sherlock’s address of 221B Baker Street, London, is completely fictional—and, more to the point, so is he—it turns out he gets a lot of mail. So much mail, in fact, that in 1932 the Abbey National Building Society, located at 219–229 Baker Street, had to employ a full-time secretary to answer Sherlock’s mail.
2. Sherlock dominates the BBC
There’s one reason why Millennials are obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, and that reason has everything to do with BBC, Benedict Cumberbatch, and really, really long wait times in between seasons. The most recent TV version, Sherlock, premiered in 2010, and in those seven long years, there have been only 12 episodes and one Christmas Special. This tactic of always leaving the fans wanting more really seems to be working.
1. Sherlock gets serialized and hits the big time
“A Scandal in Bohemia,” the very first short story to be serialized in the Strand Magazine, was published in 1891, and it didn’t take long for fans to go gaga over the character of Sherlock and his exciting exploits. It was Sherlock’s presence in the easily available newspaper that really led to his enduring popularity. Conan Doyle continued writing about his beloved character until 1927—just three years before the writer’s death.