During the last few years many new fans of Sherlock Holmes have been added thanks to BBC Sherlock. Some of them are fans that hadn't read the original stories before - but maybe they've done so now.
I became a fan of Sherlock Holmes through the books in the mid '80s. A few years later I saw Jeremy Brett in the Granada TV series and at the same time there was so much about Sherlock Holmes during the jubilee year 1987, so I couldn't avoid becoming a real Sherlockian.
Now I would like to know how others became fans of Sherlock Holmes. I guess many of you read some Holmes stories when you were young, but was that the real start of your interest? Or was it a TV series, a film, a pastiche or something else that made you take the definitive step into the Sherlockian world?
I'm asking as research for a non-fiction book about the 125 years of Sherlock Holmes, and this would help me a lot to understand what things during the last decades that have meant most to create new fans.
I think the real start for my warm shelok Holmes intrest was a startrek episode where kirk and spok meets conan doyle but my reading and my englich was not good enough to rely indulge in it. I don't have a crush on benedict and martin but Sherlok hit me like a ton of bricks, maby the Sherlock Sherlock Holmes is a mr spock kind of Shelok Holmes. so i read the stories again and watcht the Jeremy brett sherlok holmes again.( I like jeremy brett better that Benedict cumberbatch) I fight a never ending battle wtih dyslexia but for ten year now I have been winning parts of that battle and tanks to that i could read and understand enough english this time around.
It was definitely a T.V. series that shot me into the "Canon" of Sherlock Holmes. I had seen Basil and Jeremy, but it was BBC Sherlock that got me wondering what Sherlock Holmes was really like.
As I read the books I notice that I was becoming a Sherlockaholic. I looked on the web and found this site. I rented Netflix movies on Sherlock. I bought the Granada Series, which I like a lot. “The games afoot” and we are having delightful fun trailing the great detective.
Like many followers, my interest started in Freshman English Lit in high school (1967-68). "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" and then the "The Hound...". I resumed reading all while I was in college. My wife and I hadn't a tv until after the Granda series ended, but my interest really took off once I got them on dvd. I have also been reading a lot of the other literature on the "Game" - Baring-Gould, Knox and listening to resident whizzes on "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere." [my wife even likes this program]
In terms of your thesis, I think it's just the character of the relationship between H&W, the period of time, being a bit of an Anglophile, and the stories and characters themselves. I really believe that Jeremy Brett really got down the spirit of Holmes down pat and that's why I like those videos. I think the new "Sherlock" series is great, great chemistry between the actors and in the stories, but it's a contemporary version -- still good but not the original stories. [I can't believe the new CBS series "Elementary" is going to last a season -- it's just a sex grab in the good ol' American way; i won't watch it]
Hope this helps!
I am not sure what age but I strongly remember watching Hound of the Baskervilles with my parents and being terrified of the hound when it threw itself against the window and from then on I couldn't approach windows at night as I was so scared the hound was out there in my back garden.
I also remember reading some of the books probably at 10 years old, in my school library. They were my escape from a difficult time at school but after a while I drifted over to Agatha Christie and forgot about Conan Doyle. I think I used to watch repeats of the Granda series as now that I am rewatching them I am remembering them. So I was aware of the Holmes stories and touched upon them at an early age but wasn't as fanatical about them as I was the famous five - I think some of the beauty of the Holmes stories went over my head at that age.
Jump forward a few years and I started re-reading when the hype started to build up around the making of the first Sherlock Holmes movie, but I somehow bought a book of ones not written by ACD and wasn't overly impressed by them. However after the film came out I got my hands on the first few short stories ACD wrote and gave them another go - I enjoyed the ones I did read but wasn't fanatical about them mainly because I only read a few due to my Alevel exams taking up most of my time and struggling at school socially.
Then BBC sherlock came out and everyone went mad over them, I enjoyed them but didn't feel as strongly as all my friends did. In an attempt to be able to talk to them on the subject I started reading the books again and something just clicked for me this time and I got really into them. This was also the time in my life that I started to realise that I was really interested in crime and should maybe follow that interest in higher education.
It feels like everytime I have been through a low point in my life or had a big decision to make it has always ended up with me reading Holmes, whether as an escape or as a sort of comfort blanket that its okay to be me, I am in some ways quite similar to personality to Holmes and as a teenager it felt that in the media people liek me were always the baddies or the odd one that was the butt of every joke. Holmes gave me confidence and belief in myself when I needed it, a daring adventure to be part of whenever I wanted to be anywhere but where I was and combined with other classics (like Life on Mars etc) convinced me to go into higher education reading a subject I had never studied before.
I can't pinpoint an age or a year when my interest with Sherlock Holmes began, but I know it can all be attributed to my father. I'm sure it was some time in the mid-90s when my dad was on a Sherlock Holmes "kick" and I had likely reached an age where I was now able to begin to appreciate it. I have vivid memories of my father reading Holmes's adventures at night and more so I distinctly remember a summer where it seemed that every evening we would watch a different episode of the Brett/Granada series during dinner.
I suppose it was inevitable that I too would like Holmes as many of my fahter's other interests rubbed off on me and helped to create the person I am today.
I first read "The Red Headed League" when I was in Jr. High in the mid 1970s. It was in my English lit textbook. That christmas Iasked my parents for the entire cannon and read it through. Soon afterwards I discovered theBasil Rathbone films and I was hooked.
When I was a boy there was one parishioner who wore
a deerstalker hat to and from church.
I asked my father about the strange headgear.
My father grinned and said, "Maybe that's Sherlock Holmes."
That week I went to our neighborhood library and borrowed
a big, fat Doubleday edition
and started reading about Mr. Holmes -- and I haven't stopped.
I first heard of Sherlock Holmes when I was 12 years old. There was an old black and white movie of Hound of the Baskervilles on the TV (I'm pretty sure it was the Basil Rathbone version). I really enjoyed it, my mum said there was a book of it, she got me the book, I read it. I was round at a friend's house reading it and my friend's dad said there were lots more Sherlock Holmes stories and he brought down a copy of the canon which he signed and gave to me, my first ever copy. He was a big Sherlockian and very much enjoyed getting me into it.
I was then obsessed with Sherlock Holmes for about 2 years of my childhood during which time I used to run around in a deerstalker with a pipe and magnifying glass "investigating" things and playing imaginary games with my friends who I doled out the other characters too - I had Watson, Mycroft, Moriarty, Mrs Hudson and Lestrade so between all of us we could come up with some pretty cool storylines that we acted out together.
Then I kind of moved on and got into other stuff. At that age I was getting new interests, obsessions and fads all the time. I've always had a fondness for Sherlock Holmes since then but it wasn't at the forefront of my mind...
That was until January 2012 when the second series of BBC Sherlock aired. My parents told me I should watch it. I had missed all the first series because I thought the idea of modern Holmes was stupid and wouldn't work. I scoffed at it again and was about to go upstairs but as I was getting up to leave it started and immediately I was like "is that Moriarty?" "is that Watson?" "why does he have a bomb on him?" "What's been going on?" etc etc and I sat down and watched the whole episode, and by the time I saw the dramatic conclusion of The Reichenbach Fall I was completley hooked, and since then have gone right back to the canon and Rathbone and Brett and all the internet communities and everything. Ha. It's great to be back!