Consuming Transmedia Products (Sherlock)

The world has been taken by storm by the stories of Britain’s best private detective Sherlock Holmes. The tales of Holmes and his partner in action Dr Watson have been around for over a century and are still to this day used in modern television with a variety of different adaptations. The original story created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyal consist of 56 short stories and four novels, the first published story being A Study in Scarlet which appeared in print in 1887 where we first see our beloved fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. Since then the first publication there are believed to be over 250 films featuring Sherlock in the past one hundred years and have had more that 100 actors playing him in on screen adaptations of Conan Doyal’s original series of tales.

Sherlock Holmes is an example of an excellent transmedia product, the character and his tales are one of the most adapted and reproduced creative content the media industry has ever seen. Most Sherlock adaptations have been successful in creating a fanbase and views, because of our already formed knowledge of the character. The popularity of this character can be seen in the BBC’s modern adaptation of the character in the television programme Sherlock. In 2014 the first episode aired for the season three premiere where they revive the previously deceased character, within the first five minutes of the programme 9.7 million people tuned in to watch the show. As well as creating more buzz with fans on social media with the hashtag #Sherlocklives trending for days worldwide after the episode aired.

Since the BBC’s adaptation has become a huge success the series has created a huge fan base on sites like Tumblr, fans write fan fiction, create different types of art and videos based on the show character to create their own perfect world where that characters end up where the fan really wants them to be because of this, the term ‘Johnlock’ has risen in popularity. Johnlock is the merging of Dr Watson and Sherlock’s name this is called a ship where fans who desire or believe the fictional characters to be romantically attached to one another. Because the original story by Doyal was read by many as a queer reading in modern BBC adaptation of the storyline writer’s leave little bread crumbs about the character’s sexuality by having other characters toy with the pair saying they’re a couple or may as well be one, because of this it ignited the flame for the Johnlock fanbase.

The BBC adaptation does a good job placing the Sherlock universe into our world, throughout the show John keeps a blog that gains popularity and helps the pair to get more cases, this blog can also be found online, where John Watson addresses what’s happening in the storyline and cases that are currently under investigation, It has become another was for fans to get involved with the storyline as it unfolds. In The Personal Blog of Dr John. H. Watson the fictional characters in the Sherlock universe converse with each other in the comments, this usually consists of bickering between Sherlock and John as well as a lot of jokes to keep the audience happy.


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