Writing

The media I chose for this assignment is the BBC series Sherlock. The series, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, is a modern adaption of Sir Arthur Doyle’s original tales of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) the series is a co-production between Hartswood Films and BBC Wales for Masterpiece Theatre, with 29 listed distributers.

Sherlock is very popular today, its latest episode, “The Abominable Bride” (a kind of holiday special) had an average overnight audience of 8.4 million viewers. Sherlock’s success was not always foreseen by the producers. The first pilot episode was discarded and reshot, luckily this led to the great series of wit, creativity, and ingenuity we see today.

In regards to representation of race, the series typically only features white people. The main reoccurring characters are all white, while there are some minor/guest actors of other races, for the most part there is an absence of other racial groups. This is due in part by the creator’s choices in adherence to the original Doyle stories and their earlier adaptations starring a white Sherlock and Watson. This critique of the lack of representation of other races in the series has gained some support, with some believing that CBS’s Elementary (also based on Sherlock Holmes) is superior. Straying from typical adaptations of Doyle’s stories, in Elementary Watson is played by an Asian-American actress. It would be interesting to look into why the creators of Elementary decided to make this change while Sherlockpredominantly features only white actors.

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