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Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is a 26-episode animated television series placing Sherlock Holmes in a science fiction setting taking place in the 22nd century. Many episodes are direct rewrites of the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle—such as "The Empty House", "The Speckled Band", "The Five Orange Pips", "The Red-Headed League", and "The Engineer's Thumb" — while others are drastically different from the stories they're supposed to be based on. The series itself seems to be a sci–fi pastiche.

Contents

Overview

Sandy Ross, a Scottish Television executive, came up with the concept while skiing in Aspen. The show was a 1999 co–production by DiC (then an affiliate of Disney) and Scottish Television. In 2001, it was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Special Class Animated Program. (The second season didn't air in the US until 2001.)

The programme was re-aired in 2009 on wknd@stv - a children's television strand on Scottish television channel, STV.

Story

In New London, the space-scrapered London of the 22nd Century, Inspector Beth Lestrade of New Scotland Yard is chasing grotesquely deformed French rogue geneticist Martin Fenwick, when she realizes that his companion is none other than the 19th century criminal mastermind, Professor James Moriarty. (This is not the original Moriarty but in fact his clone, created from cells taken from his corpse, which Holmes had buried in a Swiss ice cave.)

Famous biologist Sir Evan Hargreaves (who looks just like Doyle) has just invented cellular rejuvenation. Beth knows that Holmes survived and actually lived to a ripe old age, and further knows that his corpse is preserved in a glass-walled, honey-filled coffin in the basement of New Scotland Yard. (This may be both a reference to the legend that Alexander the Great's body was preserved in honey, which does not rot, and also to the fact that, as stated in the original stories by Doyle, Holmes became a beekeeper once he retired.) She takes the body from the basement and delivers it to Sir Evan. The biologist then uses his cellular rejuvenation technique to return life and youth to Holmes's body, so that the detective can combat Moriarty.

As a descendant of the original Inspector Lestrade, Beth has inherited Doctor Watson's journals. When she has her law enforcement robot, or compudroid (whom she calls Watson) read them for information about Holmes, it ends up emulating the personality of the good doctor. Holmes also ends up getting his old Baker Street rooms back (they'd been preserved as a museum).

Lestrade's compudroid assumes the name, face, voice, and mannerisms of Dr. Watson to assist Holmes in both his crime-solving duties and his difficult assimilation to England in the 2100s. During the series, Holmes and Watson often work on retainer for New Scotland Yard, with Beth Lestrade as their supervising officer and Superintendent Greyson as hers, but they also work for private citizens. They are often assisted by the new Baker Street Irregulars: black soccer player Wiggins, the Eliza Doolittleish Deidre, and the paraplegic Tennyson, who communicates through electronic beeps only Holmes seems to comprehend (ironically). However, Wiggins and Deidre understand and communicate with Tennyson in The Adventure of the Dancing Men. The primary villains are Moriarty and his henchman Fenwick, but they only appear in about half of the episodes.

TV Universe

The world of the 22nd century includes lots of flying cars, monorails, and speedy journeys to resorts on the Moon. But it also includes crypnosis (brainwashing criminals to not want to commit crimes), prison starships, and organlegging. Holmes adapts to new technology strikingly well, piloting 22nd century vehicles and operating complex computer systems with relative ease. He even determines that nanomachines would be complex devices created on a microscopic level, simply by translating the Greek root words.

Notes

A similar concept sent Sherlock Holmes into the 23rd century in a two-part episode of the Filmation series BraveStarr, first aired in 1988. In the story, based on the Sherlock Holmes short story The Adventure of the Final Problem, Sherlock Holmes falls down Reichenbach Falls after a struggle with Professor Moriarty, falling through a natural time storm, hurtling him forward in time and imbuing him with electrical powers. Professor Moriarty in turn uses cryogenics to follow Holmes into the Future.

This show's method for preserving Professor Moriarty and bringing him back to life should not be confused with the cryogenic method used by the 1987 Michael Pennington/Margaret Colin TV movie/failed pilot, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, or the suspended animation in the 1993 Anthony Higgins/Deborah Farentino Sherlock Holmes Returns TV movie.

Episode list

The Holmes story on which the episode is based is enclosed in parentheses. The first season uses the "Kid in Bed" logo. The second season uses the "IWoD Globe" logo.

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First Season (1999-2000)

Second Season (2001)

Broadcast History in the USA

External links


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