Did you love BBC’s Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch? What if we tell you that an unaired pilot was better?
BBC’s Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has arguably been one of the best and most convincing take-ups on Sherlock Holmes. The production value, props, and tactics, and the sleek performance of Cumberbatch made Sherlock an impressive true-detective drama. Consider this: What you saw was possibly not the best of their efforts? A silly mistake almost ruined what could have been the most perfect adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.
- Did BBC ruin Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch?
- Redoing A Study in Pink.
- Stretching the 60-minute story to 90 minutes.
Did BBC ruin Sherlock?
Sherlock Holmes, the fictional private detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of the most-adapted characters on screen. Among the many, we love two adaptations. The Sherlock Holmes movie series starring Robert Downey Jr. is cinematically appealing. The Benedict Cumberbatch starrer on BBC is arguably one of the best portrayals of Sherlock himself.
The show debuted in July 2010 and is currently running at 4 seasons, with a fifth in the making. BBC made a few mistakes an one of them was the decision to redo the pilot.
Which Sherlock Holmes Are You? (Quiz)
Redoing A Study in Pink.
Turns out, BBC got the pilot to Sherlock made twice. It shot A Study in Pink, the first episode in season 1, twice. BBC rejected the first one for a number of reasons. They did not think it was fancy enough, and according to them, it did not set the mood for several seasons. The redone pilot, directed by Paul McGuigan, had aesthetic and visual appeal. It had flashbacks of John Watson’s (Martin Freeman) story and several techniques that were later established as the show’s signature style.
Stretching a 60-minute story to 90 minutes.
A Study in Pink was long and boring. BBC didn’t like a short-haired Cumberbatch, but stretching a 60-minute story to a 90 was a bit much.
The unaired pilot was a 60-minute episode, quicker, to the point, and well suited with Sherlock’s style. BBC had a streaming pattern in mind. If you watched both pilots, you know that the second one looks more rounded, but there is no change in the story. The extended running time came just because of the props and tropes that BBC needed to run more seasons.
The final showdown
The final showdown in the aired pilot looked nicer with Sherlock and Watson running endlessly after a suspect, and ending up at a place where Sherlock talked as if he was in a chat show. The unaired pilot’s showdown was effective as it was thrilling, felt real, quicker, and smarter.
Extending the pilot was a mistake and this became a standard for all episodes. What could have been a perfect show ended up being a stretched-out and slow storytelling device.