Can you imagine a better version of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch on the BBC? We can imagine, and we have seen it. But unfortunately, it never aired.
The adaptation of Sherlock Holmes by BBC, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, was always meant to be better. But you can blame BBC for scarping out it’s the best episode, and feeding 30 minutes longer, and boring detective drama. Yes, the best episode of Sherlock never aired, and all thanks to BBC. But do you know why it never aired? And why BBC took a dumb decision to rather go with long and boring episodes throughout all the seasons?
We too are curious to know what made BBC dump the best of Sherlock. Let’s find out.
- Why BBC dropped the best of Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch?
- Which was arguably the best episode of Sherlock?
- Why the unaired pilot was so good?
- BBC removed the best episode of Sherlock – But why?
Why BBC dropped the best of Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch?
There’s no doubt that the current adaptation of Sir Artur’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes on BBC, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, is one of the finest. The visual appeal and aesthetics of this adaptation, set in modern-day London, has us all impressed and astonished. Even the portrayal of Holmes by Dr. Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch is no lesser than perfection. Cumberbatch’s style, accent, body language, and his ability to carry the role effortlessly is by far the best.
However, what we have seen on TV is not what BBC’s Sherlock is supposed to be like in its best take. Apart from the technical aspects aced by the creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the show falls short on several fronts which a detective show should pioneer in.
But for the surprising fact, the show actually was perfect in the areas it now falls short. But BBC scrapped the best episode of Sherlock, and thus it never aired. The question is – why?
Which was arguably the best episode of Sherlock?
While most of the Sherlock fans aren’t aware of the best version of Holmes by Benedict Cumberbatch and BBC. A lot many fans do actually know and have even seen the best episode of Sherlock. The Season 1 unaired pilot of Sherlock was arguably the best episode of Sherlock compared to what the aired pilot “A Study in Pink” turned out to be.
Even after BBC scrapped the original pilot, and aired the reshot pilot, the creators released a DVD version of the unaired pilot to let the fans be pampered by it. Only if BBC would have moved ahead with the pros of the unaired original pilot, while acquiring the aesthetic appeal of the redone pilot, we would have gotten an extraordinarily perfect show on Sherlock.
Why the unaired pilot was so good?
First and foremost, the fact that the unaired pilot of Sherlock on BBC, as Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead, was a 60-minute sharp, quick, and thrilling episode, not 90 minutes stretched and dull lullaby.
Yes, it might surprise you that the original plans for the Sherlock series were different and undoubtedly more effective. The original unaired pilot was to the point, told the story that was needed, and accompanied Sherlock’s signature style with its pace.
For its shorter run time, the story kept moving and was extremely engaging to the point that the viewer might not realize when the episode ended. While we compare it to the 90 minutes long aired pilot, which had the exact same story as the 60-minute episode, the pilot was long and boring.
BBC’s decision to extend the runtime resulted in nothing but 30 minutes of unnecessary flashbacks, slow walking and talking characters, irrelevant scenes and a stretched out final showdown.
BBC removed the best episode of Sherlock – But why?
While indeed the unaired episode of Sherlock had its edge, but BBC had its own understandable reason to make Benedict Cumberbatch and team redo all the work.
It’s not up to argue that the unaired pilot was marginally better in storytelling, pace, and thrill, but it had several flaws. One of the major flaws was its visual appeal. The original pilot felt as if the BBC spent next to nothing. It looked old, dull, and nowhere close to what the Sherlock now looks. Also, as for the reasons given by BBC, the original pilot failed to set the series in a way it could be carried for several seasons.
The fact cannot be denied that the improved pilot of the show had remarkable visual appeal, creative use of graphics, and props. And also, the tone of the show was set as darker than the goofy Victorian tone of the original.
Only if the BBC could have reworked the aesthetics and some creative aspects with the story and run time of the original unaired pilot, we would have achieved the perfection in Sherlock Holmes adaptation with the brilliance of Benedict Cumberbatch.