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Dr. Joseph Bell, The Man Who Became Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, the numero uno detective is an immortal character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The character became so much popular that even its creator started feeling jealous from it. In a desperate act to show his real power over the fictional character, he made the character die (in a story named Reichanbach fall)! And, the readers reactions were so strong that the author had to make his character re-appear!

I don’t think any other fictional character got so much popularity. Of course, James Bond by Ian Flaming enjoys his own popularity and a huge fan following, but not as much as Sherlock and his aide Dr. John Watson.

Needless to say that there are many movies adapted/inspired by Sherlock tales.

The short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock became very much popular when published and even adapted into many films and TeleVision serials. Even in the modern times, BBC came up with modernized Sherlock tales and it’s three seasons are already aired. The fans are so much desperate and waiting eagerly for the next possible one.

USA has its own take on Sherlock Holmes and a TV Serial named elementary is successfully aired and adapted for more and more seasons. In this interesting TV Show, Dr. John Watson becomes Dr. Jane Watson! In India, many authors are inspired with the characters of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are adapted into Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit Banerjee by Bengali author Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. Even Satyajit Ray was impressed by these characters and have penned stories featuring Feluda and others. Ace Bollywood Director Vijay Goldie Anand Paid tribute to Sherlock and Watson via his TV Serial Tehkikaat through the characters of Detective Sam D’Silva and his aide Gopi.

The list can go on and on.

Every author takes an inspiration from some of the real people, incidents and circumstances when building a fictional character. Be it John Langdon for Dan Brown (for the character of Robert Langdon) or his own life experience for Ian Fleming (for the character of James Bond). In fact, I found a TV Serial based on Ian Fleming and how he came to pen down fictional spy stories by mixing his experiences and imagination by creating a fictional protagonist, James Bond. I am very keen to write an article about this TV Series also, and I am curious to do it at the earliest.

Anyway, let us stick the tale of Sherlock for now.

Dr. Joseph Bell, The Man Who Became Sherlock Holmes

As sir Doyle himself has mentioned at many places, his employer Dr. Joseph Bell was an inspiration to him for the fictional character of Sherlock! I came to know about a documentary available to watch for free on YouTube focused on this linkup.

This documentary provides various details about Dr. Joseph Bell, his professional career, the curious cases he was associated with and how these things influenced various Sherlock tales.

Usually, we talk about the content and then share our views and reviews. But, for this particular case, I want to make an exception. Talking about various stuff explored in the movie will reveal the link ups between the reel and the real character, which I consciously want to avoid. I will rather suggest you to watch it.

The content in the movie is explored melodramatically and the the voice over will remind you of plays being played in a theatre. Well, the movies of those days were made that way. Actually, the viewers of those days may find, today’s movies are underplayed in terms of dialogs. Some details in the movie are quite repetitive, however, often it is needed to prove a point. The links of the “Jack The Ripper” case is quite interesting to know about. The world is lot more advanced these days, so it would be an interesting experience for a viewer to explore the medical world of those days.

The people may consider some of the practises of those days as below quality, but, this is how we are progressed. The way opium used those days is quite informative to know about.

The video quality is something you may have complain about. At the same time we need to understand that the technology was not that much advanced those days. And, it is fortunate to have these things survived and digitised.

Let me share one more public video I found which holds historical value. In this video Sir Doyle himself talks about Dr. Joseph Bell.


If you love to explore the incidents which shaped fictional characters, it is a good movie to go for. Though the audio and video quality is not up to the mark when we compare that with what is available today, for Sherlock fans, it is nothing less than a treat. So, enjoy :).

Over To You:

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