I have permission from the author of this Piece to reprint it here. He is James O’Leary, a fellow Watsonian and Sherlockian of the first order. He has a interesting comment that is to be found in full at that marvelously informative site, I HEAR OF SHERLOCK EVERYWHERE. The title of his piece is “Sherlock Boom . . . What Sherlock Boom?” I strongly suggest you read the whole piece. I want to share this part as I wish I could put the thought into words as well as he has:
“For as much as we play The Game that Doyle was the literary agent to John H. Watson, there is no higher accolade than to say an author created a character that lives. We read the words Doyle wrote with care for the clues they tell us about those living, breathing fictional characters and, like all good literature, tell us about us. There is nothing wrong with re-inventing Holmes for the times. Each generation has its own Hamlet, its own Macbeth, its own Romeo and Juliet, but Shakespeare is ever-present. There are no venerated Shakespeare pastiches, no continuing adventures of Othello. His characters have not become myth and that is the fear that some see in the face of Benedict Cumberbatch cum Sherlock; a Sherlock with multiple births, an archetype to be molded into any shape by any sculptor — a Holmes without a Doyle.
It is the now the Cumberbatch/Sherlock Boom and the great detective who was published between 1887 and 1927 is along for the ride. He survived the Reichenbach, Gillette’s on-stage betrothal and Rathbone’s bizarre windswept hairdo. He is made of sterner stuff. Because Sherlock Holmes and John Watson live, and live only, in four novels and 56 short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
“Aye, there’s the genius and the wonder of the thing!” And don’t forget it.”