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In BBC’s episodes of Sherlock, “The Blind Banker”, “The Great Game”, and “A Scandal in Belgravia”, the writers changed some of the source materials of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Dancing Men”, “The Bruce-Partington Plans”, and “A Scandal in Bohemia”, in order to modernize some of the central themes of the stories. The writers of Sherlock kept the material that would continue to resonate with the modern viewers of the show as passionately as Doyle intended to have his novels resonate with his Victorian audience. The changes that were made bring out other, more pertinent themes to modern society, while still keeping most of Doyle’s original messages intact. Naturally, there are some differences that will be present in these works due to the decision of the writers of the television series to bring Sherlock into the modern era in terms of setting. These differences and the changes made to the existing source material are not meant to take away from Doyle’s work, but add to it and encourage the audience to connect to the characters and adventures of the works. “The Blind Banker” of the television series draws its source material from “The Dancing Men”. The changes made to “The Dancing Men” are quite significant for its transformation into “The Blind Banker”. The first major change that is present in the episode is that John Watson has recently returned from active military duty in Afghanistan due to an injury. The series chooses to show John’s trouble with adjusting to civilian life in the first couple minutes of the episode. This characterizes Dr. Watson as needing Sherlock’s constant adventure and adrenaline rushes in order to survive an ordinary life in London, further solidifying the bond between the two men. Doyle’s Watson has... ... middle of paper ... ...“The Great Game”. The fifth major change is Mycroft Holmes’ increased role in the modern version. Mycroft had a small role in Doyle’s original material because he does not like leg work. In the modernized version Mycroft is constantly involved in the case for the missing plans and hounding Sherlock about them endlessly. This was changed to reflect the antagonistic relationship that can develop between brothers and make Sherlock more relatable to viewers with siblings who bicker like that with their siblings. Doyle’s ideas of familial relationships did not include this level of bickering, especially not in public. Mycroft in the modern era is used to draw out the childish side of Sherlock and to push him into cases. The vast amount of changes made to “The Bruce-Partington Plans” leave one wondering if there are any similarities between the source and the adaptation.
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