This will be an easy decision to continue reading or not–if you’re a fan of the BBC show Sherlock, then do keep reading. If you’re not a fan (of the show or Sherlock Holmes in general), then this book will be of little interest to you. And finally, if you’re not sure because you haven’t watched the show (or have only watched a few of the nine 1.5-hour episodes spread over three seasons), this book AND review are full of spoilers.
Still there? Okay, in a nutshell, here’s the review of The Sherlock Chronicles–buy it. For fans of the show, this will be an absolute treasure to read. Over 500 full color photographs (from the show and behind the scenes), scores of interviews with the show’s creators, staff (including wardrobe, artists, music, and much more), and cast, and film and TV biographies for many of the primary actors. But that’s not all–snippets of the scripts for dozens of deleted scenes, side-by-side comparisons of original Doyle dialogue with that from the show, a reproduction of the original writers’ bible explaining backstory and character development for potential show writers, back-and-forth email snippets between actors, directors, and creators, beautiful 2-page spreads containing photos of the various locales (including the duo’s home, 221B Baker Street), and a collection of the various ephemera from the show that is sometimes difficult to read–blog pages, H.O.U.N.D. logo, company logos, security video, and, my favorites, the check (AND AMOUNT!) paid to Sherlock by Shad Sanderson Investment Bank as well as the Yellow Dragon Circus poster as a full-page bit of artwork.
Let’s keep going. The first three seasons of the show are covered here–all nine episodes. Each gets its own chapter, complete with deleted scene scripts, interviews and background on either the key villain or other major character for that episode, and special sidebars that focus on something very special for that episode–for “The Hounds of Baskerville,” this would be the special effects needed to create the demon dog. For “The Reichenbach Fall,” it’s more information than you could ever have hoped for related to Sherlock’s jump from St. Bart’s Hospital. Also tucked into the 320-page book is the 6-page John & Mary Wedding Album, closeups of Magnussen’s Mind Palace items, and storyboards of the famous jump scene, for example.
Taken as a whole, Sherlock Chronicles is an incredible compendium that is an absolute must-have for any Sherlock fan. I am simply amazed that author Steve Tribe was able to gather so much information in one place, including a foreword by co-creator Mark Gattiss (who also plays Mycroft Holmes). This is the perfect read as we fans anxiously await both the Christmas Special (2015) and the start of Season 4 in 2016.
Note: I was provided a review copy by Dey St. Books. The hardcover book will be available on October 27, 2015.