Sherlockian Saturation - is it a risk?

Are we in danger of Sherlockian saturation? No not really and here's why...

We only risk saturation with anything if it becomes impossible to avoid and Sherlock Holmes is easy to avoid. The crime section of the bookshop can be walked right by, internet sites are well signposted and thus equally easy to avoid and, finally, the screen incarnations appear only every few years and are repeated on relatively minor channels.

Contrast this with the world of football. This example is very appropriate given the World Cup. As a Western European man I get extremely tired of men and women assuming that because I am a man I must, by definition, be interested in football. The perplexed and, sometimes, horrified looks when I make the it's just 22 men chasing a sphere around a lawn remark are a wonder to behold. But it reveals a marked difference. Unlike football fans, Sherlockians don't tend to assume that the people they meet are also Sherlockians.

Matters Sherlockian also tend not to take over the media. We don't see huge amounts of screen time (often on news channels) devoted to dissecting every last decision or movement in an episode of Sherlock. This does happen of course but usually on social media (see internet above).

Because of this the world at large is not likely to feel any sense of Sherlockian saturation. As for us Sherlockians, I think we'd probably fail to notice saturation point.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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  1. I'm glad you noted the difference between Sherlockian saturation, that is of Doyle's creation, and that of BBC "Sherlock". While literary characters are rarely in the news, true (and the Klinger v. CDE Ltd highlight just how rare it is) actors and their roles do pay a prominent part for what passes as news these days. With Mr. Cumberbatch here in Boston filming "Black Mass" with Johny Depp, the local media contains a very good amount of Cumbersightings and "Sherlock" is prominently mentioned. Has "Sherlock" reached a saturation point? As you define it, no. But it is quite a weighty sponge.

    1. Is that not more Cumber-saturation than Sherlock saturation? Some people out there may struggle to separate the two - granted.