Is Sherlock Holmes sexy?

So is the great detective sexy? Fandom needs to take a deep breath before it screams yes at me...

Why? Well it's because the question refers to the character and not any actor to have portrayed him. Sherlock Holmes has been played by a great many men to have been considered sexually attractive. Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett (once considered for James Bond apparently), Christopher Plummer, and, more recently, Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

But it is important to draw the distinction between the actor, the screen characterisation (which is down to both screen writer and actor) and the original written Holmes. What I am asking is whether or not the Holmes as conceived by Arthur Conan Doyle (and depicted by Sidney Paget) is sexually attractive either in terms of appearance or characteristics.


Written by Alistair Duncan
Buy my books here


  1. I am respectfully going to stay out of this one :)

    1. I am waiting til you do maybe the sexiest Violet or
      Maybe, "Who would you pick, Mary Ann, Ginger or Irene?"

      Scared. . . you bet!

  2. Doyle commented that Paget made Holmes more attractive than Doyle had wrote him.

    When the news came out a while back that Dame Judy Dench will play Mrs. Hudson on TV, I had imagined that Hollywood would respond with the "Sexy Mrs Hudson" movie. Jennifer Lawrence would star as the landlady who would teach Sherlock Holmes (Channing Tatum) a thing or two about love and the science of deduction. Ample opportunity for décolletage and doffed shirts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would co-star as a bisexual Dr. Watson who wants them both but neither one wants him. Russell Brand would be cast in his first dramatic role as Jack the Ripper. (hey, you gotta have a Brit in there somewhere.) The climax of the film would take place atop the Crystal Palace with Jack menacing Mrs. H while Holmes and Watson race to save her. Filmed in 3-D IMAX, naturally.

    Downey, Miller and Cumberbatch has proved that to play Sherlock Holmes you have to show some skin. Brainy is not the new sexy. Sexy is the new sexy, as well as the old sexy. Film, television, and stage want their heroes to be good-looking. After all, William Gillette was the original Cumberbatch, with many a young woman swooning over the combination of his good looks and Holmesian heroics.

    1. I think you have a script in the making James.

  3. A resounding "no" here. This was not part of the intent of the original character. Holmes is not a romantic hero in the literal sense of the term. I might even say that he is, arguably, asexual. As a result, I actually don't feel any of 'that sort' of attraction to any of his incarnations, even the reimagined ones (Cumberbatch, Downey et al), as I don't consider that to be what Holmes is about.


Post a comment