New documentary about Sherlock Holmes author coming to BBC and PBS

Lucy Worsley will host a new series about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this Christmas!

The British historian and presenter will investigate the reasons why Sherlock Holmes creator Conan Doyle came to hate his most famous character.

“I have had a LIFE-LONG CRUSH on Sherlock Holmes, so it was the biggest pleasure imaginable to explore his life, death and resurrection,” revealed Worsley.

“While exploring his life and times, I also got a real and sometimes troubling insight into manliness, Empire and Victorian values,” she explained. “I find his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, to be a complex, contradictory and endlessly fascinating character.”

British writer and physician Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes between 1887 and 1927.

Following the success of last year’s Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen series, Killing Sherlock: Lucy Worsley on the Case of Conan Doyle has been commissioned by the BBC and PBS.

It’ll follow Holmes superfan Lucy Worsley as she investigates “the extraordinary love-hate relationship between Holmes and Doyle, detective and author.”

The three-part documentary series will see Lucy scour archives and meet experts, descendants and fans as she explores Doyle and his creation within the seismic world events and changes going on around them.

The official synopsis tells us: “Lucy unearths Sherlock’s origins in Conan Doyle’s early life as a medical student, unpicking his early stories and revealing the dark underbelly of late Victorian Britain – from drug use to true crime.

“She explores Doyle’s growing disenchantment with his detective creation and desire to distance himself from Sherlock, taking on the role of detective himself, in one of the most important legal cases of the twentieth century; and investigates the darkness of his later stories, mirroring the reality of Doyle’s life after the loss of his eldest son, his turn to spiritualism and declining public appeal and spat with a very famous magician.

“Sherlock Holmes, by contrast, found a life beyond his author, on stage and screen.”

Multiple actors have played the character over the years in various film, TV and stage adaptations, with Henry Cavill becoming the most recent star to play the Great Detective in Netflix’s popular Enola Holmes movies.

In fact, Holmes is apparently the most portrayed literary human character in film and television history according to the Guinness World Records!

“Examining the dual biographies of Holmes and Doyle is a fascinating way to re-consider these detective stories, and Lucy is the ideal investigator,” commented executive producer Amanda Lyon.

When’s the release date?

Killing Sherlock: Lucy Worsley on the Case of Conan Doyle is set to premiere this December in the UK on BBC Two and streaming on BBC iPlayer.

It’ll air on PBS in the US next year.

In the meantime, Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen will be airing in the US on Sundays at 8pm ET from 3 December on PBS.

A complete collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books is available on Amazon.