When Sherlock Holmes won a poll to be the most popular BBC character in the world this week, my first thought was "He's a BBC character?"
Other characters mentioned in the poll, like Doctor Who and Basil Fawlty were born on the BBC airwaves and spent the better part of their fictional lives there. But Sherlock Holmes?
From one perspective, it wasn't fair to the other characters, since Sherlock had over a hundred twenty years of field testing and cultural evolution as a character before his most recent BBC debut. From another perspective, Sherlock Holmes isn't really a "BBC character," since he didn't originate there. Either way, it seems like he should have been disqualified from this little competition.
So while one wants to celebrate another victory for the best and wisest television character we have ever known, it's kind of like partying after a 600 pound giant just won a wrestling match with a five-year-old. Did we expect any other outcome?
Of course, it was Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes that won out, so I guess there's some celebration for fans of Cumberbatch's portrayal. Much as I hate to say it, Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes wasn't on the list, nor any of his predecessors. It does reflect the fresh pop culture rise of Sherlock Holmes thanks specifically to BBC Sherlock. Downey's movie success as Holmes was a nice little moment, but it doesn't seem to have gained us any Holmes fans or Funko Pop figures.
So I guess there might be some worthiness to Sherlock's victory over the Doctor, DCI John Luther, Blackadder, and the rest. But it seems like it still needs an asterisk or something in the record books.