Enola Holmes is sitting at a "Certified Fresh" of 92% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. It's number two in popularity on Netflix in the U.S., and number one elsewhere. And it has its own fans, at least one of who suggested basing a new religion on the movie, which is a very cult-Sherlockian thing to say.
So far, Enola seems to be the most successful Holmes since BBC Sherlock in the English-speaking side of the world. And here's the big kicker . . .
Enola Holmes is the most successful Holmes besides Sherlock, ever.
Think about that. Mycroft has had a few books, but no movies or television of his own (and don't say "Mr. Mycroft," as that was pseudonym-Sherlock, and just TV at that). Basil of Baker Street had a movie, but c'mon, he was a mouse and a mouse who copied Sherlock, which puts him in the category of Mr. Data and Solar Pons.
Enola Holmes isn't just "girl Sherlock," a little sister carbon copy of her brother. She's an original who was influenced by not only Sherlock, but the household that grew Sherlock as well. You could call her a spin-off, but spin-offs that do this well are far and few between.
Did any of us in the Sherlockian world see this coming at all? Our eyes constantly focused on new Sherlocks, maybe enjoying the myriad Holmes-related books out there . . . Nancy Springer's six novels might have gotten lost in for most of us, if not for Millie Bobby Brown. It's a very crowded field, with Brittany Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes having caught my readership long before Enola.
But Enola dared to go Watsonless (unless you hold to my theory of the audience-Watson for the movie). She doesn't have that drug issue. She makes a definite statement about a point in history, and I'm not talking Victorian times here. Despite her origins in the Holmes family, Enola now seems to have sprung forth as an original character, worthy of her own franchise, and showed that Sherlock Holmes can be a mere supporting cast member if you make the main character engaging enough.
Think about that one for a second. How many times have we seen a creator try to steal the spotlight from the legendary Sherlock, only to see it gravitate straight back to him?
Irene Adler, Mary Russell, Shadwell Rafferty . . . they all made it to several novels, but none escaped Holmes's gravity enough to become the titular character of a movie. Sure, Enola benefited from her brother as a booster rocket, but, you know what? I'd watch a movie with Enola Holmes and no Sherlock. at this point. And the books certainly dodge him as much as possible.
Enola Holmes is something special, and a next-level moment for Sherlock Holmes in our culture. That's something to take a moment and appreciate.