“Come at once, if convenient…” such was the start of a summons sent by Sherlock Holmes to Dr. John Watson in A Study in Scarlet, and much later in a Study in Pink from the outstanding BBC re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous coupling, Sherlock. It was also, as it happened, the quote I opted to use when writing about a simply outstanding Second Life recreation of 221B Baker Street from that TV series, back in April 2015.
As I noted at the time, the recreation of the flat, by Darius Godric who is very much a Sherlock aficionado, was nothing short of marvellous. The attention to detail was superb, with lots of wonderful touches directly from the various cases – notably those of the first season – making it a veritable treasure-trove for fans of Sherlock and Holmes in general. So when Darius dropped me a line over Easter to let me know he’d been working on the flat, and invited me to drop by to have a look at the results, I was only too happy to do so!
From the outside, not a lot has change (but the it wouldn’t, would it? Baker Street is hardly likely to undergo radical change 🙂 ). Speedy’s is still there, offering patrons breakfast, lunch and pasta, and alongside it is the entrance to apartment 221B, with the hallway leading to Mrs. Hudson’s kitchen and the stairs going up to the flat itself.
It is here that the attention to detail really comes into play. In my original piece, I mentioned touches such as the bullet-scared flock wallpaper from The Great Game (“I’m BORED!” *BANG*), the pink valise from A Study in Pink, references to St. Bart’s Hospital used in The Reichenbach Fall, as well as a direct reference to that case; the riding crop from either A Study in Pink or possibly A Scandal in Belgravia and more besides.
Now to these has been added much more. Walk through the kitchen (which has some subtle changes, but retains the famous head-in-fridge and chemistry set), and you can visit Holmes’ bedroom, as seen in A Scandal in Belgravia, complete with Jack-and-Jill access to the bathroom, and a framed periodic table of elements on the wall.
Meanwhile, in the living room, the pink valise has been moved to one side, making room beside the dining table for John Watson’s laptop, complete with its significant 1895 visitor count. On the table itself, joining the page of ciphers alluding to the episode The Blind Banker, now sits a page on which has been scrawled U.M.Q.R.A (The Hounds of Baskerville), together with blueprints for the ultra-modern house belonging to Charles Augustus Magnussen (His Last Vow – and in fact Swinhay House in Gloucestershire).
Nor does it end there. Also on the table are a couple of very clever references: a map of Europe and Russia with the submarine blueprints which were the focus of Doyle’s 1908 story, The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans. Thus we have a neat reference to the Sherlock episode The Great Game (which involved the Bruce-Partington Project) by way of Doyle’s original tale. There are more such touches to be found – but I don’t want to spoil things by listing everything, as discovering them is far more fun.
Back in April 2015 I wrote “Anyone who has enjoyed Sherlock’s three (thus far) seasons via the BBC (and their world-wide partners) is going to love the version of 221B Baker Street Darius has created in Second Life; it really is a marvel to visit. The many touches within it will have fans of the show smiling happily (I know I was).” This still holds true now, and it’s a delight to see how Darius has both updated 221B Baker Street and offers links to the original adventures taken by Holmes and Watson, thus very much keeping the magic alive.
If you are a Holmes / Sherlock fan and you haven’t visited already, I cannot urge you strongly enough to hail a cab and head over. The address, should you need it, is below 🙂 .
221B Baker Street – Sherlock Holmes (Rated: Moderate)