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The Essay Question
How does “A Study in Pink” show Sherlock
Holmes as a very modern update of the
• Info: “A Study in Pink” (2010), written by
Steven Moffat, directed by Paul McGuigan.
• Info: Update of “A Study in Scarlet” by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle.
• What is the plot about?
• What is your essay going to be about?
Clip 1 – Watson’s Nightmare
• Why are we shown this nightmare? How does it
connect to the original Conan-Doyle stories?
• Which camera angles/ movements are used in this
scene? Why does the director use these?
• How would you describe the colours in this section?
How do they help create an appropriate mood?
• Think about the sound – what can you hear? How is
the sound unusual? Why is this?
• What does Watson’s reaction to the nightmare show
us about his character? How does the music support
• How do these show that “Sherlock” is very modern?
Clip 2 – The Press Conference
• This scene features Detective Lestrade – what is the connection to
the Conan-Doyle stories?
• In this scene, Holmes makes Lestrade look foolish. How? (Comment
on the use of graphics.)
• The reporters are all shown answering their phones at the same
time in a single shot – why?
• Which other people receive the message?
• What happens to the music when Lestrade is asked about a “serial
• How does costume make the Daily Mail reporter look less friendly?
• Lestrade receives a final message – how do we know it is from
• What do all these things reveal about the character of Sherlock
Clip 3 – The Meeting
• For these questions you will need to look up “autism” and “sociopath” in a
• Holmes is unaware of the way he insults Molly – why is this important to
our understanding of him?
• He doesn’t allow Watson to begin a conversation, and seems to have no
interest in him, why?
• The scene ends with Holmes summarising many things about Watson.
Why does the audience know that he is correct in the things he says?
• What effect does the music have when Holmes is summarising Watson.
• What does this say about an audience’s expectations of the character of
• How do these points help to present Holmes’s personality in a very
twenty-first century way?
Clip 4 – Baker Street
• Which references to the original stories do we find in
• Mrs Hudson makes a very twenty-first century
presumption about Holmes and Watson – what is it?
Where else in the programme is this mistake made?
• How does this make the story more modern?
• What is she referring to when she says “married
• This motif is returned to several times: can you think of
another from the film?
• How does this show a difference between Victorian
society and our own?
Clip 5 – The Cab
• How did Holmes know Watson had been in military
• The editing in the scene is incredibly quick – why?
• Why do the various shots focus on specific details?
• How does the editing focus the audience’s attention
The fact that Watson’s phone was a gift and
Watson’s brother’s drink problem?
• How does sound in the scene make Holmes’s
deduction feel dramatic?
Clip 6 – The Body
• Explain how editing, camera angle, music and
graphics demonstrate Holmes’s power of
deduction in this scene.
Clip 7 – The Chase
• Which techniques are used to show Holmes
planning a route to follow the cab?
• How is this a modern presentation?
• How does the editing show Holmes’s
understanding of the London streets?
• How does the music reflect the emotion/
atmosphere of the scene?
• How does the editing during the chase show the
distance the pair are travelling?
• Why is the end of the scene an anti-climax?
• Summarise: How is the new Sherlock
presented in a much more modern way than
the original by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? How
are the parts from the original updated?