5 Times Sherlock and Doctor Who Collided

sherlock doctor who1

If you’re a Doctor Who fan you’ll know that today marks the premiere of the latest series of the BBC’s other global smash hit alongside Sherlock. Apart from both centreing on British eccentric heroes who have been played by countless actors, the two series are often paired together as they are both run by Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, with Mycroft himself Mark Gatiss and other writer Stephen Thompson also scripting several episodes of the sci-fi drama.

So, apart from the brains behind-the-scenes, in what other ways have the two collided? Here are five ways in which the Doctor and the detective have crossed-over.


5. Time travel?


Let’s start with a bit of conjecture. Soon the Sherlock special will land on our screens and will take Sherlock and John out of the present and back to the Victorian era. Time travel is a new feature of Sherlock but, of course, is the lifeblood of Doctor Who. We’re not suggesting a serious cross-over between the two will occur in the special but it certainly sounds like Sherlock is borrowing from Who‘s bag of tricks for this unique adventure.


4. The Doctor in a deerstalker


Another similarity between Sherlock and the Doctor is that they both love an iconic costume – with arguably the most famous Doctor, Tom Baker’s incarnation, enjoying the comfort of a good scarf just like Sherlock. But, now and again, the Doctor likes to swap his own clothes for the traditional Holmes look. In classic 1977 adventure ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ Tom Baker’s Doctor dons a deerstalker hat as he investigates some mysterious disappearances in Victorian London. Likewise, in 2012 Christmas special ‘The Snowmen’, Matt Smith’s incarnation went for the full cosplay – deerstalker, Inverness cape and pipe – when visiting Victorian London once again. A musical cue from Sherlock’s theme can even be heard on the soundtrack!


3. Doctor Who‘s own Great Detective


That same episode featured the lizard lady Madame Vastra and her wife, the human Jenny, who are allies of the Doctor and act as investigators of the strangest mysteries in old London town. It’s established that, in the Who world, Arthur Conan Doyle based the characters of Holmes and Watson off them – but changed the nature of the characters as he did not think Victorian society was ready to read about an alien lesbian lizard.


2. They share the same cast


There are a lot of near-misses in terms of the stars of both shows featuring on the other (Matt Smith auditioned for Dr Watson, Benedict was recommended for the Doctor by good friend David Tennant) but a huge selection of the supporting cast of Sherlock – 20 of them, in fact – have also appeared in Doctor Who, including Rupert ‘Lestrade’ Graves.


1. The TARDIS has landed


Yes, it’s a little known fact that there has already been a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover. But, don’t worry, it’s easy to miss. In the pre-credits sequence of ‘The Hounds of Baskerville’, we see Henry Knight standing in Dewer’s Hollow – and behind him, hidden in the trees, is what looks very much like Doctor Who‘s TARDIS! Really, we haven’t made this up. Have a look for yourself:


Honorable mention #1: Wholock

Yet, for all these little teases, for anyone who actually wants to see the Doctor and Sherlock come face-to-face the place to go is this tremendous youtube video from superfan John Smith. Painstakingly made from clips from the shows, it’s a brilliant mini-adventure which brings millions of fans’ dreams to life.


Honorable mention #2: Puppet Wholock

On the other side of things, there is this less-than-reverential team-up of the two. From British puppet comedy show Newzoids, this skit sees Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and Sherlock not getting along very well…


Have we missed a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover that you noticed? Leave it in the comments!

3 thoughts on “5 Times Sherlock and Doctor Who Collided

  1. I’ve mentioned this one before, but, in “The Reichenbach Fall”, the scene where Sherlock is checking available wifi networks, one of them is in the alien language featured in the Doctor Who episode “The Bells of Saint John”.

    Given that they were looking for the most intelligent people to steal, Sherlock may have had a very narrow escape!


  2. Pingback: “Six Thatchers”–and Twelve Predictions | Rogue literati

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