5 Most Interesting Easter Eggs in Sherlock: The Lying Detective


Written by Prof. Jenn


As with ‘The Six Thatchers’, there are, of course, many more easter eggs than just these five. I just find the following to be the most interesting of them. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments. Oh, and of course: SPOILERS abound in the following. Duh.


Honorable mention:


Let’s play the Canon References game again, shall we? Again, add your own in the comments. Not including “The Dying Detective”, of course…

  • The Resident Patient
  • The Veiled Lodger
  • The Sign of Four (see below)
  • His Last Bow (and again)
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Edgar Allan Poe, not Doyle, but this story is historically touted as the first detective-murder-mystery ever written)


5) The Dying Detective


Canon story “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” is one of the shorter and sweeter of the original Doyle stories. The basic plot goes as such: Mrs. Hudson rushes to Watson’s house, begging him to come right away, as Sherlock Holmes is terrifyingly ill. She doesn’t think he’ll last the week. Watson complies and is shocked to see that Holmes looks awful, and is deliriously rambling. Holmes, however, refuses to allow his friend to examine him but instead makes him call on Culverton Smith, an expert on disease and pathology.

Holmes sets it up so that Watson arrives ahead of Smith and hides in 221B, so as to overhear the conversation which then ensues. Smith gloats over Holmes’ imminent demise and confesses to the murder of his nephew, a case which Holmes had a hand in cracking in the past. A signal of turning up the gas brings in the police, who Holmes had set up, and Watson is the witness to the confession. It’s then revealed that Holmes was faking his illness, all to trap Smith into a confession. That Watson was a) dense enough to believe Holmes really ill, and b) wasn’t completely incensed at Holmes doing this to him again (fake dying), is beyond me.

This episode, obviously named after the story, shares a little of the original plot. Sherlock becoming ill to gain Watson’s innocent help to trap Culverton Smith is still the center. Lots more going on, however, but you can see the skeleton is intact. What is interesting about this modernized version is that obviously Sherlock isn’t faking an illness, but actually using again–making himself actually ill. Also that it’s Mary’s dying wish that spurs him into this, not a past case and a villain to nab. At least, not mainly that.


4) Culverton Smith Trump


Maybe it’s just that, being American, I have Donald Trump parasitically on the brain right now. But I couldn’t help notice how Toby Jones’ (wonderfully) odious, slimy, smarmy portrayal of Culverton Smith contains so many nods to Trump himself and the Trump campaign that I can’t think it’s a coincidence but a commentary.

Just the way he’s shown pandering to the press and his addiction to it, as well as his double-speak in lying and admitting things as well as lording his power of a rich man over everyone (and gloating about it) is very Trump-like. And did you notice the way he talked about his daughter, and the way he touched her?

Before you think I’m an overly-paranoid scholar looking for connections where there aren’t any, notice that at one point Culverton Smith declares, “I don’t do handshakes.” This has long been a trademark of Trump’s. Just sayin’.




11 thoughts on “5 Most Interesting Easter Eggs in Sherlock: The Lying Detective

  1. Every press review I’ve about The Lying Detective says that Culverton Smith is reminiscent of UK pedophile Jimmy Savile, but “Prof. Jenn”, being afflicted from Trump Derangement Syndrome, thinks Stephen Moffat, the British director/producer/screenwriter who wrote The Lying Detective meant Trump. Too funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dude, pardon me for being scared shitless. Like I said, I’m just coming to this from an American standpoint (the handshake thing is a thing tho…)

      Please do educate me re: the odious figure you reference. (Yes, I could google him but I’d much rather engage in dialogue with a human).


  2. More similarities to Saville (hospital, media control, do-gooding, etc.) The U.S. may not be aware of him in general, but the last few years in the UK have seen a considerable increase in his (and others – ref. the still on-going Rolf Harris trial) sad and manipulative ways.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’ll find that this is a far more complex matter than you may be aware of, and may not have stretched beyond the UK (though it has affected Australia).
        Jimmy Savile was a well known personality here. He was a DJ, famously on Top Of The Pops, charity marathon runner, charity health worker in hospitals (notably Stoke Mandeville) and all round media personality well loved by the general public. He died in 2011.
        In 2012 there was a TV programme alleging a long period of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1960s , especially towards children and patients, which scandalised the nation. As a result a police investigation was mounted, named Operation Yewtree. This became far reaching and a number of celebrities in the television world were named, arrested, and some put on trial for these offences. Among the named were Rolf Harris (well loved children’s TV presenter and singer), Dave Lee Travis, a DJ of many years, Gary Glitter, pop star,Freddie Star, comedian, Paul Gambacini, radio and television presenter and pop guru, and others. Even Cliff Richard was involved but later exonerated.
        There were others involved, some tried and sentenced, some found innocent, and others not charged. Rolf Harris’ trial has only recently started.
        Many of the high profile celebrities were highly regarded by the public, but it is now believed that acquaintancies were aware of problems, though no one spoke out at the time. A case of “who would believe me” with the offenders ‘hiding in plain sight’.
        It is my belief that Culverton Smith is probably a mish-mash of these people, making him worse.
        It is worth researching Operation Yewtree and the relevant personalities involved, as I’ve only touched on it briefly, but long enough.


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