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Why Sherlock's Creators Compare The Detective To This Iconic Star Trek Character

Originally written into existence by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes has grown to become a world-famous character. That's due in part to the countless adaptations that have been made regarding his crime-solving capers. In recent TV history, the BBC's "Sherlock" firmly established itself as a riveting and clever modern take on the titular sleuth, with memorable portrayals of Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson, by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, respectively.

"Sherlock" and its predecessors all riff on a similar theme. Faced with the seemingly impossible or deceptively obvious, Holmes sees what no one else usually can. His secret weapon — deductive reasoning — is simple, but he proves to be incredibly adept at wielding it every time.

This core attribute of Sherlock Holmes evokes an interesting connection to another widely popular franchise: "Star Trek." Fans of the J.J. Abrams reboot movies may think back to Benedict Cumberbatch's appearance as the villainous Khan in "Star Trek into Darkness," but strictly in terms of personality traits, Sherlock Holmes has much more in common with another well-known character.

The relation between Sherlock and Spock

While he doesn't share the iconic pointy ears, Sherlock Holmes bears some striking inner resemblances to Spock, first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. In an interview with BBC One, "Sherlock" co-creator Mark Gatiss discussed the process of planning scenes for the show with this comparison in mind. "A lot of the beginnings of our conversations are sort of 'What would Sherlock do in this situation?' And that's kind of fun. It's a bit like putting Mr. Spock into a domestic situation," Gatiss said. Both characters are often the first to understand what's really going on, but paired with their rational sharpness, each can also exhibit an emotional awkwardness. That's why seeing Holmes as Watson's best man is so entertaining. Imagine Spock as Kirk's!

Another article spotlights a fan theory that Spock may actually be a descendent of Holmes (via CBR). In one scene of "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," Spock (Leonard Nimoy) states, "An ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." This line doesn't sound out of place coming from Spock, whose Vulcan heritage brings with it a reputation for cool logical assessments of any scenario. However, the quote can be found paraphrased in "The Sign of the Four," an original Sherlock Holmes story. Whether taken literally as an integration of Holmes into the "Star Trek" canon or not, Spock's statement serves as an acknowledgment of the similarity between the two characters.