It turns out that Sherlock Holmes wasn’t just focused on the elementary details - he also had a “priestly” side of him as well.
Investigating the iconic character for STV show The Search For Sherlock Holmes, David Hayman discovered some interesting details about author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s background courtesy of renowned expert Owen Dudley Edwards.
“An element of Sherlock Holmes is priestly,” Edwards explained. “There are some stories in which Sherlock Holmes, the Beryl Coronet for example, lets off an extremely nasty criminal on the ground that he may be saving a soul.
“It’s not something we associate with Sherlock Holmes, who seems to be a very coolly scientific person. But it is clear that Conan Doyle had some of the Jesuits in mind partly in the making of Holmes. We don’t know which and how.”
He then went on to address Holmes’ most famous nemesis, and added: “We do know that the prefect of discipline, who had the beauty of beating him for some time, was one of the people who produced Professor Moriarty.
“Although he also used two boys, both called Moriarty, one of whom was inclined to design all sort of plots and had a habit of weaving his head from side to side with movements like a snake, which Professor Moriarty does.
“The other of whom at the age of something like 10 won second prize for mathematics in the entire school - and you’ll remember that Sherlock Holmes describes Professor Moriarty as having won international celebrity with a thesis on the binominal theorem.”
Scottish actor Hayman has become a sleuth himself to examine the truth behind Sherlock Holmes in a new one-off STV documentary.
Showing on STV on Monday December 28 at 9pm, the show will coincide with the release of the latest Sherlock Holmes adaptation directed by Madonna’s ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
The Search for Sherlock Holmes follows Hayman on a fascinating and personal journey to reveal the heart of one of the world’s most significant and loved literary figures, and the most portrayed movie character of all time.