Sherlock is Good, But Haven't We Seen This All in Batman?

17/01/2012 09:37 GMT | Updated 17/03/2012 09:12 GMT

Many, many people will have seen the finale of series two of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss's gripping Sherlock. The twists and turns kept everyone glued to their screens for a whole hour and a half and gave an ending which was enough to make you jump up and applaud in your front room. However, and this isn't to say I didn't absolutely love it, I gradually noticed more and more story similarities between Sherlock, specifically in their Hounds of Baskerville episode and then more so in The Reichenbach Fall, and Christopher Nolan's Batman films. And here's why...


I should start from the beginning and explain, I'm talking about Sherlock the TV series and predominantly the last two episodes, not Sherlock as a whole and I'm talking about the similarities between it and the latest Batman films, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

Anyway, I first noticed some similarities in the second episode of the second series, The Hounds of Baskerville. The explanation at the end of the episode was that pressure pads were releasing an airborne drug which, when inhaled, the recipient started to see visions of a hound in the forest. In Batman Begins, Ra's Al Ghul and Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow are using an airborne gas to spread fear in Gotham, leading it to tear itself apart. A fear gas is used in both, Batman Begins uses it in a much more widespread way, but nevertheless, it's a similarity.

From that, it didn't warrant much looking into, but the final episode just screamed out to me. Inspector Lestrade is called up by his colleagues on his use of Sherlock as a consultant on his cases, the parallels between Lestrade and Commissioner Jim Gordon are huge, both Batman and Sherlock are unofficially on cases all the time. Batman, to the public at large is said to be a vigilante and should be arrested, Sherlock doesn't have as much of a negative reputation, but he's no police officer and yet he's allowed into crime scenes and allowed free reign to solve crimes under Lestrade's watchful eye, as is Batman under Gordon's. Sherlock deducts crimes with his mind, Batman is clever, but he uses technology as well, in The Dark Knight, he finds who a shooter is through cutting out a piece of brick and finding fingerprints on the bullet hole.

So far, we've got a detective, working outside of the law, but working closely with one man in the law. It's a bit of a long shot so far. Then what of our villain? Jim Moriarty is our cheeky chappy who is always working in the background throughout the two series's of Sherlock, but doesn't come out of hiding properly until the last episode of series two. Moriarty is The Joker, in so many ways. He's the quintessential opposite of Sherlock, his mortal enemy, there's even references during their tea together and during their final encounter that they're destined to be fighting together forever and that he's just too much fun. The Joker drops lines all over like this in The Dark Knight. Moriarty reveals that he opened up Pentonville Prison, got his hands on the crown jewels and broke into the Bank of England because he could, not for any riches or reputation, he just did it because he could and to throw everyone off. The Joker robs banks and takes money, but for the most part, he doesn't want anything of it, he sets fire to his share of the mob's money. They're both about causing anarchy and turning people against each other.

In the final scenes of Sherlock, it's shown that Moriarty has turned everyone against him, it's believed that Sherlock made all his cases up so that he could solve them and become successful and used Moriarty as an actor to be his villain. Everyone believes that Sherlock is the villain and so he goes with it and pretends to kill himself so that he can protect the ones he loves. In the final scenes of The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent has turned into Two-Face and is on a murderous rampage, Batman kills him, but if the public were to know he had turned evil, they would lose faith in everything, so Batman takes the rap and goes on the run. He's protecting those closest to him.

Moriarty and Joker defeat Sherlock and Batman through mentally taking them down, wearing them down so that they have nothing left but to give in and run.

There are some more strenuous links, Batman has Alfred and Sherlock has Mrs Hudson, however, Mrs Hudson is far less involved in Sherlock's life than Alfred in Batman's. Dr Watson is the Robin to Sherlock's Batman, but Robin hasn't appeared in any of Nolan's Batman films yet.

I'd love to know people's thoughts on these theories, I should point out that seeing these similarities doesn't detract from how utterly brilliant both are, Nolan's Batmans and the latest Sherlock series are glorious pieces of entertainment.