London in the 19th century is a grimy, dirty, dangerous place. Twenty-seven-year-old Sherlock Holmes (Igor Petrenko) meets with Dr. John Watson (Andrei Panin) - a veteran Army doctor who has just returned from the war in Afghanistan. They both live in cramped rented rooms in central London at a boarding house run by Mrs Hudson (Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė). Considering his young detective friend to be a genius, Watson decides to write about the detective's talent, and discloses the mysteries to the whole world in his stories, which often embellish events, based on the cynical advice of a veteran Publisher (Alexander Adabashyan) with a keen sense of what sells.
The real Holmes is an awkward, intense, nerdy younger man. His violin playing sounds terrible, and he is neither a martial arts expert nor a crack shot Dr Watson makes him out to be. In fact, he doesn't even own a gun. Sherlock Holmes smokes cigarettes, but Watson comes up with the idea of the famous pipe for effect. The trademark Sherlock Holmes hat and cape were made up by Watson, as was Holmes' upper-class background. Neither of them is well off.
The two are often invited to take part in investigations by an inspector from Scotland Yard, Inspector Lestrade (Mikhail Boyarsky), whose search for the perpetrator often comes to a standstill. The genius investigator and the Doctor confront extraordinary villains: Professor Moriarty (Alexei Gorbunov), charming Irene Adler (Lyanka Gryu), and others.
The story begins when Dr. Watson, newly arrived and in search of lodging in London, runs into Holmes at the scene of a fatal accident, which Holmes immediately recognizes as murder. He ends up renting a room at Mrs Hudson’s, next door to Holmes. Mrs Hudson is a younger and more attractive woman than Watson makes her out to be. She has taken a liking to Watson, but has a problem with Holmes who has no clear occupation and disturbs other tenants with his violin playing and science experiments.
Dr. Watson shortly gets involved in his new friend's life full of exciting and dangerous adventures and becomes his loyal sidekick. He is also trying to build a private medical practice, and to make a name for himself as a writer. His heroic war poetry is turned down by the publisher who convinces him to focus on writing detective stories instead.
The idea for a new Russian TV series about Sherlock Holmes was first announced in 2009, shortly before the release of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. But the choosing of the director and actors was much delayed, and the première was therefore put off for 3 years. The official production of the series only began in 2011.
Andrey Kavun, who is known for his work on the film "Kandahar", was appointed director. Igor Petrenko was chosen for the role of Sherlock, and Andrei Panin was cast as Dr. Watson. For the role of Inspector Lestrade, Mikhail Boyarsky was chosen.
All surveys of Victorian England were held in eight months of filmings Russia, and the filmings were held in the vicinity of St. Petersburg - Vyborg, Kronstadt, Pushkin, Gatchina and Ivangorod. In total, the work on Sherlock Holmes, launched in September 2011, lasted 161 days of shooting. The filming was completed in May 2012 and the production was completed in late October 2012.
Influenced by Guy Ritchie's film, the role of the heroine, Irene Adler, was also expanded on during the show. Her love affair with Sherlock Holmes is one of the series' main storylines. She was portrayed by actress Lyanka Gryu. Kavun has also said he only plans to use the motives of the original stories, but will recreate the stories almost from scratch. The series will also assume that Watson's descriptions of the crimes have been embellished. Later he will tr. to adjust reality to his fantasies. As an example, Holmes' famous pipe will be replaced by cigarettes.
Unlike most adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock in this adaptation is younger than Dr. Watson by 15 years., and the series was aired on channel Russia-1.
The series has received mixed reviews. Part of the audience did not recognize the series as a direct adaptation of the books' characters. Vasily Livanov, who played Holmes in the classic Soviet TV series "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson," sharply criticized the show.
The main role of Sherlock Holmes which portrayed by Igor Petrenko was criticized for his similarity to Guy Ritchie's Holmes although Andrei Panin and the art directors were recognized as brilliant.
Wide resonance were received among viewers of the series about the monologue about migrants' Thaddeus Sholto by actor Igor Sklyaro (at the end of the second episode). On his monologue he criticized the migratory policy in ways that seems to criticize the modern Russia policy in same issue. The director and co-writer, Andrey Kavun, admitted in an interview that "It was a lot of controversy with the channel producers, which required me to cut the monologue. But then I decided to leave it, because this monologue is about England, and Russia, and what happened in England in the late 19th century is very similar to what is going on in Russia today. These phrases sound more and more, and I decided to throw a stone to fly spray."