Sherlock Holmes is not only a badass fictional character, but he’s also a fandom and criminologist pioneer. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a fictional character that would use forensic and criminal investigation techniques with years in advance. He predicts the use of some techniques 100 years in advance in some cases!
Sherlock Holmes has been in print ever since it was first published. We’re also used to see him on screen incarnation after incarnation. But he is much more than a pedantic detective: he is one of the first characters to spark fandom across the globe.
When Sherlock saw the light for the first time, people went crazy reading his stories. He was odd, alluring, and using God-like methods to find who the criminals were. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed him along with Moriarty in the Final Problem, there was a public outcry. People would wear black bands on their arms for Sherlock and send letters to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle calling him names because he had killed Sherlock. It all looked like as if Sherlock was a real person. The world of Fandom had begun!
What we know today as fan fiction and cosplay, started out with Sherlock in Victorian times. Fans would write or tell different stories in gatherings with friends, and even stage them. Welcome to fan fiction and cosplaying contests.
Even JohnLock has its origins back in Victorian times. Obviously, they would have a very different relationship compared to our JohnLock. However, it’s clear that Sherlock Holmes pioneered more than just activities we do around him. He also gave birth to methods in a criminal investigation. So much so, that his techniques are used to this day. But, with different machines, of course.
Think about gathering data to resolve a problem (in his case: a crime). You would find Sherlock doing very weird stuff at the time, for example, kicking a corpse. Sherlock looks like a mad man doing so, but what he was really doing is trying to figure out if the bruises of a corpse were done before the person died or after. Something that still bugs the CSI today.
Often he would disguise himself as an impossible character to spy or to try to gather information. Sherlock used different costumes to discover who the criminal was, to deceive others to gather information. This a technique mostly used by spies. Even if the most famous spy in all times has been 007, reality is that Sherlock was the master of gathering data through deception!
He will never cease to appeal to us. However, we must realize that Sherlock pioneered many activities that we now take for granted. He gave the start to fandom in the West, and he used techniques that forensics, CSI, and espionage would use later on.
He’s the best weird pioneer of all times. Elementary, My Dear Watsons.