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Now this is how you do a movie poster. (Universal)

It’s here, it’s here! Wait, what’s “it” you ask? Sherlock of course. The third season of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss‘ Sherlock returns to PBS this weekend on Sunday, January 19 starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson). If you haven’t seen the first two seasons (we’ll let it slide) or if you just want a refresher, you can catch up on Netflix here. We’re in a tizzy of anticipation and while we wait, let’s take a look back at earlier adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s sly sleuth and his trusty right hand man here:

1. Sherlock Holmes & The Secret Weapon
Before Benny and Marty there was Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, who portrayed Sherlock and Watson, respectively, in 14 films between 1939 and 1946. In the third film of the series, Sherlock helps Dr. Tobel (William Post Jr.), a Swiss scientist and inventor, escape from Nazi, Germany. Tobel is soon kidnapped by Professor James Moriarty (Lionel Atwell). 

Watch Sherlock Holmes & The Secret Weapon on

2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 
The U.S. TV series (1950) starts off the series with Boyle’s “The Case of Mother Hubbard”, working its way through “The Case of the Thistle Killer” and “The Night Train Riddle” and landing on the “The Case of the Tyrant’s Daughter”. The series starred Ronald Howard as Sherlock and Howard Marion-Crawford as Watson.

Watch The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Season One, on

3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The U.K. TV series (1984-1994) goes by the same name as the U.S. version, and consists of 13 episodes kicking things off with Doyle’s “A Scandal in Bohemia” and ending with “The Final Problem”. The series starred Jeremy Brett as Sherlock and David Burke as Watson.

Watch The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Season One, on Instant.

4. Sherlock Holmes
Director Guy Ritchie (2009) kicks things up a notch with this action flick starring Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock) and Jude Law (Watson). We see Sherlock in a new light; his physical prowess matches his amazing deductive abilities. Watson hasn’t changed much and is easily flustered with his unpredictable friend. While the characters are the same (for the most part), the story is new.

Watch Sherlock Holmes on Instant.

5. Elementary 
Englishman Jonny Lee Miller, and friend of Cumberbatch, takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes in modern day NYC (2012) in the CBS TV series. And Watson is female (Lucy Liu). Yes, yes, this is an American version but Miller holds onto his English accent and British ways. And, with all the talk around this series, like when Cumberbatch said he was “cynical” about the adapation  … ahh, you know you want to see what it’s about.

Watch Elementary on Instant.

6. Sherlock Jr.
Buster Keaton plays a regular guy who works as a projectionist. When he finds himself in a bit of trouble, he escapes into a dream world where he is a detective and solves the real-life case.

Watch Sherlock Jr. on Netflix.

What’s on your playlist? 

See More:
WATCH: ‘Sherlock’ Mini-Episode ‘Many Happy Returns’
Steven Moffat: “We’ll Do the Next ‘Sherlock’ as Fast as We Can”
Sherlock Holmes is Public Domain in U.S.

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By Brigid Brown