Why Netfix’s Enola Holmes Doesn’t Feature John Watson

Enola Holmes

Netflix’s Enola Holmes sees Henry Cavill’s Sherlock Holmes surrounded by an unusually full family for the Great Detective. There’s brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin), mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) and, of course, new creation little sister Enola (Millie Bobby Brown). Classic character Inspector Lestrade (Adeel Akhtar) is even involved. But Holmes’ legendary best friend, Dr. John Watson, is nowhere to be seen or even referenced. Why is that, though?

Well, our biggest clues to the answer to this mystery are the various references scattered throughout to Holmes being a loner. When Enola attempts to pass herself off as Sherlock’s assistant after turning up at the Basilwether estate, Lestrade tells her that Holmes always works alone. Likewise, Edith (Susan Wokoma) tells Enola at the tea shop that her brother has “no wife, no friends, just a strange occupation.” Finally, the montage in which Enola recaps Sherlock’s exploits features newspaper clippings that mention he’s a “young” detective.

All this heavily suggests that Holmes is in the early stages of his crime-fighting career and has yet to even meet Watson. This is a big change not only to the novels by Nancy Springer which the film is based on, but also the original Holmes canon. Enola Holmes is set in 1884 and Holmes and Watson meet in 1881, as established in A Study in Scarlet. However, that first Holmes novel was published in 1887, three years after the movie takes place. So, in Enola‘s retelling of Sherlock’s story, maybe the good doctor doesn’t cross paths with the detective until then.

It’s been all but confirmed that a sequel is on the way and as such, it seems feasible that it could jump ahead three years and depict the first meeting between Holmes and Watson – as part of a brand new storyline, too, seeing as the Enola Holmes series seems keen to veer away from the Conan Doyle books. But who would be the perfect Watson opposite Cavill as Sherlock? Let us know your pick down below.