Russian director Nurbek Egen is best known for feature films The Wedding Chest and The Empty Home, and recently he transitioned to TV with the 2017 series Two Against Death. He is now making a play for international audiences with a high-end series Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles, produced by Russia’s Yellow, Black and White group, and penned by Oleg Malovichko (“Sputnik”). The show is being presented to international buyers at Key Buyers Event this week.
Egan said in an interview:
“In our series Sherlock Holmes travels to Russia alone, without his close friend Watson, in order to catch Jack the Ripper, whom Sherlock has been chasing from the U.K. Watson can’t travel with Holmes, since the good doctor was wounded by Jack the Ripper a few days prior to his escape. Sherlock writes to Doctor Watson from Russia every day. In these letters he tells his friend about his experience in Russia and his impressions of the country. Things don’t go according to plan, of course…”
The show takes place in 1889 and was shot on sound stages and historic locations in Saint Petersberg. Filming began in St. Petersburg in spring 2019 and post production was finished during the pandemic. The series has 8 episodes. It’s being promoted to potential global buyers as an action-drama. Maksim Matveyev (Maksim Matveev), a popular Russian TV actor, plays Sherlock Holmes.
According to producer Aleksander Remizov: “The plot is based on exciting and mysterious crimes that Sherlock would never have encountered in his native England.”
New characters include Dr. Kartsev and Sophia supporting Sherlock, and a new nemesis in Chief of Police Znamensky.
The Holmes character is very popular in Russia, there have been at least 4 film and TV series since the 70s, most recently in 2013. They were all set in London and were well received in England.
Sherlock Holmes became a phenomena in Russia in 1902, after Holmes had been “resurrected” by Conan Doyle to star in his first Sherlock story in eight years, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The reaction to this new work was astonishing: dozens of Russian publishers competed to meet the extraordinary demand. One released twenty-eight stories with a combined print run of more than two million copies. This was followed by a series of Sherlockian short stories written by Russian authors that are still in print.
Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles will be launched on a Russian OTT streaming service, Start, at the end of 2020. We will update you on international release.