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HOUSE, M. D. WHO WAS MODELLED AFTER SHERLOCK HOLMES


M. D. House as Sherlock Holmes

Authors: SherlockExtra and Revati -Translator: Revati

The series House, M. D. is extremely popular all around the world, and made its title hero, Hugh Laurie an international star. The secret of the show’s popularity lies in the gonzo character of House – who was modelled after the eccentric and special Sherlock Holmes. We try to list the similarities between the two characters.

They both devoted themselves to science and life is not easy for them. These two have no successes outside their professions. They make use of their vast knowledge of chemistry. While Sherlock excels in crime solving, House meets with success on the field of medicine, investigating dangerous viruses, deadly bacteria and poisons (Another common fact is that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle portrayed Sherlock Holmes after his university professor, dr. Joseph Bell. His idea was to have an extravagant hero who solves mysteries. The creator of House, David Shore twisted the concept.).

Both characters are wake for days if it is necessary to meditate over a difficult case. They do not eat during exercising their brains, so they are thin. Having a walking stick is a common characteristic of them too: House needs it because of his limping, while in the case of Sherlock the cane is a crucial part of his elegant outfit.

In their professions these men use their extraordinary abilities of observation and deduction. They strongly believe that everything happens with a reason. Their solid base is reality and logic. They are determined, even obsessive, when searching for the reasons, and because of this feature their performance is so efficient that everybody acknowledges it. That is why they have self-respect.

Sometimes neither Holmes, nor House cares to risk their own lives – they test dangerous chemicals on themselves. Their opinion is that danger is inherent in their professions, just like death. When Sherlock appears, someone is already dead or he races against time to save lives; while House tries to avoid death.

A huge difference is that Holmes loves his job, but House not always has fun during work. He does it because it gives him success and he can tyrannize his colleagues, but he escapes from his duties as often as he can. He likes to play video games and watch series instead of work. He is very casual, he regularly relaxes even during his working hours. Holmes is unable to rest until he finished a case. The master sleuth reclines only when he has nothing else to do. Then he reads newspapers, listens to music or plays his violin.

Both men like to surprise and even shock others with their deductive skills. Holmes phrases the essence of it in the adventure of The Dancing Men as follows: „(…) it is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. If, after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and presents one’s audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one may produce a startling, though possibly a meritricious effect.” Later they explain everything to the audience, they reveal the „central inferences”. This way ordinary people can understand how they develop those surprising deductions, which are in reality absurdly simple. Though Sherlock says: „Every problem becomes very childish when once it is explained.”

Both characters are lonely because of their genius and nonconformity. They have only one friend: Sherlock has Watson, House has Wilson. These companions stick to them, they are faithful and forgive their most severe errors. Though neither Watson, nor Wilson can fully understand the character of their adored friends. Watson is unable to grasp how extraordinarily important is the unique profession for Holmes which the detective created for himself. Wilson does not realize how much House suffers from pain.

M. D. House pain and illness

And now here is the problem of addiction. Holmes uses drugs to stimulate his mind when he has no case, and House takes Vicodine to relieve his pains. They both fight boredom, and their doctor friends always protest against the bad habit. But the geniuses insist on that they only stimulate their brains and enhance their mind capacities. This disagreement leads to tense moments between both duos. The detectives still need their sidekicks – it often happens that a word in season from Watson or Wilson leads to the solving of the case. These „ordinary men” act as sparkles that start up the brilliant minds.

Holmes and House prefers others to call them on their surnames, and they do the same. Neither Watson, nor Wilson is an exception. Holmes is a loner, while House pushes off everyone. They do not make friends, do not need anyone and do not have pets. They are steadfast on their way. For Sherlock the only important thing is to solve the case, and for House the illness is much more interesting than the person who suffers from it. Their common motto is a sentence from Holmes:”He doesn’t come to me for sympathy.” It is true: they offer nothing else but their help if they find a case interesting.

M. D. House and Sherlock Holmes

"Abiding Spirits" by Suzan Lovett - You can buy it here: House art

It is an important difference between the two characters that Holmes is able to humane euphoria despite his sternness, while this ability is missing in House. The latter can be awfully humiliating even with a dying patient. Sherlock, on the contrary, can be surprisingly humane in serious situations: he helps lovers (The Abbey Grange, The Second Stain, The Problem of Thor Bridge) or terminally ill people (The Boscombe Valley Mystery). House is very rude with Wilson too. Holmes likes to tease Watson, but he is never too harsh with his friend. The joking of the geniuses is often returned, which results funny scenes in both friendships.

Sherlock, just as House, can read people very well. They both are aware of the fact that lying is an elemental part of human nature. They reveal lies as quick as lightning, but they are masters of misleading themselves. Sherlock lies to solve crimes successfully or just to have some fun, while House has his own motto: „Everybody lies.”



Further similarities between the two figures:

- they smoke a lot
- identical address: they live at 221 B Baker Street
- the name Holmes is identical to the word home, which is a synonym for house
- persons who hinder their work: Inspector Lestrade, dr. Lisa Cuddy
- in both series appear people called Moriarty and Adler
- the names Watson and Wilson are almost the same.

Sherlockian Holmesian

" House, M. D. – who was modelled after Sherlock Holmes "

Authors: SherlockExtra and Revati
Translator: Revati

Keywords: House, M. D., Hugh Laurie, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Joseph Bell,
doctor House, 221 B Baker Street, Gregory House, deduction, logic


Sherlockian Holmesian

Recommended site:

Dr. Joseph Bell the real Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

221 B Baker Street

Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories

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How to think like Sherlock Holmes

How to think like Sherlock Holmes


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