Agatha Christie may be one of the most popular and prolific mystery authors to have ever existed, but it’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective creation Sherlock Holmes who currently holds the record for the most portrayed literary character of all time. Sherlock’s mysteries have been adapted into various mediums and languages more than 250 times — a number that’s only grown in recent years.
The latest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes comes in the form of Netflix’s new movie Enola Holmes, an adaptation of the first novel in Nancy Springer’s series of the same name. And while the movie focuses on the titular (and non-canonical) 14-year-old sister of the famous detective and his older brother Mycroft, the trailer makes it evident that Sherlock (played by The Witcher‘s Henry Cavill) himself will be a bit of a mainstay throughout the film, as he both advises and keeps tabs on the youngest member of the family.
But it’s not just this sibling bond — or the really fun trailer — that has fans excited. It’s also the possibility of a Sherlock Holmes who seems to laugh and smile and have a sense of humor, especially where the younger Enola is concerned. Whereas past versions of the character have tended to tamp down on their emotions, in favor of emphasizing the importance of cool and collected objectivity in crime-solving, Cavill’s Holmes comes across as much, much less aloof. (In fact, his displays of emotion have gotten Doyle’s estate riled up enough to try and sue Netflix, as they insist that this particular aspect of Holmes falls under their copyright of the character, who has now fallen into the public domain.)
So, to celebrate this latest adaptation of Sherlock Holmes having solved the mystery of his missing smile (among other emotional responses), we’ve ranked some of the most recent — and some of the most iconic — depictions of the detective according to how much emotion they show. Read on to review our judgements.
Enola Holmes drops onto Netflix Sept. 23.