Special thanks to reader Per Kielland-Lund of Oregon, USA for this guest posting. He writes:
The TV series Monk is based on the Sherlock Holmes stories, in particular the relationships among Monk, Stottlemeyer, Sharona (and later Natalie) and Ambrose - the smarter and older brother of Monk.While I have watched the show only very occasionally, I did see the Ambrose episode and I enjoyed it. I'll leave it to the Monkies and Sherlockians to battle it out (like the Housians and Holmesians) over current television protagonists versus the Master.
The writers of Monk plainly state in an interview on the offical Monk website that the series is based on the Sherlock Holmes stories.
The characters and basic structure of the series were inspired by the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The character name "Adrian Monk" was intended to be unusual like that of Sherlock Holmes. Other characters correspond to Holmes characters: Sharona Fleming (a nurse) and Dr. Watson; Capt. Stottlemeyer and Inspector Lestrade; and Monk's brother Ambrose and Mycroft Holmes (Sherlock's brother).
In one episode, the viewers are introduced to Monk's brother Ambrose (John Turturro), who is even more intelligent than Adrian, but has been confined to his house for many years due to crippling agoraphobia. The character of Ambrose might have been inspired by the character of Mycroft Holmes, the rarely-seen "smarter brother" of the famous fictional detective genius Sherlock Holmes.
Those daily challenges eventually forced Monk to hire a personal nurse, Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram), who was always there to offer her assistance when even the simplest of tasks (like organizing his sock drawer) became an angst-ridden ordeal for Monk. Along the way, Sharona also became Monk's own "Girl Friday," an unlikely Dr. Watson to his Sherlock Holmes.
For those who are interested in the series, it is available on DVD.
MONK is very Holmeslike and intended to be. In addition to their comments on the MONK website, the show's writers and producers have frequently acknowledged their debt to Holmes and Conan Doyle.
I love the show and watch it regularly and actually buy the DVDs, but I think MONK actually may owe more to Hercule Poirot than Holmes.
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