As you may or may not be aware, the creators of Sherlock actually filmed and produced another version of A Study in Pink, but it never aired because the BBC wanted them to re-film some of the content.

I managed to get ahold of a copy of this unaired pilot, and I thought that I would go through and point out some of the differences and whether or not the episode that aired is indeed “better” than the unaired pilot.

The first difference that I noticed was actually the opening sequence that was used. The title card specifically is quite different in that the unaired pilot features a monochrome and simple one whereas the official pilot features the London landscape.

Personally, while I think that the unaired title card probably fits Sherlock’s personality more, the London landscape is a perfect choice, and the movement of the cars fits in nicely. Furthermore, the theme used in the official episode is faster and really pulls the title sequence together (essentially wrapping it up in a nice little bow).

Study in Pink: 1

Unaired Pilot: 0

One of the stark differences that I noticed is that the unaired pilot episode does NOT include Mycroft Holmes. I remember when I first watched A Study in Pink, I thoroughly enjoyed Mycroft’s scenes with John and the payphones ringing along the street. For a brief moment I figured that Mycroft was actually Moriarty (glad this is not the case because I really like how Moriarty was brought in), and that added to the sense of foreboding when he is telling John about the cameras and then systematically turning them away from the phone both.

I also really enjoyed when Mycroft points out how John’s hands are not shaking and are perfectly steady in this situation and refutes what his therapist had said.  This situation allows Mycroft to deliver the following line:

“Most people blunder around this city and all they see are streets and shops and cars. When you walk with Sherlock Holmes you see the battlefield. You’ve seen it already, haven’t you?”

This line is fantastic. It is also a very loaded statement, and calls to mind so many thoughts about society and humanity (at least for me).

Study in Pink: 2

Unaired Pilot: 0

The fashion in which the texting scenes are presented in both episode are similar, but the one big difference is that the unaired pilot goes the traditional route and shows the text on the phones themselves, whereas in the official episode the texts are shown floating in the air as the respective characters look down at their phones. I think that this method works particularly well when Sherlock texts “Wrong” to everyone attending the press conference about the supposed “suicides” at the beginning of the episode.

Side note: I really want to know how Sherlock did that.

Study in Pink: 3

Unaired Pilot: 0

One of the things that I didn’t like much at all in the unaired pilot was the interaction that Sherlock had with the cabbie and when he was acting drunk and was drugged. To me, it didn’t sit well or seem right at all for Sherlock or the episode itself. The official episode handled it much better: I really do think that Sherlock would have willingly gone with the cabbie, stone sober and wouldn’t need to be drugged, for the same reasons that the cabbie states in the episode. Sherlock truly will do anything to stop being bored. I would like to raise one question though: do you think Sherlock chose the good pill? Or the bad pill?

Study in Pink: 4

Unaired Pilot: 0

There is one thing that I wish they had included in the official episode that was in the unaired pilot, even if they adapted/tweaked it. There is what many are calling the “roof scene”, which I think would have perfectly foreshadowed The Reichenbach Fall (though admittedly, they may not have known how successful Sherlock would be at that point). Also, I was reminded a little bit of Batman while watching this scene, and that’s awesome.

Study in Pink: 4

Unaired Pilot: 1

Overall, both versions of the episode had their merits and their downfalls, but overall I think that the version that was aired to the public was much more clean and polished and worked better than the unaired pilot.

Best Wishes,

Jess

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