Can't recall if it was a miniseries or simply cancelled, but the plot point I remember was Sherlock was cryogenically frozen back in the 1800, having been a real-life detective that Doyle immortalized in novels. I think it was voluntary after having contracted the Bubonic Plague somehow.

He's revived and cured in the 1980's, and then somehow links up with Watson's last descendant, a female American detective if I remember correctly.

Mostly a mystery but with some light moments around culture shock, such as his reaction to London Bridge having been moved to Arizona.

  • 8
    I am genuinely surprised that a seemingly narrow request of cryogenically-frozen Sherlock produced at least three installments.
    – svavil
    Aug 12 '16 at 4:56

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

It was a 1987 TV movie, not a miniseries1, but the plot is identical to what you describe; from the Wikipedia plot summary:

Jane Watson (Margaret Colin) works as a private detective in Boston, Massachusetts, but faces financial ruin because she approaches her job from a more humane angle - much to the dislike of her secretary, Ms Houston (Lila Kaye) - therefore she is eventually forced to sell the English country estate of her ancestor, Dr. Watson. She visits the old house one last time, where a lawyer hands her an envelope with detailed instructions inside. Following those instructions, Jane finds a hidden basement containing a primitive cryogenic capsule with a man lying inside, whom she thaws.

The man inside the capsule turns out to be her ancestor's friend and partner, the legendary Sherlock Holmes himself (Michael Pennington). He had received a trapped gift from a lost brother of his old nemesis, James Moriarty, which infected him with the bubonic plague.

1 Though, annoyingly, there was a TV series titled The Return of Sherlock Holmes, but it appears to be a standard Victorian setting.

  • I saw the other one first but this answer is first and more complete.
    – Paul
    Aug 11 '16 at 18:57
  • @Paul - The other one is also a completely different film :-)
    – Valorum
    Aug 11 '16 at 19:16
  • Yeah, I got that after commenting before.
    – Paul
    Aug 11 '16 at 19:41

Could this be the 1993 made-for-TV movie "Sherlock Holmes Returns"?1

Sherlock Holmes (Anthony Higgins) is awakened in modern times with a tale that he had invented a method of suspended animation that he had utilized on himself. Awakened by an earthquake, he is helped by Amy Winslow, who lives at 1994 Baker Street in San Francisco. There he is joined by a new group of Baker Street Irregulars led by Zapper. His battles lead him to the evil Moriarty clan led by James Moriarty Booth.

I believe when it was first broadcast, it was split into two parts.

1 Not to be confused with the similarly named "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" from 1987.

  • Your embedded commentary made me unsure, but the IMDB link looks like a match. Thanks!
    – Paul
    Aug 11 '16 at 18:49
  • @JasonBaker - Oops. I had yours open at the same time. Corrected
    – Valorum
    Aug 11 '16 at 18:50
  • @Paul - Check the link again. I had the wrong film linked originally.
    – Valorum
    Aug 11 '16 at 18:54
  • 1
    What's interesting is that Anthony Higgins also played Moriarty in Young Sherlock Holmes.
    – coredump
    Aug 11 '16 at 23:20
  • 2
    @coredump - If you like playing that game, you'll love IMDB's common cast/crew feature. For example, were there any people who worked on both The Return of Sherlock Holmes (TV series) and The Return of Sherlock Holmes (TV Movie). You'd think the answer would be "no" given that they were made on opposite sides of the country by different production companies, but you'd be wrong ... imdb.com/search/name?roles=tt0090509,tt0093850
    – Valorum
    Aug 11 '16 at 23:24

Could you be thinking of the 1999 animated TV series "Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century". The plot is very similar to what you described.

In the early 22nd century, a criminal named Martin Fenwick finds the frozen remains of Professor James Moriarty and uses cells from the body to clone the Napoleon of Crime. When Moriarty escapes Fenwick's control and resumes his career of crime, Inspector Beth Lestrade of New Scotland Yard (a descendant of the original Lestrade) revives Sherlock Holmes from cryogenic suspension in hopes that Holmes can again defeat his arch-nemesis. Accompanied by an android with the appearance and personality of the original Dr. John Watson, Holmes reoccupies his Baker Street rooms and takes on a series of new cases, many of which involve Moriarty's new criminal schemes.

Each of the 26 episodes is based on one of the original canon stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • Definitely live action as well.
    – Paul
    Aug 11 '16 at 19:00

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