MYS­TERY TOUR

Sher­lock Holmes ex­hi­bi­tion headed to Ed­mon­ton for only stop in Canada

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - DESTINATIONS - By Dean Ben­nett

ED­MON­TON — The game will be afoot for mys­tery buffs and lit­er­a­ture lovers when a world-class ex­hi­bi­tion on the fic­tional su­per sleuth Sher­lock Holmes ar­rives in the Al­berta cap­i­tal. The In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion of Sher­lock Holmes makes its only stop in Canada next month at the Telus World of Sci­ence. The high­light, says Mike Ste­ger of the sci­ence fa­cil­ity, is a metic­u­lous re-cre­ation of the sit­ting room in 221B Baker St., where Holmes and his part­ner Dr. Wat­son would be called to ac­tion to use sci­ence and de­duc­tive rea­son­ing to thwart crime and skull­dug­gery. “If you’re a big fan of the books, this room is go­ing to blow you away,” said Ste­ger. “This (room) is ex­actly as writ­ten and de­scribed in the books.” In to­tal, vis­i­tors walk through five ex­hibit ar­eas and into the world of Vic­to­rian-era Lon­don to learn about Holmes, his cre­ator Sir Arthur Co­nan Doyle, and the sci­ence of foren­sic crime de­tec­tion. “It feels like you’re walk­ing into 19th cen­tury Lon­don,” says Ste­ger. “It has a very strong sense of place.” There is also a mys­tery to solve. Vis­i­tors re­ceive note­books and col­lect clues to help Holmes solve what can be a real brain buster. Ste­ger says peo­ple will be chal­lenged to re­wire their brains and look at the mun­dane in new ways to fit the­o­ries to facts — and not facts to the­o­ries. “What most peo­ple do when they go af­ter this mys­tery (is) they make some very ba­sic as­sump­tions, which are in­cor­rect be­cause they are not look­ing at the ev­i­dence,” said Ste­ger. Along the way, vis­i­tors learn about mod­ern day crime-de­tect­ing tech­niques and the early state of foren­sics when Doyle penned his fa­mous sto­ries start­ing with A Study in Scar­let in 1887. Young and old will ex­plore in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits to un­der­stand bul­let tra­jec­to­ries, blood splat­ter pat­terns, and trace ev­i­dence of foot­prints. There are other hands-on dis­plays to learn about how botany, chem­istry, tox­i­col­ogy, anatomy and ge­ol­ogy play a role in crime de­tec­tion. Doyle’s main muse was sur­geon Joseph Bell and it was from Bell he learned how sci­ence can solve crime, a dis­ci­pline he then trans­ferred to the world of Holmes. For more than a cen­tury, the man in the deer­stalker hat has come to epit­o­mize the ro­mance, dan­ger and brain-teas­ing chal­lenge of de­tec­tive work, spawn­ing movies, TV shows, comics and sto­ries that live on to­day. The fi­nal ex­hibit cel­e­brates all things Sher­lock­ian, with props, cos­tumes and other items from the BBC Sher­lock TV se­ries, the CBS show El­e­men­tary, and the re­cent big-screen ad­ven­tures star­ring Robert Downey Jr. The ex­hibit also dis­plays ar­ti­facts bor­rowed from the Doyle es­tate and the Mu­seum of Lon­don. It takes about 45 to 90 min­utes to take it all in, and there will be guides in cos­tume to help out with queries and give ex­pla­na­tions.

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