Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The International Exhibit of Sherlock Holmes


For my (belated) birthday activity I went to the Edmonton World of Science to be a detective! This interactive exhibit has you helping Sherlock solve a case. Edmonton is the only stop in Canada.

From the science center website: The Exhibition features original manuscripts, period artifacts, props from the Warner Bros. current Sherlock Holmes movies set in the Victorian era, alongside costumes, props and behind the scene tools from the hit CBS television show Elementary and the BBC's Sherlock, both of which set Sherlock Holmes in present day.

Car used by Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock.

The post is fairly picture heavy and will likely spoil parts of the exhibit so you may wish not to proceed. Just know that it was a very good, very interactive exhibit and you should visit given the chance!




When you first enter you learn about Dr. Joseph Bell, who was a big influence on Arthur Conan Doyle's creation of Sherlock. There's a mini-series (from BBC I think) that actually follows a young Doyle as he learns from Bell. I highly suggest it should you be able to find it.

The second room gives you the detective note book and puts you in the mindset of the time. You learn a bit about the sciences at the time, about "bobbies", and get to send Morse code over the telegraph across the room. 

Botany. See the box on the right? That's what gave you stamps and the like.

Using your notebook you see that Sherlock has sent you a message to come to Baker Street, convenient or not. We arrived in Sherlock's study and have to obverse and find different objects like a bell pull, a riding crop, and Miss Cushing's ears.

One of three parts of the study.

One of three parts of the study.

We're directed to the crime scene to gather data. You have to read the police reports and gather samples in your notebook. Get an impression of the seed pod, a stamp of the blood splatter,draw the suspected bullet trajectory. Now that we've gathered some data we have to test them! When we think we found the answer at each of the below stations we had to punch a hole in our paper that would later help us read a code in a newspaper. 

The crime scene.

First to the Conservatory to compare the seed pod to other plants and to test for poison
Poisonous plants and their pods.

At the River Thames we compared footprints and drag marks to the prints at the crime scene. 

Using this contraption you can see what footprints on the sand look like.

The Penny Arcade had us rebuilding and looking at the bust and figuring out if the bullet trajectory was right like the Scotland Yard thought. 
Was he shot, busted opened, or knocked over?

Finally we visited the Slaughterhouse to look at three different types of blood splatter.

After we solved the mystery we were able to see some props and collectibles from various Sherlock incarnations and watch some videos about how some modern "detective" methods compare to those used in Sherlock's time. 

The interactive parts of the exhibit were amazing! My group lucked out and nearly had the place to ourselves so we didn't have to take turns or share anything. I was slightly disappointed with the props thought as there was not as many as I would have hoped. Compared to my prior exhibits it has quite lacking in props but at the top for interactive aspects.  

From Robert Downey Jr.'s movies.

Various collectibles.


From Benedict Cumberbatch's show.