The Lamplighter — A book Ben requested for the 221b set?
In The Reichenbach Fall, why does The Lamplighter, a 19th Century sentimental novel, so obviously appear on Sherlock’s desk?
It’s the “annoying dick” scene in which Sherlock is breaking into the wireless surveillance network at 221b right before Mrs. Hudson brings in the burnt gingerbread man from the courier named Grimm.
Actually it’s not in the complete scene. Right before the close up of Sherlock, the book is NOT on the desk (see below.)
Then it is (see the top gif in the set above.)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, based on John le Carré’s famous spy series, was released September, 2011 just a few months before The Reichenbach Fall aired.
In that film Benedict Cumberbatch plays spy Peter Guillam, the head of “Scalphunters”, the violent division of ‘The Circus’ (MI6) that deals with operations such as assassination, blackmail, burglary, and kidnapping.
In the TTSS universe Lamplighters are spies responsible for surveillance and couriers. The Lamplighters have certainly broken into 221b!
TTSS and Sherlock Holmes
John le Carré compares Peter Guillam to John Watson!
“With no Sherlock Holmes, would I ever have invented George Smiley? And with no Dr. Watson would I ever have given Smiley his sidekick Peter Guillam? I would like to think so, but I doubt it very much.”
— John le Carré The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes - Vols. 1 & 2 The Short Stories.
So yeah, my head canon is that Ben asked for the book to be on the set. I’d bet hard cash on it.