I have been re-visiting [read as watching House. M.D. the TV series]. I have referred to the character of Gregory House once before in a post and today’s post will delve into the similarity I find between the House and Sherlock Holmes. I found the internet littered with many such blog posts and discussion. Many others have reached similar conclusions like me. I only mean to add to those contentions and discussions with no attempt to plagiarize their ideas. I would like to state that my comments here are the result of watching and researching House and Holmes over the past few weeks.

A little bit about House, M.D. for everyone just in case you don’t know about him. House (also known as House, M.D.) is an American television medical drama that originally ran on the Fox network for eight seasons, from November 16, 2004 to May 21, 2012. The show’s main character is Dr. Gregory House, a pain medication-dependent, unconventional, misanthropic medical genius who leads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (PPTH) in New Jersey. The show’s premise originated with Paul Attanasio, while David Shore, who is credited as creator, was primarily responsible for the conception of the title character. House was among the top-ten rated shows in the United States from its second through its fourth season. Distributed to 66 countries, House was the most watched television program in the world in 2008. The show received numerous awards, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Peabody Award, and nine People’s Choice Awards. On February 8, 2012, Fox announced that the eighth season, then in progress, would be House′s last. The series finale aired on May 21, 2012, following an hour-long retrospective.

Hugh Laurie is an English actor, comedian, writer, musician, and director, who played the role of House. Did you know in the 2011 Guinness World Records he was listed as the most watched leading man on television and was one of the highest-paid actors in a television drama, earning £250,000 ($409,000) per episode in House?

It is well known that the creator of the series David Shore has said in his interview to have been inspired by Sherlock Holmes when writing the character of House. That there will be similarities between the two characters is thus obvious. Here is a compiled list of similarities between House and Holmes.

  1. Name: the name “House” is a play on “Holmes” – with English pronunciation, a homophone for “homes”.
  2. Expertise: Holmes has his ‘deductive reasoning’ & House his ‘differential diagnosis’. They are experts who are brought into cases that have proven too difficult for other investigators.
  3. Powers & Abilities: exhibit remarkable powers of observation and deduction, rapid conclusions after the briefest examination of the circumstances.
  4. Weakness: Drug use – Vicodin (a pain medication) for House and Morphine & Cocaine (for research and recreationally) for Holmes.
  5. Talent: playing musical instrument – Holmes plays the Violin, House plays the piano, guitar and Harmonica.
  6. Friendship: Dr. Watson for Holmes and Dr. Wilson for House – similarity in names and both are roommates for considerable time. The Watson’s and Wilson’s play second fiddle to the lead characters. They bring or try to bring a stability to the unstable main characters.
  7. House Number: 221B, both live at the similar number house/apartment.
  8. Attitude: they are indifferent to their clients/patient and see them only as a puzzle that needs to be solved.
  9. Character flaws: Narcissistic, un-social, rubbing people the wrong way, doesn’t adhere to social customs.
  10. The last is a connection between the character of Dr. Watson and House, both have a problem with their leg and thus walk with a cane. Watson’s war wounds and House’s Infraction in the leg have left them in pain.

The complex character of Dr. House is my favorite in medical drama series trumping ER, General Hospital and Grey’s Anatomy.

With that thought, I leave the readers with some Trivia. Apart from the similarities I stated above, there are many direct references made to Sherlock Holmes in a number of episodes of the TV Series:

  1. In the episode titled, “It’s a Wonderful Lie”, House receives a second-edition Arthur Conan Doyle as one of his Secret Santa gifts.
  2. In the episode titled, “Joy to the World”, Wilson refers to an “Irene Adler” (calling her House’s one true love) when he is talking with Taub and Kutner about why he threw away a valuable gift (that valuable gift being a rare medical text on diagnosis written by a “Dr. Joseph Bell”).

Did you know several House alumni have appeared on the CBS series “Elementary”? Lisa Edelstein who is Dr. Cuddy in House, played a murder suspect in Season 1 of “Elementary”.

Hope you enjoyed reading this.

Tell me if you like House, M.D.


Reference Sources: Wikipedia, iMDb, Discussion Forum for House, M.D.