Baker Street Wiki
Baker Street Wiki

The Unaired Pilot is a 60 minute pilot episode of Sherlock which was never broadcast. The pilot follows the same plot as "A Study in Pink" and was originally intended to be the first episode of the show; however, the BBC decided that they wanted Sherlock to have 90 minute episodes and asked the team to remake it. The pilot episode was subsequently released as an extra on the series DVDs.


"Nothing happens to me."
John Watson

London, 2009: A series of mysterious suicides have struck the English capital. Nothing links the victims but the manner of death. The Police investigation, led by DI Greg Lestrade, is baffled.

Meanwhile, Dr John Watson, recently invalided home from the war in Afghanistan, finds his existence now without direction. The solution for both parties lies with a single man: Sherlock Holmes.


There are many differences between the pilot and "A Study in Pink" such as:

  • The pilot is 60 minutes; "A Study in Pink" is 90 minutes.
  • Sherlock has a slightly longer haircut in "A Study in Pink".
  • Sherlock wears a suit trouser in "A Study In Pink" whereas in the pilot he wears a casual jeans.
  • Sherlock emails to his brother Mycroft in the pilot.
  • John doesn't read what Sherlock texts to Lestrade in the pilot.
  • Mycroft does not appear in the pilot episode.
  • The actress who plays Jennifer Wilson is different.
  • In the pilot the police have no clue about the dead body of Jennifer Wilson but in "A Study in Pink" they know her name.
  • The front of 221B appears as 'Mrs Hudson's Snax 'n' Sarnies' rather than 'Speedy's Cafe'.
  • "A Study in Pink" is a much darker production.
  • In the pilot, John meets Sherlock in a computer lab. In "A Study in Pink" they meet in a chemistry lab.
  • The few shots of Sherlock whipping the corpse with a riding crop are about the only scenes the two episodes share.
  • In the pilot, Sherlock wears a protective suit and gloves while searching the woman; in "A Study in Pink", Sherlock wears his normal coat and gloves.
  • "A Study in Pink" shows flashbacks of each victim not seen in the pilot.
  • The news conference is only seen in "A Study in Pink".
  • The "Rache" device is not used in the original pilot.
  • In the pilot, Sherlock's flat is more modern and slightly more organised than in "A Study in Pink", where it appears very dated and disorganised.
  • In "A Study in Pink", Lestrade uses the ruse of a [pretend] drugs bust to motivate Sherlock to assist him.
  • In the pilot, the final standoff takes place in Sherlock's flat, while in "A Study in Pink" it takes place in a large university hall.
  • In the pilot's restaurant scene, it is implied that Sherlock hasn't eaten in a while. John asks if he's going to eat, Sherlock asks for the date and then states that he's "okay for a bit." John is alarmed by Sherlock's treatment of his body as "transport" for his mind and little else. This whole chunk of conversation is cut from "A Study In Pink."
  • "A Study in Pink" has a long chase scene of Sherlock and Watson intercepting the suspect cab by navigating side streets and rooftops.
  • The pilot has Sherlock being outwitted by the killer who drugs him without him noticing. In "A Study in Pink" it is the killer who comes to collect Sherlock from his flat in full view of the police.
  • "A Study in Pink" shows John retrieving his side-arm from his flat.
  • The pilot has Angelo help Sherlock in a ruse to fool the killer. 
  • "A Study in Pink" uses a visualisation effect where we see the graphics on screen of text messages rather than seeing the screens themselves as in the pilot.
  • Sergeant Donovan is played by a different actress, and is a uniformed police constable rather than a plain-dressed detective sergeant.
  • The phone of the murdered lady in pink was different in the pilot.
  • Moriarty is not mentioned as the killer's accomplice in the pilot.
  • John's phone was different, in the pilot he has an iPhone. In "A Study in Pink" he has a much cheaper phone. 
  • Anderson has a beard in the pilot.
  • John and his friend Mike Stamford met in different places. In the pilot they met in the city and had lunch in a restaurant but in "A Study in Pink" they met in the park and sat on a park bench.
  • Some of Molly's scenes were not included in the pilot. 
  • They did not show the poison at the beginning of the pilot.
  • The war scenes of John were not shown in the pilot.
  • The directors of the pilot and "A Study in Pink" were different. 
  • The text that appears on the screen telling us what Sherlock is thinking and seeing on his mobile is absent in the pilot.
  • Angelo is played by a different actor.
  • The theory by Sherlock about the taxi driver's children is not present in the unaired version.
  • The pills in the pilot were white. The pills in "A Study in Pink" were white and had pink flecks.
  • The pill-bottles in the pilot were dark and opaque. The bottles were clear in "A Study in Pink".
  • In the pilot, Watson throws his gun in the River Thames after shooting the killer.
  • In the pilot, there were five victims of the taxi driver. In "A Study of Pink", there were only four.