EXCLUSIVE: In a highly competitive situation, Imagine Kids+Family has landed the rights to filmed content for Ali Standish’s upcoming multi-book series The Unlikely Tales of Baskerville Hall, which traces the story of the imaginary origins of the fictional characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for development as a television series which builds an integrated Arthur Conan Doyle universe spanning all of his works.
The series follows a young Arthur Conan Doyle as he leaves his family to attend Baskerville Hall, a school for the gifted, where he will seek to solve many mysteries with the help of his new classmates and teachers. Here he will meet the characters who would become the inspiration for his many famous novels, including Professor Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and friends like James Moriarty. At Baskerville Hall, Arthur uncovers a mystery that will lead to an epic adventure and be the stepping stone to the creation of a far-reaching, interconnected Conan Doyle universe.
“The characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are some of the most compelling and enduring ever put to paper. What drew us to this series of books was the creative twist of putting the young Conan Doyle himself in history, showing how his teachers and friends formed the basis of his life’s work,” said Stephanie Sperber, President of Imagine Kids+Family. “We see this as an opportunity to build a world that connects the Sherlock and all other ACD novels in a single interconnected world for children and adults everywhere.”
The Unlikely Tales of Baskerville Hall is a collaboration between Working Partners, part of the Coolabi group of companies, and The Conan Doyle Estate, the official custodians of the works of the Arthur Conan Doyle franchise.
London-based Coolabi Productions, Working Partners’ sister production company, will co-develop and co-produce the series adaptation alongside Imagine Kids + Family.
“Working Partners is delighted to have been commissioned to work with Conan Doyle Estate to develop a world where audiences would encounter the genesis of existing characters, as well as new and diverse characters; making Sir Arthur Conan Doyle more relevant than ever for a 21st audience of the century,” said Chris Snowdon, Managing Director, Working Partners. “Imagine Kids+Family, with such a storied history, is the perfect partner to bring this new Conan Doyle canon to life.”
Chelsea Eberly of The Greenhouse Literary has licensed three books in The Unlikely Tales of Baskerville Hall by Standish to HarperCollins as part of a precautionary agreement. The first book is slated for publication in fall 2023, with the second book in the series due out in fall 2024, and the third book scheduled for fall 2025.
“Overflowing with rich mystery, puzzle-filled storylines, and classic and beloved characters reimagined for the contemporary reader, this captivating world is perfectly crafted for mid-level audiences, and we’re thrilled to launch this franchise of edition that will appeal to a new generation of detectives and adventurers,” said Alyson Day, editor of HarperCollins Children’s Books.
As one of the most famous fictional characters in the world, Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed in some 250 movies or television shows to date. For the first time, Baskerville Hall brings together characters from all of Conan Doyle’s works of fiction, from Sherlock Holmes to The lost Worldto its many other adventure stories – to create an interconnected “ACD universe”.
“We have long discussed the idea of bringing all of our great ancestors, the brilliant characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and not just Sherlock Holmes, into the limelight – thus creating a new fictional universe,” said Richard Pooley , step-great-grandson of Sir Arthur. Conan Doyle. “A dream came true when Working Partners proposed that the Conan Doyle Estate work with them to create The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall.”
CBS is currently developing a series based on the universe of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes characters. Watsonfrom Kapital Entertainment and Aaron Kaplan’s CBS Studios, is a medical drama with detective elements, written by Craig Sweeny.