TV

Mark Gatiss’ Lot No. 249 is a Sneaky Sherlock Prequel


The Sherlock co-creator’s latest A Ghost Story For Christmas is based on an Arthur Conan Doyle story that didn’t feature Holmes… until now.

Kit Harington in Lot No. 249: A Ghost Story For Christmas
Photo: Adorable Media Ltd., Kieran McGuigan

Warning: contains spoilers for “A Ghost Story for Christmas: Lot No. 249”

Christmas and ghosts go together like mince pies and brandy butter, or indeed like Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss and Sherlock Holmes. This year’s A Ghost Story For Christmas brings us a bit of both. 

Based on a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, Lot No. 249 sees medical student Smith (Kit Harrington) called to help fellow student Bellingham (Freddie Fox) after he falls into some sort of a trance. Bellingham is a specialist in Egyptology and possesses many ancient artifacts including a mummified body. Strange things have been occurring on campus, some of them to people who have crossed Bellingham – could the desiccated corpse have anything to do with it? Well, yes, obviously. 

While scary resurrected mummies are standard horror fare these days, back when Doyle was writing, Egyptomania was all the rage and the concept of the undead mummy coming back to wreak a terrible revenge was fairly new. Doyle’s story went on to influence the mummy’s role in horror tropes. 

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