Once again going out of their way to offer a thrilling exhibit centred on a pop culture icon, the Telus World of Science in Edmonton maintains their high level of quality.
With multiple exhibits having popped up over the years, including ones dedicated to Star Wars and Indiana Jones, among others, they’ve managed to bring science oriented experiences to some of pop culture’s biggest icons.
In this case, they’ve done themselves, and the world’s most famous sleuth, a great service as they put together what is quite possibly their best exhibit yet.
Mixing history; theatrics; interactivity; and legacy, this exhibit was fun from beginning to end.
Opening with a room focused on Arthur Conan Doyle, we’re given an opportunity to explore the background of the man behind Holmes.
Looking into Conan Doyle’s personal history, we’re given insight into his medical background, as well as the ways that this influenced the creation of Sherlock Holmes.
We’re also given an opportunity to explore some of his mindset and beliefs of the time, as well as being given access to see manuscript pages from The Hounds of the Baskervilles – a real treat – providing background to the character and setting the mood for the rest of the exhibit.
Moving into the next room, we’re presented with a “train station” that provides a look at the science of the Victorian era, and also gave us the first major interactive elements of the exhibit.
Figuring out how bullet trajectory works, exploring some elements of Victorian botany, as well as being introduced to the concepts of the police at the time – among some delightful other experiences – this room served as a great prelude to the upcoming mystery.
Leaving the “station,” we move on to a wonderful little bit of fanservice in the form of an accurately recreated collection of rooms from the classic 221b Baker Street.
Filled up similarly to the early interpretations of Holmes’ abode, this room was a fun little distraction before we were introduced to the mystery that makes this exhibit more than just a collection of artifacts and information cards.
Set up as a murder/attempted suicide, we were tasked by Holmes himself, through audio recording, to seek out the truth that apparently seemed to be hiding right under the noses of the Scotland Yard.
Using notebooks given to us at the start of the exhibit, we were provided with an opportunity to examine the evidence gathered by the Scotland Yard and then go through numerous fun little activities in an attempt to come to our own conclusions.
From investigating blood splatters, to the possible addition of toxins into a seed, the interactive elements of the exhibit really shine through here.
With multiple devices and puzzles present to mess around with, and ever friendly staff willing to assist if one was to get truly stumped by a part of the exhibit, the mystery manages to be a compelling and enjoyable addition.
Once done with the mystery – a satisfying conclusion that expertly meshes together elements of everything that came before this room – we move onto the legacy of Sherlock Holmes.
With artifacts belonging to multiple iterations of the character, most notably from Guy Ritchie’s films and the television series Elementary, this section manages to give a good look at his prevailing influence on pop culture.
The entire exhibit is capped off with a look at his legacy on forensics – a brief, but welcome look at how much investigations have changed from the 19th Century.
Overall this is an experience worth having. While the Telus World of Science in Edmonton has had many great exhibits in the past, this one was most definitely the best that they’ve had so far. I would highly recommend checking this one out if you’re an adult or a child over the age of 10. There’s a lot of fun to be had exploring the world and science of Sherlock Holmes.
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes will be at the Telus World of Science in Edmonton until September. It’s the only stop it will have in Canada, so check it out if you can. For more information check out the website here.