He is the second actor to do so, having taken over from Samuel Coe. Famously, his actual application was very nearly deleted by series creator Ross K.Foad, who after almost a year of searching for a replacement, had grown very weary of the poor selection of applicants he had been seeing. Thankfully, Ross took a liking to the name and decided to properly review his application. Upon seeing Mike's headshot, he knew with out a shadow of a doubt that he had - at long last- found his Watson
His first actual apperance as the character was in the NPLH short "Don't Shoot The Wall Holmes", an intro promo video for Youtuber "Dibber".
The first proper episode he appeared in was the second series finale "Hats Off Mr Holmes". (Dec 2011)
Mike Archer On Being Watson Edit
Mike wrote a piece for the NPLH book "The Story Of Scripts Behind No Place Like Holmes" (MXPUBLISHING) about his role as the character.
"There is a certain amount of pressure when one takes on a role that is as classic as Watson and even more so when you are filling the shoes of another. It was a little scary but at the same time, the role presented me as an actor with a fantastic opportunity, to not try to replicate the previous incarnation, but to adapt the preconceived ideas, smash them to bits and bring to the table 'my' interpretation of Watson. Believe me when I say this is something which every actor aspires to.
I was keen to develop a relationship between Holmes and Watson that was different and presented an interesting dynamic for the series. There have been many interesting combinations of the duo and I wanted to find something that was slightly contemporary but still honoured the traditional view of Watson.
Aspects of the character such as the moustache and cane are part of the physical identity of the character and they had to be there but to me their relationship is the friendship that shouldn't be... but is. The closest of friends who pull pranks on each other to wind each other up or have the ability to speak their minds about each other when they get agitated. But these are two men who have the fondest of cares for each other.
For me Watson needs Holmes as much as Holmes needs Watson especially when they emerge into the modern world. It is their dealing with the crazy situations this world throws at them and their perception of the weird world we live in that makes for such interesting comedy. Watson is a modern man and that allows him settle into the new time frame easier than Holmes (that is not to say he's about to adopt but he has adapted)
Key to unlocking this is the improvisation and it is through this I was able to develop Watson's relationship to Holmes. It is this improvisation that makes a 'No Place Like Holmes' set such a fun place to be. Some of the best moments and out takes come from our messing around with the lines or the situations but it lends a strength to their relationship.
'No Place Like Holmes' has grown significantly since I stepped into the shoes – a definite highlight being included in Howard Ostrom's collection as the definitive Watson and Holmes of the internet is a testament to the strength of Ross Foad's vision for the series. Where the crazy modern world will take Watson will reveal itself only in time, but what ever it is it's going to be a tremendous amount of fun when “the doctor is in the house”.
Mike Archer is held in very high regard for his role as Doctor Watson amongst fans of the show and serious Sherlockians. Alongside Ross K.Foad, he was inducted into The Howard Ostrom Collection as being "The Definative Holmes and Watson of The Internet".
He and Ross K.Foad are credited in Doctor Fiona-Jane Browns book "Sherlock Holmes and the Affair of The Contentious Contralto" as being the inspiriation behind how she portrays Holmes and Watson in her works.
Other Works Edit
Mike has performed in T.V. Film and Theatre; working with directors such as Tom Hooper, Stephan Elliot and actors including Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth and Ben Barnes. As well as performing on stage in London, his film credits include "Easy Virtue" and the Oscar winning "The King's Speech".
He is owner of film production company Old Lamp Films.