OK, let's say that, hypothetically, I wanted to write a historic mystery novel set in Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol universe with the protagonist being that kid Ebenezer Scrooge talks to on Christmas Morning (the 'It's Christmas Day, sir!' kid for those who haven't read A Christmas Carol.) Naturally, I would want to include Tiny Tim and his family, perhaps even making Tiny Tim and this kid friends. Let's suppose best friends with Tiny Tim serving the role of a mentor/brother-figure for the kid. I know there's a Sherlock Holmes TV series that reimagines Waston as a woman, but could a writer be able to get away with this scenario I constructed? Tiny Tim's still the same, only it's a few years after A Christmas Carol, he's a bit more mature (whether he'll still have the crutch or not is a question I'd have to figure out), a bit more wiser. Scrooge is in it, only he's nicer and serves as a mentor/grandfather-figure for Tiny Tim. Maybe to carry on the theme of ghosts of the past, maybe the kid also has a past he's not willing to discuss. Not that he has a ghost hounding him or anything, it's metaphorical. What do you think? What is acceptable/not acceptable when it comes to reimagining Public Domain characters? So long as it sticks to the original theme, lore, and setting of the original work, it should be fine, no? But here's the thing: in the Sherlock Holmes TV series, they completely changed the setting, Waston, and time period. The original was set in mid-late 1880s Britain if I remember, and this is set in modern day New York. How did they get away with it, and with another Sherlock Holmes modern-day version set in Britain? I prefer the latter than the former, because if you're going to change the setting entirely, you may as well make your own original story featuring a plucky British inspector in modern-day New York. You can change the characters, the time period, that sort of thing, but the setting has to remain the same.