Foxee - I believe the other fellow has gone, so I'll just reply to you.
It's true there are no new stories, but there are different ways of recycling the old ones. Take Tolkien, for example. If you go to the Sacred Texts site you'll find a long list of Tolkien's sources.
Sacred-Texts: Sources of Lord of the Ring
The characters, settings, and events of 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' are all drawn from middle and northern European mythology. One comment at that site is especially relavent:
'The Faerie Queene is one of the wellsprings of modern Fantasy writing. Spenser, like Tolkien, did not simply retell classical or medieval stories. He used similar themes and elements but put the pieces together in an entirely new way, constructing an invented reality with a consistent internal logic
This is one level of adaptation, and it has been in use by writers for about as long as there have been writers, and no doubt was already in use before writing was invented. Go to any of the villages up the Belize River Valley and talk to the old people for whom oral tradition still lives. They'll sit and spin Anansi stories for you, and admit that the stories they tell are variations on themes brought from Africa in the days of the Middle Passge. Interestingly enough, I've compared the plots of Anansi stories with the plots of stories I've heard told by native people in Indo-China and the Phillipines. They are variations on the same themes.
Some of the Holmes stories have a Biblical source. 'The Crooked Man' is the most obvious example since Conan Doyle reveals the source of the story idea at the end of the story itself.
Somehow there is an inter-relationship across time and space so that the same themes and story elements keep popping up. Maybe it has something to do with the basic wiring of the human brain so that the same ideas occur to different people in different places and in widely different cultures.
Another, more relevent level of adaptation is the straight transfer from one media to another, the making of a film from a book, for example. Sometimes it's successful, as with 'Godfather' one and two. Sometimes it's not, as with 'Godfather' three.
Then there is the level of adaptation that, from what I've read, is represented by 'A Study in Pink'. I've not seen it and likely will not be able to see it because I not only do not have a tv, I do not live where a rebroadcast from the BBC is likely. My neighbours watch Mexican tv from Chetumal, ten miles to the north across the bay. The only way I might be able to see it in the future would be a release on DVD.
If I could watch it, I would, just to see whether it is a work with its own merit, or just a rip-off of the name. My experience with adaptations of this third kind has not been a happy one. Most of the time they trade on the name, and the content lacks any originality or story-telling value. Given that the BBC is the house responsible for the production, I would tend to give it the benefit of the doubt.
In my own day and in my own way I paid tribute in my writing to those who had gone before, great reporters like Edward R Murrow and Ernie Pyle. I never imitated them, I developed my own way of reporting, but they did influence me, made me look for the most effective way of bringing the battlefront home to the reader, the listener, and in documentary scripts prepared for television, the viewer. A personal side note here. In the past 45 years I've probably scripted more television than I've watched. Imagine if I had sent a dispatch about a firefight to a wire service editor headed, 'In the Style of Ernie Pyle'. It would have been tossed and I'd've gotten an angry note back telling me not to try to trade on the name and reputation of a dead man.
So as I said at the beginning, thanks for the reference to the BBC series, but without tv I must content myself with the original stories.