When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote A Study in Scarlet it’s doubtful he realized that he was creating one of the most iconic relationships in literature. With adaptations of the characters appearing onscreen and in print at a near geometric pace, in everything period pastiches to openly labeled alternate universes, Holmes and Watson have replaced David and Jonathan in the 21st Century as a shorthand reference to an everlasting and extraordinarily close friendship. But what makes the friendship so appealing that a hundred years later we are still fascinated with them? How do they epitomize the philosophic ideal of friendship? And what, if anything, do the permutations of the relationship and the characters say about the culture in which they were created and re-created?
“Only they’re not really telegrams.” — Sherlock Holmes, Sign of Three
Very brief post to a couple of terrific articles you might like. The first comes from Wired Magazine where the geeks have created a list of all the “shout outs and references you missed” in The Empty Hearse. (And yes, I did miss a couple, so I guess I’ll just have to watch it again. Darn. “Saracasm.” “Yes.” )
Rolling Stone Magazine has a nice piece on “How ‘Sherlock’ Made Holmes Sexy Again” (showing that either Rolling Stone has finally started hiring women, is comfortable in its masculinity, or as decided to “pander” to a wider audience than it did in the 20th Century when sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, and misogyny ruled the editorial board). They’ve also got a linked piece on why Benedict Cumberbatch is “The Bitchiest Holmes Ever” (not my word choice, dearhearts).
Must go. Work, work, work. “How dull.” So true, Sherlock, so true.
Just a few quick notes and links. For some really spiffy ones, you might want to check out Anne Zanoni’s Airel’s Miscellany… a la Sherlock and there’s a new site filled with informational resources (growing by leaps and bounds and the sleeplessness of its author) called Guide to Sherlock Episodes and Characters by Barbara Warne.
Word of Warning If You Are Viewing “Sign of Three” For the First Time This Weekend
To avoid choking or spewing, I recommend that first-time viewers NOT drink any beverages during the episodes. Seriously. Each time you think you are going to be safe to take that big gulp, you’re at risk of having things go down the wrong pipe or be shockingly ejected in a wide dispersal pattern (I believe I have found and cleaned everything from the party at this point, although the micro fleece afghan may never be the same. I’m so glad I served champagne and not the red wine!)
While I’m curtailing my Sherlock and Sherlock Holmes fannish spending to optimize my U.K. Invasion funding (%%$%#$$#% Taxes!), I suspect the nerd and geek in me will not be able to avoid buying the Sherlock App for my iPad. There’s a full review and details on Sherlockology here. Who wouldn’t want to be part of Sherlock’s “Homeless Network?” I mean you never know when you might be called upon to help stage a fake suicide, right? But even more exciting is that there are supposedly 10 new mysteries that you get to solve. Alright, Alright, I confess. They got me with the news that there will be some exclusive new footage of Cumberbatch and Freeman as Sherlock and John included as well. The app is a joint venture of The Project Factory and Hartswood Films and should be available now from your UK App store. Supposedly an international and Android release are coming. (You know, it would really be lovely if corporations grasped the fact that these days things need to be released world-wide at the same time because we are connected world-wide and that not doing so only causes people to have to fake IP addresses and engage in behaviours they ordinarily wouldn’t. Just saying…)
And finally, here’s a charming video from CBS about the lasting power of Sherlock Holmes with some nice shots from the Atlantic Sherlock Holmes Convention, some historic footage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and some lovely interview bits with Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller from Elementary — oh, and a brief segment on all the naked Sherlock Holmes of late (that got your attention, didn’t it?).
Horribly depressed, And it’s not just the champers. Or the Seasonal Affected Disorder. (Are we ever going to have sunshine again?) All the papers are raving about “His Last Vow,” calling it the “perfect” ending for the series. I think the shark has been jumped. I think we’re seeing the Dr. Who plot formula migrating to Sherlock, complete with inchoate plot lines and schizophrenic characters and a general assumption that all the viewers suffer from short-term, and definitely long-term (assuming you consider 4 years long term), memory loss. Weeping angels are a hit. So let’s have more weeping angels. Someone blinked. Alas, I can’t. Am going to finish the bottle of champagne from the Sherlock Party on Sunday and curl up with a good book (perhaps The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) and try not to think about all the many plot holes, continuity issues, and cheap pandering in “His Last Vow.” Maybe I”ll watch “Sign of Three” or “The Empty Hearse” again. Those were good. Perhaps I can treat “His Last Vow” like the Star Wars Prequels and just ignore it.
I’ll have so more champers and maybe I can kill enough brain cells to watch Vow again without a running commentary of the plot problems… or maybe I could drink enough champers to become a Romanticist and not care about the plot and character problems… No. There’s not enough champers in France and California combined for that.
Right. Swore to myself I wouldn’t do this but the insanity has begun. For those looking for spoiler links, keep reading.
Update: Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!
It has come to my attention I need to warn some fans about the Dark Side of the Internet. Do NOT follow the “Full Episode” links, and whatever you do, DO NOT give these sites your email address or a credit card. They are bad guys. Really bad guys! They are going to fleece you. You will entering hell on earth. If you want to read about what you are getting yourself into, here’s a link to The Atlantic article on the Emperor Palpatine of the Internet empire. These folks who are putting up lures and hooking the unsuspecting fans are just as psychopathic and lacking in any morals, ethics, or scruples. So please, please don’t fall into the trap.
Do really need to put a spoiler alert on this link?
For those in countries prevented from viewing BBC Player, here’s a link to a bunch of (safe) clips from The Empty Hearse: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAPW-8BTxHhMY3P2neDazlw/feed?filter=2
(Courtesy of BW whom I introduced to Tumblr yesterday and who hasn’t gone to bed in over 24 hours now…) I can’t guarantee how long they will remain up so catch them while you can.
One friend went absolutely bonkers yesterday and fell in full ravenous fan frenzy, calling me up and saying — okay shouting — “I JUST REALIZED THAT SHERLOCK EPISODE 1 HAS JUST FINISHED AIRING IN BRITAIN! DID YOU MASK YOUR IP AND WATCH IT ON BBC PLAYER? WHAT HAPPENED? DID YOU MAKE A VIDEO?”
I awoke to a few hundred Sherlock related emails and a few hundred more Sherlock news alerts.
Breaking the news that, while I could have masked my I.P. and watched it on BBC One streaming, I didn’t. Nor did I hop over the border to Canada to catch it. That in actuality I was enjoying the anticipation, per the principles of Happy Money and behavioural economics, and savour it with the folks attending my Sherlock Series 3 Parties (starting this Sunday when we watch Series 1 again).
I’ve already had 3 phone calls from Sherlocked friends wanting to discuss what is being discussed on the internet and have had to promise one I’d call her as soon as I watched the clip she wanted to dissect in detail.
I honestly must get some work done today, but I suspect it will be limited in scope given the state of the Sherlock Fannish Nation.
An Hour Later…
I give up. It’s obvious I am not going to get much work done today. The interruptions are not entirely Sherlock S3 Episode 1 related, but they constitute at least 90%. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to the 19th of January.
Oh, and regarding “how he did it…” I know I never posted my solution on the site, but did discuss it with several other people and to the person in L.A. who owes me £2, I forgive you. And to anyone who is buying the Moriarty kiss (or the other one), seriously? I do, however, expect to see the fan music video to Call Your Girlfriend uploaded on Youtube very soon, no matter what John said to Mrs. Hudson. Some people simply won’t accept reality. And isn’t that what makes life so interesting?
Just a quick post of links to some yummy things to keep us going and as compensation for those of us who do not live in an area where we can watch the BBC Sherlock Series 3 on New Year’s Day. (After 13 years with no TV reception, I am waiting for the cable installers to arrive and give me Local Basic Cable for obvious reasons. Please, don’t tell them that I’ll be canceling it after February…)
First, if you think we’ve been inundated with Sherlock Holmes recently, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! A U.S. judge has ruled that most of Sherlock Holmes canon is now in the public domain (not including John Watson’s second wife, however…). The ruling came as the result of a civil action brought by author and editor Leslie Klinger (the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes) and states that elements of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Doyle prior to 1 January, 1923 are now in the U.S. public domain. There’s a very well-done article in the New York Times here.
There’s another one that makes a nice distinction between the stories being in the public domain and the characters and story elements being in the public domain at the Wall Street Journal (which makes sense given the financial implications). And if you’ve a legal frame of mind, the blog TechDirt dices the ruling into judicial slices for you. There’s another article at The Hollywood Reporter that also digs into the ruling and its implications for creatives (writers & filmmakers, natch).
The Doyle estate argument definitely was a weak one for the U.S. courts where a fine distinction between “flat entertainment characters” and “complex literary characters” is not likely to be recognized. (I’m writing that with a straight face. No, really, I am… Okay, there was a little sarcasm in my head and there was maybe a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge going on when I typed “recognized.”) While I expect a veritable flood of Biblical proportions of Sherlock Holmes creative (and I use that term in its loosest sense) to deluge my in-box and the internet, it should be noted that an appeal of the ruling is possible (I’d say likely since otherwise the Doyle estate has basically lost all of its U.S. licensing income immediately, as opposed to at least delaying the loss by another couple of years).
But don’t expect to see a flood of BBC Sherlock fan fiction getting published on Amazon any time soon (well, not unless they pull a 50 Shades of Grey and scrub the serial numbers off with different names, et al). BBC and Team Sherlock made it clear when Elementary was being bantered about that they intend to “protect the interest and wellbeing of our offspring.” A reasonably polite way of saying they’ll sue the trousers and pants off anyone who tries to cash in on their work.
Photo Spoiler Alert: Stop Now If You Don’t Want to See ANYTHING from BBC Sherlock Series 3
Second, there’s a lovely bit of fun on PBS to attempt to quell the riots until the 19th January. It’s called Unlocking Sherlock, and if by chance you haven’t seen it, you should. Mark Gatiss has quite a lot of fun chewing up the scenery as he reads excerpts from Arthur Conan Doyle’s original work, and Steven Moffat is rather charmingly mellow and candid as he talks about Sherlock Season 1 & 2, particularly A Scandal in Belgravia (he admits that his Irene Adler is not a nice person and does some incredibly horrible things during the episode — and that Sherlock is chillingly cold-blooded when he saves Mycroft’s bacon and roasts Adler at the end). And then there are all of those behind-the-scenes clips we hadn’t seen before and the bits with Cumberbatch and Freeman (my gosh, Cumberbatch looks so thin in those clips (and pale)! I want to make a giant pot of Tom Kai Gai (Thai chicken soup) and an entire bakery of goodies and go feed him! Eat! Eat! Take a little nosh, bubeleh! )
There’s a nice interview with Moftiss (Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss) about Sherlock Series 3 on ScreenRant.
There’s a whole slew of new official pictures from Sherlock Series 3 released. YOu can see the complete gallery on PBS here. But I’ve grabbed a few faves and posted them below just because the boys look so fine. Continue reading