Tag Archives: Steven Moffat

My Christmas Wish Letter to Santas Gatiss, Moffat and Vertue and Team Sherlock

Louise Brealey as Molly Hooper in BBC Sherlock; text reads: I wish I could be Naughty with Sherlock this Christmas. Did I just say that out loud?

‘Fraid so, Molly. Easy on the Holiday Spirit. But don’t worry, it’s no where near as embarrassing as what some folks post on Tumblr and Twitter.

All I Want For Christmas

Dear Santa Sherlock (aka Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue & Team Sherlock),

I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need (this isn’t going where you think it’s going, by the way). All I want for Christmas is for you to go through Season 3 Sherlock scripts with a magnifying lens and make certain they don’t require me to willingly suspend my disbelief more than once per episode. In other words, iron out all the bits that don’t make sense when you think about them but were shortcuts. What John Scalzi calls “lazy writing” in his novel Redshirts. (I did seriously consider sending a box of the book to the production office, but was afraid you’d take it the wrong way and not understand that my concern is because, for the most part, the writing is breathtakingly phenomenal).

I’m talking about those bits in the script that force me to turn off my brain, where the writer sublimates logic, reason, plot coherence, character integrity, and even fundamental knowledge to push the emotional impact. In other words, emotional manipulation is given precedence over plot and character consistency — or even believability.

And I’m sorry, Mr. Moffat, I know you don’t like critics and criticism, but if someone doesn’t mention the quibbles, how will you ever know they are there? I love your writing when it’s witty and sharp and bright, which is why shortcuts that cheapen and tarnish the sparkling brilliance are so blatant and maddening.

I am aware that we’re in another Romantic Revival period (made even more obvious by the concurrent Gothic Revival) and that in the Romantic Movement it’s all about heightening the emotional response to the art, however, as Mr. Moffat pointed out, brainy is the new sexy.

Season 2 Sherlock is exceptionally fine television from every standpoint: acting, production, directing, set decoration, music, even costuming. And yes, there’s some damn fine writing in it. The dialogue is phenomenal and the updating of the classic tropes from the original material is spectacular. Which is why the large — and entirely unnecessary — plot holes drive me mad. My inner Watson has a great deal of trouble controlling my inner Sherlock from doing a high-speed, 10-minute rant of the plot and character continuity issues.

I won’t bore you by going through them all (although I must mention that the oft-cited “instant acting drug” followed by Adler’s escape in Scandal requires at least three “willing suspensions of disbelief” in one scene including a weak, indecisive, inactive Watson in a “man down” medical and “combat” situation). I will, however, point out the most blatant example from The Reichenbach Fall. We are expected to believe that a Chief Constable of Scotland Yard is unaware of who Sherlock Holmes is and that he has been assisting the police in a number of major investigations despite the fact that Scotland Yard held a major press conference to publicly thank Sherlock Holmes for his essential assistance in the capture of Ricoletti, *Interpol’s Most Wanted Criminal!*

Not to mention the man being apparently oblivious to the recovery of the Turner masterpiece stolen from the National Gallery, the rescue of the kidnapped major capitalist, the Moriarty Trial involving the breaking into the Crown Jewels, the maximum security prison, and the Bank of England vault, and the current case of kidnapping of the American Ambassador’s children. Really? I’m suppose to believe in a Scotland Yard Chief Constable who missed all of this? Apparently, he doesn’t read the papers, watch the telly, go online or even bother to read the Scotland Yard crime and case reports.

And the most frustrating part is that this was not only unbelievable and weakened the story, but it could just as easily played out correctly and actually strengthened the scenes involved. In the first scene, where Anderson and Donovan have gone over Lestrade’s head and taken their case to the Chief Constable, the characters, the scene and the episode would have been strengthened if the Chief Constable had responded with something along the lines of “It makes sense he’s been behind a lot of these crimes. I always knew there was no way Sherlock Holmes could be that smart. We’ll teach him he can’t make bloody fools of us all and wipe that superior sneer off his bloody arrogant face.” Which harkens back all the way to A Study in Pink where so many officers volunteer for the “drugs bust” at Sherlock’s flat and ties in nicely with Watson’s warning about “every single officer you ever made feel a tit, which is a lot of people…” Finally, at the actual arrest, the Chief Constable would only need to change a few words saying something to Donovan along the lines of “So we’ve got him nicely cuffed, I see. Not so clever now. I always said he was a weirdo.” At which point Watson could haul off and slug the Chief Constable per the scene. This would allow the Chief Constable to still remain a twit, but not make it seem that Scotland Yard is run with the most appallingly incompetent management this side of Steve Ballmer or RIM. (I was going to make a comparison to Barney Fife, but I’m not certain you would get the reference, but he’s in Wikipedia.)

As I’ve said, this is just one of the examples I could have used. I chose this one because it was the simplest and most obviously unnecessary (fixable by changing just a few lines). Both Scandal in Belgravia and The Reichenbach Fall are rife with them. But this being the holiday season, ’m not going to belabor the point by going through all of the others. My purpose is merely to beg you to take the opportunity of the 3 month production delay to winnow out any continuity issues that might be lurking in the Season 3 scripts.

I just ask please Santa Moftiss, don’t settle for the easy applause of pandering to the cries of the Romanticists. Be strong. Make the Season 3 Sherlock scripts as sharp, tight as A Study in Pink, and capable of withstanding the scrutiny of Sherlock Holmes himself. Challenge yourselves to challenge us, please.

Do this for me and I promise to be very good and not whine about the wait or ask for a blooper reel to tide me over. I’ll even bind and gag my inner-Sherlock when watching Dr. Who with my fan friends. And I’ll channel my inner-Watson and bop in the nose (verbally) anyone who dares to criticize any of the writing.


J.H. Watson

Uhm, after posting this, I came across this video regarding some of The Avengers continuity issues. My inner-Watson is choking my inner-Sherlock to spot me from doing this to Season 2 Sherlock (or even just Scandal or Reichenbach).

Plagiarism Makes Me Sad Too, Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch as BBC Sherlock Holmes holding violin and looking sad while wearing purple shirt

Why would someone write plagiarized fanfic? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s just sad.

I haven’t had a chance to read a lot of fanfic up to now (because I’v been busy writing my own for one thing), but several folks have made some recommendations to me so I’ve been trying to catch up (because I’m suppose to be writing my Sherlock NaNoWriMo project instead.) And, to be honest, I don’t really enjoy porn and I have a limited interest in reading slash (aka Johnlock) unless it’s something special (meaning close to in character and not porn and well written). But as I said, I was avoiding working on my own writing and I’d finished re-re-re-reading the original Canon, so I dove into some of the fanfic that had gotten multiple recommendations.

And then wasted a couple of hours digging around to make certain I wasn’t crazy, and the sense of deja vu was because I had read or heard those very words (let alone scenario) before.

I wasn’t crazy. In the first three stories I’d tried, the authors had plagiarized large chunks of dialogue, plot, narrative description, and what ever else they could lift from novels and films. And, no, I don’t mean the quotes from Sherlock, which were understandable. I mean commercial publications and releases. And I don’t mean borrowing concepts or ideas and re-working them into something new and fresh like Moffat & Gatiss have done with the original Canon, or Bridget Jones Diary did with Pride and Prejudice. I mean straight-forward (you should pardon the expression since all were Johnlock) theft, copying-and-pasting (or possibly retyping) the original material, taking scenes, plots, and so on, and simply changing the names.

In a word, plagiarism.

The only point to doing this is a desperate hunger for attention and recognition (albeit stolen recognition). And it seems to be working. I can only assume that in our modern world of continuous new content spewing forth and the fragmenting of our education and  our cultures, even successful movies can be ripped off without worrying that there will be much overlap between the people who saw it and the people reading “your” fanfiction.

But I confess I find it all very discouraging, disheartening, and sad.

And no, I’m not going to out anyone. The Cassie Claire scandal was disruptive enough, and proved that the authors who engage in this kind of “writing” don’t really care and actually profit from the attention. So I’m just going to go give my head a mental washout by watching Wimbledon and then get back to work on my NaNoWriMo project — although my heart just isn’t in it as much now.


Ask Jack Nicholson to Lend You His Axe, Sherlock

Close-up of Benedict Cumberbatch as BBC Sherlock Holmes making a funny angry face

American Academy of Arts & Sciences, heeeere’s Sherlock!

[For those too young to get this joke because they haven’t seen The Shining, please check out the brief film clip at the bottom of the post. It is classic cinema that you should see.]

As I feared the anti-British, anti-Sherlock backlash has begun and the provincial, parochial minds of the members of the American Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have shown just how stupid and petty they can be. Yes, I know they dropped the American part several years ago, but I’m old enough to remember when they used the word and tonight they demonstrated that they very much still think in terms of protecting the local business. There is a strong industry push to protect and promote the new CBS police procedural Sherlock Holmes as well as “buy American” in general.

But then  it’s never been known for being very good at recognizing quality and keeping politics (and business) out of the voting. I mean they actually have awards for “reality” television! Seriously? Where exactly is the art of Jersey Shore or Survivor or any of the rest of that category? And the only science is watching Darwinism in action — or inaction in many shows causing me to weep for the future of the species. Curb Your Enthusiasm beat The Big Bang Theory? Really? And they expect me to have any respect for the Emmy Awards. Obviously, much of what is best on television right now is too cerebral for the academy membership. Do not be surprised to see Honey BooBoo winning next season.

So I offer sincere apologizes to:

  • Team Sherlock (Best Miniseries or TV Movie)
  • Steven Moffat (Best Writing Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (Best Actor Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Martin Freeman (Best Supporting Actor Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Paul McGuigan (Best Directing Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Arwel Wyn Jones, Dafydd Shurmer & Joelle Rumbelow (Art Direction for Miniseries or Movie)
  • Kate Rhodes James (Casting for Miniseries or Movie)
  • Fabian Wagner (Cinematography for Miniseries or Movie)
  • Sarah Arthur & Ceri Walford (Costumes for Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Charlie Phillips (Single Camera Picture Editing for Miniseries or Movie)
  • David Arnold & Michael Price (Music Composition for Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Jeremy Child & Doug Sinclair (Sound Editing for Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)
  • Howard Bargroff (Sound Mixing for Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special)

When people ask why I don’t have TV reception and have no interest in getting cable, this will go a long way to explaining why.

I’m With You, Sherlock

Close-up of Benedict Cumberbatch as BBC Sherlock in black coat looking displeased

There’s no way my real fans could be that stupid, John.

I’m convinced it’s all a plot by Moriarty’s remaining minions to discredit you. Would you hurry up and get them all locked up soon, please.

Right, my theme music for today is “Bad Day” by U2. My data server is running slow (i.e., losing packets faster than reality “star” looses clothes). I had to do a business luncheon where I was informed by someone who gets paid a great deal more than I and has benefits that she never finished basic maths but still got her degree and a job with the college and that she does “everything on Facebook” and believes the college should just teach Facebook and get rid of the “useless online classes.” I discovered that Great Expectations beat out Sherlock for several Emmys. (Really? Really? Are the members of the American entertainment industry so shallow and ill-educated that they *still* think that just because something is historical or Dickens, it’s inherently superior? Oh, wait. They actually Have Categories for “Reality” shows. Sorry. Silly of me to expect better.)

And as the icing on the cake, I found myself conversing with someone who genuinely believed that Steven Moffat was a “bad writer” and a “misogynist and homophobe.” I sincerely thought he was being sarcastic until I noticed the flecks of spittle forming foam on his lips. I thought he was an isolated mental case until this article from WhatCulture.com came through my Mofftiss newsfeed entitled “In Defence of Steven Moffat.”

As if Mr. Moffat needs any defence! (yes, Yanks, that’s a perfectly acceptable spelling)

Then I read it. “You might want to put that cup back in its saucer now.”

Right. Excuse me while I make certain all the booby-traps are set (because there are certainly a lot of boobies running around now, apparently) and then plant some more killer rose and blackberry hedges around my property.

Someone actually tweeted a death threat to Martin Freeman’s wife, Amanda Abbington, because she defended Moffat? Seriously? Right. Let’s not threaten the large, burly man who could probably knock you into the next U.S. election year with one punch. Let’s threaten the pretty, slender, young woman who probably weighs less than a fully-loaded backpack. Obviously, the tweets were by men who wanted to advertise publicly the inadequacies of their sexual organs and their brains.

Now I know I’ve done my fair share of ranting about cheats and shortcuts taken by Mr. Moffat in some of his scripts (and his series), but that’s because I think he’s a Damn Good Writer and I get a bit peeved when he succumbs to time pressures and gives me less than F*#&%ing Perfect. But I would never even dream of suggesting he’s anything but a Brilliant Writer (and man, judging from his interviews).

As for the argument that he’s a misogynist, while I admit I’m not a fan of Irene Adler being portrayed as highly-damaged, psychopath who thinks the best way to use her obvious intelligence is by renting her body and mind as disposable playthings to the highest bidder (or to put it another way, I don’t like her “Because you cater to the whims of the pathetic and take your clothes off to make an impression. Stop boring me and think. It’s the new sexy.”), it is the character he created for the episode and he did a damn fine job of it. The character is consistently sassy, sexy, and well-written.

The episode is fun and original (which counts for a lot in my book), as dense as Christmas pudding, and still maintains the spirit of the original. And as the WhatCulture post points out, Moffat not only works closely with some very intelligent women, but has portrayed some seriously strong and intelligent women in his other work (now if he could just stop thinking they have to be a bit bad to be smart, I’d be happier, but that’s just my own personal prejudice).

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss of BBC Sherlock

I’d say “Sherlock and Watson” except they are both equally brilliant! Thank you for your genius, gentlemen.

And how can anyone with two functioning brain cells actually accuse Moffat of homophobia? His business partner and one of his best friends is openly gay! He’s written characters who are not merely bisexual, but omnisexual! And, to the best of my knowledge (I admit I haven’t seen all of the Who episodes in their entirety), he’s done it without putting them in drag, which is saying a lot given the British entertainment proclivity for drag. This is like saying President Barack O’Bama is not black because he speaks educated American English and doesn’t have “gangsta tats.”

I’ve decided the only way to deal with this it to put these cretinous imbeciles in the same classification as the “Moon landing was faked,” “Bigfoot is real,” and Oliver Stone, and laugh. (The laughing will commence as soon as my blood pressure drops to safe level.) The best way to stop this nonsense is by calling it nonsense and laughing at the perpetrators until they skulk away in humiliation.

“Why can’t people just think?”

Will now attempt to go back to work and stop looking at the Costco ad for a year’s supply of emergency rations for my bunker…(unfortunately, unlike Montaigne, I don’t have a chateau in the more rural and scenic portions of France to hide in until the lunacy settles down.)



Sherlock Season 3 Hints — Spoilers, Sweetie

Well, the Baker Street Babes, among others, have posted the hint that Mark Gatiss and company gave about Season 3 Sherlock. I’m not certain it actually helps reduce the pain (especially since there are awful rumours that the first episode won’t air until FALL 2013).

Follow the link to the Baker Street Babes Tumblr post. Or this one to their true home on Blogger.

There’s also a nice piece on the hints at Radio Times.

The 3 Key Words Given were:


There are a number of possible stories that could apply. We know that The Empty House has to be a part of the first episode and Moran was certainly a rat, however, there is always the untold case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra and, of course, the reference in The Boscombe Valley Mystery. Chances are good that we’ll get a first episode that makes reference to more than one Holmes story.


Alright, alright. Calm down. I’ve already discussed John Wedding scenario possibilities here. And let’s be honest we’d all LOVE to see Sherlock and Mycroft at a Bachelor Party! But there are a a LOT of weddings in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Canon including:

  • The Sign of the Four with Mary Morstan (whom even Sherlock finds “charming”)
  • Charles Augustus Milverton (who is certainly another “rat”)
  • The Illustrious Client (although we’ve already used that one once in Scandal, but they didn’t use the bit where Sherlock gets engaged — and then jilts the bride)
  • The Noble Bachelor (which coudl be turned into John and make the fans happy with a runaway bride)
  • The Solitary Cyclist which has lots of heroic action and a plucky, but poor heroine and is bit Victorian for my taste but I know many Sherlockians love it.

And, of course, it could always be a switch-aroo with Mofftiss and Molly could be the one with wedding…
and she asks Sherlock to walk her down the aisle since her dad is dead…hmmm?



(To quote Dumbledore)

Now calm down everyone. We’ll proceed in a calm and orderly fashion. Remember, Keep Calm and Believe in Sherlock Holmes.

Yes, yes, the first thought is His Last Bow where Sherlock retires, but keep in mind a) that there were stories written and published afterwards that took place before Last Bow and b) the word has many meanings in English. It also has multiple pronunciations, although the report is that it was said like the bow of a ship or the bow after a performance. And yes, it’s true, that while Cumberbatch and the rest have said they would love to keep doing Sherlock they are all very hot commodities right now with very lucrative and creatively satisfying offers.

Well, I’m off to do more research in the Canon (and drink some camomile tea to calm down). You do realize that Mofftiss did this to torture us because they are such awful sadists, don’t you?


Can You Actually Clear Your Mind and Think of Nothing, Sherlock?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes with eyes closed, mouth pursed as if inhaling and hand in front as if in yoga pose

John, I don’t think the yoga is helping. I still want a cigarette and Season 3 to start. Tell Mofftiss to hurry it up.

It might help if you took off the suit, Sherlock.

You know you’re suffering withdrawal when you’re sitting in yoga class and instead of concentrating on your breathing, you realize you’re trying to decide which Sherlock Holmes story, aside from The Empty House, Moffat and Gatiss are going to use as a basis for the Season 3 story arc. Feel free to offer your suggestions and recommendations below in the comments.

I do fear that we won’t be able to avoid Mary Mortenson much longer. After all, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Canon her story is a pivotal one and the subsequent ones often refer to John Watson having been summoned to 221B Baker Street from both his medical practice and his home with Mary (well, until she dies, which given that it happens between the Reichenbach Falls Final Problem and The Empty House, Moftiss *might* just skip her all together which I’m ambivalent about).

Yes, yes, I hear you shrieking. I, too, am wishing to avoid the inevitable, but I feel we should prepare ourselves for the worst. After all, this IS Moffat and Gatiss who take such delight in killing Dr. Who’s companions on a regular basis. There tendency towards sadism cannot be denied.

Nonetheless, I do want to bring your attention to two worthwhile efforts: Project Mofftiss and The Steve Thompson Project (you are aware he is the actual author of the Reichenbach Fall script and Blind Banker, yes?).  It certainly behooves us to show our appreciation to these gentlemen before they torture us with Season 3 BBC Sherlock. (By the way, does anybody notice that Steven Moffat dresses like a disheveled Sherlock with dark suit, open collared shirt while Mark Gatiss dresses like a cross between Mycroft and John Watson with the 3-piece suit combined with the checked shirt? Maybe someone in Wardrobe should do an inventory…)