5135RE: SHSI Sherlock: The Six Thatchers
- 7 Jan 9:27 am
I wonder if the number of canon references Binand mentions are because the BBC expect the new series to do extremely well in China, and as yet the immense Chinese market is not particularly conversant with the original Conan Doyle chronicles? I suggest this explanation because I have just published my fifth Sherlock Holmes novel, set in China in the dying days of the Great Ch’ing, and I decided to mention the real ‘canon’ for that reason. The device I invented was that although Holmes was in retirement in 1907 at his bee-farm in Sussex (about four miles from where I myself live in Sussex), the editor of The Strand Magazine had launched a competition for its readers to list in order the top dozen Holmes/Watson cases from their years together. Watson has to get Holmes’s own list to provide the yardstick for the competition. This engages Watson with Holmes at the Tiger Inn near Beachy Head, reminiscing over the familiar cases. So Chapter Two of ‘Sherlock Holmes And The Nine-Dragon Sigil’ commences:
I Go Down To Sussex To See Holmes
‘Holmes accepted my self-invitation to visit him. I parcelled up a supply of books to freshen my old comrade’s shelves, including an advance copy of The Turnpike Sailor – Or Rhymes on the Road by Clark Russell, H. G. Wells’s A Short History Of The World, a new story by Rudyard Kipling titled A Washout, set in South Africa, and A.E.W. Mason’s The Four Feathers, and the latest Philip’s Atlas of London.
My visit had a purpose over and above renewing our friendship and restocking book-shelves. The editors of The Strand planned a competition to choose the top twelve Sherlock Holmes cases. The readers would be faced with some forty to be weighed against each other. I was to obtain from Holmes a listing of his cases in the order he himself judged them. Where a reader’s entry precisely matched his, the former would receive a year’s free subscription to the magazine.
Aboard the train, the fine Sussex landscape unfolded at sixty miles per hour. I hazarded a guess Holmes would rate The Adventure of the Speckled Band with its deadly Indian swamp adder top of his list, or at the very least second. And for its involvement in a world of diplomacy and intrigue, The Adventure of the Second Stain. There was A Scandal In Bohemia, with more female interest than any other of our manifestos. Would the large American readership produce results similar to Britain’s?
I lit my pipe and considered. Yes, I thought, selecting twelve would challenge The Strand’s readers whichever side of the Ocean. Holmes could hardly overlook one case which dealt with the only foe who ever really extended him, and which deceived the public (and me) into the erroneous inference of his death. Therefore I would expect The Adventure of the Final Problem.
At Eastbourne I took a motor cab the two or three miles to Beachy Head and switched to a horse-drawn carriage for the remainder of the journey along the narrow country lanes and muddy tracks to Holmes’s farmstead. He was waiting for me on his verandah, tweed-suited, briar in hand, when the brought me to his isolated home’
Just completed watching the episode (8 to 10 PM was the premiere telecast). I don't watch Sherlock for the classical treatment of him - for that I have the full DVD set of Jeremy Brett's canonical performance. But this one was a bit of a downer. Hindi movie-ish at times, plot holes galore (a dead body sitting in a car for a week will not smell?) and overt sidelining of Watson.
Tough to write any further without introducing spoilers. Though I found Watson's David moment a bit of an unnecessary detail, and disappointed that Moriarty is not back yet.
And they overdid the canon references, I thought.
PS: Didn't know that there are three languages in a US passport. :-)
I would like to know your views and opinions on the latest Sherlock episode.
Was it too action packed for a Sherlock Holmes story which showcased very little of his intellectual prowess or was it able to strike a balance between both.
I as a Sherlock fan was left a tad disappointed at the end of the episode.I felt like I wasn't treated to his eccentricities or even his methods.Please share your views.
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