Sherlock - Modern BBC interpretation


#301

I felt if there was one complaint about S3/E1 it was that they tried to be too clever and cheeky. Im hoping its because they wanted to lighten the tone for this episode as it followed such a dramatic cliffhanger and its not the full on direction they are taking the series. That being said I still enjoyed the episode and liked how they played with the audiences obsession of “How he did it” I also liked the addition on Mary and am glad that they’ve gone with a strong capable woman for the role.

Anyway, I still love the show and enjoy the interaction between the characters so if they go with a lighter, looser format Ill just enjoy it for what it is. I just hope that Moffat doesnt go too far and push it into a Dr. Who type silliness.


#302

I felt if there was one complaint about S3/E1 it was that they tried to be too clever and cheeky. Im hoping its because they wanted to lighten the tone for this episode as it followed such a dramatic cliffhanger and its not the full on direction they are taking the series.

No, it pretty much is the direction they’re taking the series. They handle it better in the later episodes, but it’s still very flashy-for-flashy’s-sake and often cheeky.


#303

“Cliffhanger” is perhaps not the right word for it since we knew Sherlock was alive anyway.

The more I think of it, the more the problem lies with the original Sherlock Holmes and the whole tendency he spawned of making sure your detective had an eccentric personality or something remarkable about it. The point of comparison is probably a dull police functionary like Simenon’s Jules Maigret. He smokes the pipe, he’s got a wife, but everything else you know about it is business-related.

Everything you need to know about the detective should be related to his job. None of that garbage about growing orchids or waxing your moustache or being a gourmet (for some reason, they all are), unless you’re investigating Murder at Maxim’s, or giving him some other peculiar trait like OCD or Tourette’s or whatever (see how the whole Adrian Monk show went). Everything you’re taught about him should have been told you in relation to the investigation. Apply that to Sherlock Holmes and he comes across like a Mary Sue. “Tobacco ashes! Did you know, Watson, that I wrote a monograph on tobacco ashes?” Even the more restrained characters seem to suffer from this - when they’ve adapted Leroux’s The Mystery of the Yellow Room a few years ago, they figured out that “precocious enterprising reporter” was not particularly credible nowadays, so they multiplied open allusions to Tintin, whom he preceded by a quarter of a century.

Miss Marple is better, in that at least her deductions involve drawing on village life (“like that time Mrs. Smith bought too much canned meat”, etc.). And I’d put Columbo as part of the Marple tradition (even though the whole cigar, trench-coat, old-foreign-car and dachshund portrait is too much to bear) if only because he’s occasionally referring to stuff that his wife does that bears some relation on what is being investigated.

In other words, dammit, I want a dull detective. Someone whom you only encounter through his job. But please please please no more CSI “tadaa, science!” bullshit. I find myself increasingly attracted to true crime stuff, and I don’t think anyone does it better than the French. The Americans tend to worship cops too much to really get introspective about cases, and the British are too reserved.


#304

If something becomes overused because people enjoy it, you can hardly blame the point of origin. It’s not like Doyle created Sherlock and then tipped his hat to his publisher while informing him that he was creating a prototype for a thousand imitators.


#305

I like Sherlock best in visual form. In written form I hated Conan Doyle’s stories because he didn’t give the reader the information needed to deduce anything themselves. But I absolutely loved Agatha Christie’s books. Absolutely everything you needed to know was discovered by Poirot or Miss Marple “in front of you”, so to speak. So you knew what they knew, and yet, Christie was such a master at manipulating you with characters and human emotions. You really liked certain characters, and didn’t like others, and because of that you overlooked the evidence. The best mysteries were ones where I felt like an idiot for not having figured it out myself, since it was staring me in the face all along.

That’s also why the only Agatha Christie book I hated was Murder on the Orient Express. That was the only one in which the solution felt like a dirty trick to me. I’m sorry, but “they all did it” is not an acceptable answer to “which of these twelve people is the murderer?” Grrrr.


#306

Greatest detective and detective show of all times was of course Columbo. Nothing before or since has matched the moreishness of that show, it was cosmically great.


#307

Columbo really holds up. Feels different than a typical procedural crime drama, in part probably because the audience knows the killer and method right from the start. So you don’t watch for the mystery, you watch for what happens next.


#308

Yep, still cant beat a lazy sunday afternoon rewatch of Columbo


#309

Columbo was the ultimate cat and mouse game. You knew who did what and enjoyed the show for the dance between Columbo and the killer. Peter Falk was just plain awesome in that role.


#310

Welcome to the so-called aristocratic strain in detective fiction. I think it was Ellery Queen who, on the other hand, prided themselves (since it was a pseudonym for two cousins) on giving the readers everything they needed to solve the mystery. Or maybe it was Boileau-Narcejac. I forget.

That’s also why the only Agatha Christie book I hated was Murder on the Orient Express. That was the only one in which the solution felt like a dirty trick to me. I’m sorry, but “they all did it” is not an acceptable answer to “which of these twelve people is the murderer?” Grrrr.

Thanks for spoiling it! However, I think the more absurd situation is in that book is that Poirot, if I remember correctly, figures out about halfway through the book that these people all know each other despite their protests to the contrary, yet still goes about thinking “now, which of you people who all know each other despite your protests to the contrary did it?”…


#311

I’m pretty sure I saw someone decry detectives who “grow orchids” and “are gourmands,” and I’ll have you know that Nero Wolfe is the greatest detective who never lived.


#312

Encyclopedia Brown is the best fictional detective and those of you who disagree can suck it.


#313

Jupiter Jones would have words with you, sir.


#314

But the Hardy Boys, aw, forget it, can’t continue, the Three Investigators are way cooler.


#315

Indeed … in no small part because Archie is around to take him down to size, so to speak. The really insufferable Holmes-clones are the ones who are just a collection of eccentricities with nothing recognizable as human underneath. (Philo Vance, I’m looking at you.)


#316

Were the novels continued well past the initial ten? I read those first ten and loved them. The first ten all had names of the other 9 inside the front cover. And then when I got to the tenth, it had further names which I managed to track down. But I had no idea if even further novels were written. I didn’t think the few I read after the first ten were as good though, but it’s been too long and I don’t really remember much about them anymore. Except, of course, about the Limo, the use of the driver. And having their headquarters in a junkyard. And that parrot stuttering 222B. Fragments really. Gosh, that was a long time ago. Thanks for jogging the memory!


#317

Well, to be precise there are WAY more than the initial 10. They are currently up to 174 (!) books, though from No 57 onwards, they are being written solely for the german audience which is still buying them. There is also a successful audio book / radio play series based on the books thats also still selling very well!


#318

So, I’ve just watched episodes 2 and 3 of the third season, and, well… I assume everyone must have seen them by now, so there are spoilers ahead.

spoilers

[spoiler]Okay, Moriarty’s not dead. After having shot himself in the mouth. The interesting thing is that I had played The Testament of Sherlock Holmes a few weeks ago and a similar situation happens with Holmes. The game never bothered to explain how he could have faked his own suicide (with blood and everything) in front of Watson. So, since there’s evidently going to be a Season 4 of Sherlock, let’s see how they can find an answer to that one, when we already were told what exactly Mycroft and company did with Moriarty’s body to pass it off as Holmes’s. (By the way, I would think the series really went down the drain during the first season when it became clear it would become obsessed with Moriarty. In the books, Moriarty is never alluded to before The Final Problem nor after Holmes’ return in The Empty House. It becomes tedious if everything is tied to Moriarty in some way.)

Episode 2, the wedding. This is beneath the level of mundane. A hated military officer is threatened and somehow an elaborate plot is made to kill him at Watson’s wedding, with many numerous asides. Underwhelming but not offensive.

Episode 3, though, with the Rupert Murdoch stand-in, is underwhelming and offensive. The James Bond franchise did Murdoch much better, I thought. Mary Watson is ex-CIA going rogue. Sigh. Sherlock kills the Murdoch stand-in, proclaiming “I’m a high-functioning sociopath”. Well fuck. Sherlock Holmes might have been one, and he certainly wasn’t above breaking the law, but he still had a moral code, and I don’t recall his ever killing anyone in cold blood. Also note: not a shit is given about all the people whom the Murdoch stand-in was blackmailing; this was all about Mary Watson. This is a sign that the makers of the series have finally delivered an up-yours to the fans of the traditional Sherlock Holmes, and from there I don’t think the series can recover.[/spoiler]

And yes, they’re drowning in their own cleverness now.


#319

Meh, I liked this season quite a bit. I’m surprised that someone who didn’t even like the first season would come back for seasons 2 and 3 though. That’s…odd.

Also, I would spoiler that as I don’t believe bbcamerica has broadcast the entire season yet.


#320

If I knew how, I would. I mean, the whole method to hide spoilers. I looked online for how to do it, but I can’t find it.

Never mind, I found out.