Friday, February 20, 2015

SHIN - Can it be! - It's in the Telegraph, it must be true.

Lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in man's attic

Walter Elliot discovers tale starring famous detective in collection of short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in effort to save his favourite bridge in Selkirk

An historian has unearthed the first unseen Sherlock Holmes story in more than 80 years that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to help save a town bridge.
Walter Elliot, 80, found the 1,300-word tale starring the famous detective in a collection of short stories written for a local bazaar.
The wooden bridge in the Scottish town of Selkirk was destroyed by the great flood of 1902 and locals organised a three-day event to raise funds for a new one in 1904.
As part of the event, organisers sold a collection of short stories by locals called The Book o' the Brig.

The famed author, who loved visiting Selkirk and the surrounding area, contributed a tale before opening the final day.

The book is now on display at the Selkirk Pop Up Community Museum (SWNS)
Mr Elliot has now unearthed a copy of the book and spotted his story "Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar".
He was given the 48-page pamphlet more than 50 years ago by a friend, but forgot about it until recently when he looked in the attic.
Mr Elliot was prompted to dig out the rare papers - tired together with string - and put it on display as part of an upcoming local pop-up museum.
It is believed the story - about Holmes deducing Watson is going on a trip to Selkirk - is the first unseen Holmes story by Doyle since the last was published over 80 years ago.
Mr Elliot, a great-grandfather, said: "In Selkirk, there was a wooden bridge that was put up some time before it was flooded in 1902.
"The town didn't have the money to replace it so they decided to have a bazaar to replace the bridge in 1904. They had various people to come and do things and just about everyone in the town did something.

Bannerfield's bridge in Selkirk which features in 'The Book o' the Brig' (SWNS)
"The local MPs and landowners and everyone in two days I think took in £560, which was quite some sum then.
"The Saturday was opened by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He had written a wee story about Sherlock Holmes and Watson and this was in the book.
"I can't remember how much they raised but they wanted it to be a carriage bridge but they didn't get quite enough for that, but they built an iron bridge and it's still there today.
"He really must have thought enough of the town to come down and take part and contribute a story to the book. It's a great little story."
The book - around ten inches long and three inches wide, with a soft brown paper cover - contained stories from local people as well as the famous author.
"I have no idea how many they made and sold," said Mr Elliot. "I've had this book for about 40 or 50 years. I must have got it from a friend because I can't remember buying it from anyone.
"Usually people would throw out these books or sell them off. It has been in my family for quite a while now.
"I have no idea if it has ever been published - I've never seen it. I've always been interested in history and my family has always passed on stories and I suppose this was one of the stories that was passed down."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes
It was not the last time Conan Doyle visited the town - he returned a few months later with a cricket team to play Selkirk.
In 1905, he gifted a now-lost Border league football trophy, called the Conan Doyle Cup, last won by Kelso in 1937-38.
A year later, Conan Doyle stood as a Unionist candidate for Westminster in the nearby Hawick Burghs constituency.
The booklet will be on show at the Cross Keys Selkirk Pop-up Community Museum from Saturday, along with Mr Elliot's painting of the replaced bridge.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

'Elementary' - S3E14 - 'The Female of the Species' -

This week we pick up with the conclusion from last weeks episode, Joan's boyfriend is poisoned and at the beginning of this weeks episode we find out he died.
Joan blames Elana March, a criminal Joan helped put away a number of episodes ago.
Joan doesn't want any help dealing with her loss and struggles throughout the episode while Sherlock gets involved with another case.
Holmes' case involves missing Zebra's.

Elana is eventually killed before Joan can finish proving it was Elana who killed Andrew.
The long absent Moriarty takes credit for Elana's death, suggesting Moriarty wants Joan all to herself.

I found this episode very well acted and found a few more redeeming qualities in it than last weeks episode.

Holmes' case was very un-important and any case could have served just as well in the story line.

This week we found the role of 'Watson' being played by Detective Bell, and for the most part I think it went well.

We know Bell was serving as a stand in for Joan while Joan grieved, but the story line also suggested that not only was Holmes attempting to make some amends for getting Bell shot, but it also felt like Bell was filling in for Kitty  this week as Holmes' new student.
In that relationship this week, I found the dialog between Bell and Holmes when they were checking out the purple van to be very reminiscent of how Holmes will have Watson give his thoughts and then tell Watson that just about every point he made was wrong.

Bell serving as Watson this week worked.

We get a nod to The Criterion also in this episode.

Again, the case itself proved a little disappointing while the interaction between Bell and Holmes was well done.

I like the fact that Moriarty may be making a come back at some point in the future, and I liked the Canonical connection suggesting her reach and control as the mastermind behind all things criminal.

Once again Holmes' antics were kept to a minimum.
And that always serves the show well. Another failing of this show is the seemingly oft repeated types of crimes and type of criminal, and that is a little bit of a let down.

Another Canonical connection is Watson returning to the brownstone after the death of a loved one (Canonically, a wife, in this show a lover).

Holmes' use of the name Sigerson as an alas.

I give this episode;

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

And if you are lucky enough to live near to London. . .

At the Museum of London, the City That Sherlock Holmes Knew

SHIN - More on the upcoming movie.

Berlin: Ian McKellen Calls Sherlock Holmes a "Great Englishman," Gandalf an "Oxford Professor"

Ian McKellen estimates that he’s played "around 250" roles on stage and film, including a number of renowned British figures.
But his turn as an elderly Sherlock Holmes inBill Condon’s reflective Mr. Holmes, having its world premiere Sunday night at the Berlinale, offered an interesting twist, he told a Berlinale press conference early on Sunday.
"Like most people in this room I have an image of what Sherlock Homes looks like," he said. "He’s one of the great Englishmen. And he never lived. It’s astonishing. Of course, I’ve played other great Englishmen, like Richard III of whom we’re not so proud."

And while the original birthplace of arguably McKellen’s most recognized onscreen character is shrouded in mysterious Middle-earth, Tolkien-esque history, the actor said that he considers the character a fellow Brit.
"I always think that Gandalf is really an Oxford professor," he joked to laughs from the audience.
Unlike previous incarnations of the Baker Street-dwelling sleuth, Mr. Holmes has the lead as a 93-year-old, long-retired and living on a remote British farm, reflecting on his previous life while tending to his bees.

"I said to Bill, 'Look, I’d be delighted to play Sherlock Holmes, but I am having nothing to do with bees.' And he said, 'No that’s fine.' And of course he then sent me on a bee training course," McKellen said. "I’m now proud to say I worked with the bees. I did my own stunts on this occasion. Those are my hands lifting the frames with the bees on them. I wasn’t wearing gloves, which is a dangerous thing to do. But I didn’t get stung and nor did anything else."
McKellen concluded: "No bee was harmed in the making of this movie."


Reuters) - Ian McKellen transformed himself from Gandalf into a nonagenarian Sherlock Holmes for "Mr Holmes" shown in Berlin on Sunday, giving the veteran British actor a chance to portray one of England's most treasured characters.
McKellen, making his second movie with Bill Condon, said he had leapt at the opportunity to work with the American director, with whom he last filmed in 1998 in "Gods and Monsters", and at the opportunity to portray Holmes.
"He's one of the great Englishmen and he never lived -- it's astonishing," McKellen said at a news conference after the movie was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Based on the Holmes spin-off novel "A Slight Trick of the Mind" by Mitch Cullin, the film, like other new iterations of the detective stories, picks up where Arthur Conan Doyle left off.
This one finds Holmes in retirement in the English countryside where he lives as a recluse, tending bees and looked after by a middle-aged woman, widowed when her airman husband was shot down during World War Two, and her son Roger.
Partly because of Roger's curiosity, the aged detective, who is losing his memory, tries to recall the details of a case involving a beautiful young woman whose husband had asked Holmes to track her movements. Her fate has troubled him ever since, and led him to give up detective work.
Condon said the project had been 11 years in the making and he had persisted because he wanted to work with McKellen again and because he believed in the script.
"It was such a delicate and beautifully told story and I have to say, too, secretly for 17 years I've been reading scripts constantly imagining that I could work with Ian McKellen and suddenly there is this script," he said.
American actress Laura Linney, whom McKellen complimented on her English working-class accent, said the setting in 1947, with part of the plot taking Holmes to war-ravagedJapan in search of a cure for his amnesia, gave it an extra dimension.
"She's a war widow from that period of time and the impact that the war has on everyone in this film is the sort of unspoken earthquake underneath the story," Linney said.
Child actor Milo Parker said he'd been thrilled by the opportunity to work with McKellen.
"I learned a lot from Ian on the basis that he's a really nice man and he's also an amazing actor and he's Gandalf," Parker said.

Elementary S3E13 - 'Hemlock' - something just doesn't taste right.

Sherlock is not happy. Matter of fact he is bored. I guess he hasn't been keeping up with all the news lately about how being bored can be a good thing and that boredom can get the creative juices flowing. Experiments have been done recently about taking away teens smart phones and connection for at least part of the day, and most have found the experience stimulating.
Child behaviorists even suggest a little boredom is good for kids. The study of boredom was never listed as one of Holmes' pursuits.

And in Elementary, when Sherlock is bored he doesn't turn to the Canonical crutch but rather the irritating habit of, well, being irritating.

Boredom is one of a couple of Canonical references at the beginning of this episode. Another good one was the reference to old case files. We also get a reference, later in the show to Mrs. Hudson and we also see him getting on the floor while investigating a crime scene.

The case involved a women showing up at the flat looking for her missing husband. It was not unusual for the man and wife not see each other for a few days at a time, but it is unusual that they don't at least talk. At this point I was hoping the story would be an modern adaptation of TWIS, but it did not end up going that way.
The husband turned out to be a recently unemployed lawyer, who had started earning money buying other people's debts at a low price and then collecting on the debts. At some point during his new career he had a change of heart and started to forgive the debts upsetting an important lawyer (from his old firm) who had hoped to gain from a property purchase of someone who could not make good on a debt. This lawyer murdered the husband.

Once again, the case was nothing new. It did however have a few good twists, and made for an interesting watch.
Joan, thankfully, at least for another episode, has taken a little bit of an investigative backseat to Holmes' deductions and insight.

The episode was mainly about boredom. Holmes' bored with no interesting cases, which shows itself in the form of turtle painting, single stick practice, multiple sex partners and harassing Joan again about her love life.

It was also a bit about Joan's boredom with the relationship she finds herself in and the fact that Holmes suggest Joan is not really interested in a long term relationship.

Unusually, the episode didn't dive into the oft used crutch of using Holmes' old drug habit. Instead we find Holmes doing all sorts of other things to deal with the lack of a good criminal case, and we as the audience are finally saved by the missing husband from the banality of some of the bad habits the show falls into.

Canonically we can examine Holmes' methods for dealing with his boredom; cocaine, music, bee's, etc. And which of these seemed to serve the purpose the best. Was this boredom something that followed him through out his career or did the great hiatus put that more into prospective. We find Holmes accepting the solitary life as he retired to Sussex. Was the an acceptance or a desire?

Probably the most interesting thing about this episode was the tease it gave for next week and the probability of Watson moving back in with Holmes.
Canonically we can examine to whose benefit it was, latter in their relationship, for the agreement to once again share 'digs'. Did Holmes suggest Watson move back after the death of any number of his wives? Was it a situation Holmes preferred over living alone? Did the Canonical Holmes suffer as much from the absence of a 'flat' mate.

The episode in no way came up to the level of the last few weeks. It did however control itself when it seemed to be heading into a ditch returning to some of the shows bad habits.

So this week I give it a solid;

Monday, February 9, 2015

Just my thoughts. . .

One of my favorite shows on TV this season is the crime drama ( and I guess SciFi ) 'Forever' starring Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd ( another name as hard to pronounce as Benedict Cumberbatch ).

It is a much better Sherlock Holmes type show than say 'Elementary' if you are looking for more of a traditional portrayal of a Holmes like character.

And as a nod to the Canon, the producers of the show had Ioan's character spend some time in the 'Diogenes Club'.
Now the date of 1812 makes it a little before Mycroft's time, but if you follow the premise of the story, they could have met.

And let's not forget that Ioan and Benedict shared the screen in 'Amazing Grace' just a few years ago.

Friday, February 6, 2015

SHIN - More on Doyle's old house

Sherlock Holmes house plans approved by council

UndershawConan Doyle wrote The Return of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles at Undershaw

Related Stories

Revised plans to turn Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's former home in Surrey into a school for children with disabilities have been approved by Waverley council.
Councillors agreed plans for the school last year but committee paperssaid the new plans included extensions and alterations to the building.
Conan Doyle wrote The Return of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles at Undershaw in Hindhead.
Both English Heritage and The Victorian Society have objected to the proposals.
Because English Heritage objected, the decision must now be referred to the Secretary of State.
Plans considered on Wednesday were for alterations to the existing building, the addition of a new two-storey extension and demolition of a 1930s extension.
'Insensitive scheme'
Norman Stromsoy, from nearby Stepping Stones School which wants to use the property as an upper school, said planning consent came with conditions, which were all in hand.
The conditions included protecting features of the building and guaranteeing community use, he said.
He said he hoped campaigners would accept the council's decision because children desperately needed the facilities.
Changes to the building involved providing disabled access, and the scheme would restore the property which had suffered years of neglect, he added.
Nigel Stock and Peter CushingThe Hound of the Baskervilles was made into a 1968 BBC film starring Nigel Stock and Peter Cushing
James Hughes, conservation advisor at The Victorian Society, said the school scheme was worthy but not sensitive.
He said "damaging removal of historical fabric" was proposed, along with a "wholly alien and intrusive extension".
He said despite the building's dilapidation and use as a hotel, it had retained domesticity, charm and associations with Conan Doyle.
The writer built the property in the Surrey Hills because the air would alleviate his wife's TB and the house was significant because it shed light on his life as a husband, family man, medic and writer, he said.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015