Friday, May 30, 2014

Taking part in Brad's summer reading list, SHOS. . . . or the not so curious incident of the dog in the day time.. . or the Hound of Norberton. . .

In need of something to take the place of 'Sherlock' and 'Elementary', and waiting for G2B4 to happen I thought I would take a look at Brad's (Sherlock Peoria) summer reading list and explore as many of them as I can.
Now the chronology for the list is based on Brad's own research and it is his chronology that the list follows.
There are 23 stories on the list and only a couple share dates with another story. So the task should not be to difficult to follow, perhaps easier than doing the HOUN in the number of days as it has chapters.

So here goes;

One of SHOS greatest claims to fame is that it was the last Sherlock Holmes story published by Arthur Conan Doyle.
It would be included in the Case book of Sherlock Holmes.

And although many of the later Holmes stories do not hold up as well as the earlier tales, SHOS does carry it's own weight, if not for the mystery involved, then at least for little tid-bits it give the reader.

As we always love, the tale opens in Baker St., and Holmes is working on a case for another individual. The opening in some ways reminds me of the opening of BLUE, with the little puzzle in front of Watson, that Watson has explained to him.

The second insight;
We get a very detailed look into Watson love of gambling as it pertains to horses. And at his knowledge of the sport.

We then are told that Holmes now uses a page boy to bring up guests and not the probably now exhausted Mrs. Hudson.

Next, in the method that has become almost expected, the case is introduced to us, once again in Baker St., by the "client" sharing his tale of whoa while seated before Holmes. And probably most of us believe Holmes had already for the most part solved the case by the time John Mason leaves.
The case is put before Holmes, and in like so many other stories, Holmes needs to make a trip to the "crime" scene to clarify some of the details.
One of my favorite lines from this part of the story is; "He had lit the oldest and foulest of his pipes."
A paper could be written, and maybe has, on just that line and the possibility of the type of pipe that could be.
And as this part of the story comes to an end and the next takes over, we are once again given a great image of Holmes and Watson as they find themselves once again in a first class carriage; "Thus it was that on a bright May evening Holmes and I found ourselves alone in a first-class carriage and bound for the little “halt-on-demand” station of Shoscombe. The rack above us was covered with a formidable litter of rods, reels, and baskets."

Baker Street, experiments, pipes and trains! And the story has barely started.

I personally always love it when Holmes and Watson find themselves outside of London in some small English village. And it being a "halt-on-demand" station, it probably was just a small village or a stop serving the estate.
It makes it even better for me when Holmes and Watson visit some tavern or pub along the way.

Once Holmes and Watson are on location the case pretty much proceeds as we have come to expect.
But one thing that is of interest is that Holmes feels it is necessary to report his findings to the police, while in BLUE we found Holmes not thinking he need to make up for the deficiencies of the yard.

Although the mystery was not one of note, there were some great atmospheric moments in the tale.

We were also, in some editions given three illustrations of Holmes wearing a deerstalker.

What are some of your thoughts?

Because it's Friday and you deserve it. . . .

One of Art Shroeder's favorite events will return soon. . .

The Noble Bachelors will once again host the 'Silver Blaze' race at Fairmount Park on July 12th 2014. I will post here as I get more details.

Headin' to the House of Mouse for a few days, so may not get much posted. See ya next week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It has been a good Sherlockian week for me. . . .

Yes it has.
Lots of good stuff.

First, I received my poster that Doyleokian gave us heads up about.

Looking forward to getting it framed.

Next, I received my copy of the latest edition of 'The Watsonian', which is always a treat,

In which I am humbled to be a contributor to this time.

And then, after first looking forward to, then fretting over how fast my fingers and internet service are, I was able to make a reservation for. . .

And on top of all that, 'Elementary' is over for the year, which puts Brad in a better mood, so I am going to join him on his trip through his summer reading list.
Which is listed below.

I am, however, a day late starting and need to catch up.

May 26, 1903, Tuesday -- "Shoscombe Old Place" (M)
June 1, 1889, Saturday -- "The Stock-broker’s Clerk" (M-Wd-S)
June 1, 1894, Friday -- "The Mazarin Stone" (S)
June 4, 1902, Wednesday -- "The Six Napoleons" 
June 8, 1889, Saturday -- "The Boscombe Valley Mystery" (M-D-Wd)
June 19, 1902, Thursday -- "The Three Garridebs"(Y-M-Wd)
June 20, 1888, Wednesday -- "The Greek Interpreter" (Wd-S)
June 21, 1889, Friday -- "The Man with the Twisted Lip" (M-D-Y-Wd)
June 23, 1881, Thursday -- "The Musgrave Ritual"
June 30, 1889, Sunday -- "The Engineer’s Thumb" (Y-S)
July 3, 1880, Saturday -- "The Gloria Scott"
July 10, 1895, Wednesday -- "Black Peter" (Y-M-Wd)
July 16, 1881, Saturday -- Holmes meets Watson in Chapter One of A Study in Scarlet
July 19, 1887, Tuesday -- "The Second Stain" (Wd-S)
July 25, 1898, Monday -- "The Dancing Men" (M-Wd)
July 26, 1902, Saturday -- "The Disappearance of Lady Francis Carfax" 
July 29, 1887, Friday -- "The Naval Treaty" (M-D)
July 30, 1907, Tuesday -- "The Lion’s Mane" (M-Y-Wd)
August 1, 1894, Wednesday -- "The Norwood Builder" (M)
August 2, 1914, Sunday -- "His Last Bow" (M-D-Y)
August 20, 1898, Saturday -- "The Retired Colourman" (Y-S)
August 30, 1887, Tuesday -- "The Crooked Man" (Wd)
August 30, 1889, Friday -- "The Cardboard Box" (M-Wd)

So, all in all, I would say that is a good Sherlockian week.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Let the race begin.

An hour away from being able to sign up for the fourth Gillette to Brett.
It now comes down to who has the fastest internet service and the quickest fingers.

I had scheduled the weekend off from work for the convention way back when it was first announced and was just waiting for the sign up to be posted. And we kept wondering if it would ever come.

This will be my third one.

But once the special guest was announced (and a special guest it will truly be) we all needed to start watching carefully each day, nee each hour, to see when sign up would be. Luckily instead of having to spend all the holiday weekend checking the website, we were finally given the magic hour for sign up.
So here I sit and wait for that time to come.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Trivia question of the dayweekmonthyear . . . .

A little reminiscent of the great Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson on a train, what Benedict Cumberbatch movie/show is this from?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes - #54 - The Game's (Wheel of Fortune) Afoot! - Pat Sajak

This one, features two of my least favorite actors.

Pat Sajak - 1946

had a small part in 1982's "Airplane II"

which also featured William Shatner - 1931

Who played Stapleton to Stewart Granger's Holmes in 1972's "Hound of the Baskervilles"

So, there you have it, there you are.

Thanks to Jack Wilson for this story. . . .

Sherlock Holmes: Can a fictional man be a London icon?

Sidney Paget illustration of of The Adventure of Silver BlazeSherlock Holmes has been reimagined time and time again since his first outing in 1887 (image from 1892)

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"The air of London is the sweeter for my presence," Sherlock Holmes once said, and yet the detective never lived, nor died. He existed solely in our imaginations.
Now, the Museum of London is planning a new exhibition focusing on the detective, citing the creation of the author and medic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as one of London's most "iconic" figures.
The museum says it will be the first time since the Festival of Britain in 1951 that there has been a major Sherlock Holmes exhibition.
It comes complete with artefacts which it is hoped will unpick the origins of the character and shine a gaslight on Victorian London.
Sherlock HolmesPipes, deerstalker hats and guns have become synonymous with the character
Curator Alex Werner said: "Sherlock Holmes was an incredibly powerful, cultural, London icon.
"The main challenge was anything you select [for this exhibition] has nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes because he is a character, but on the other hand it has everything to do with him.
"Take the pipe. It's a minor object, but put next to Sherlock Holmes it takes on a real life and we can draw on fantastic objects from around the world to tell the story of London."
The Strand magazineThe Strand reached a weekly audience of half a million people
The exhibition will use Holmes as a "prism" to look at the city and to take a closer look at the character's analytical mind, forensic science of the time and his Bohemian nature crossed with what being an English gentlemen meant in Victorian England.
It will also look at what possibly prompted the creation of the character, with the original pages from Edgar Allan Poe's hand-written manuscript The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) among the items that will be on display.
It was considered by many to be the first detective story, and Conan Doyle is known to have read it and the detective character C Auguste Dupin was said to be one of his "boyhood heroes".
Strangely, the author had originally intended Holmes to be a minor character in his own literary work.
He hoped that people would devour his novels, plays and poetry, but it was the detective who drew in the crowds, initially through The Strand magazine, which had a weekly audience of about half a million people. He later completed 56 stories about the character.
Original drawings by Sidney Paget, who illustrated the stories in the magazine, feature in the exhibition alongside an oil painting of the author scribbling in his "ideas book".
Dr Pat Hardy, the curator for paintings and prints, has worked on the exhibition selecting images which represent Holmes's London.
Sidney Paget portrait of Arthur Conan DoyleThe exhibition will feature Sidney Paget's portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Dr Hardy said: "The urban landscape that was inhabited by that very famous character conveys an idea of London at the turn of the century - a very modern city - a large imperial network with efficient communication and transport networks.
"We have recreated the ideas of these journeys by some of the artwork.
"He's always rattling up Holborn to get to King's Cross in the hansom cabs.
"Sherlock Holmes is a presence both seen and unseen in this city."
The idea for the show came from the success of the museum's previous London "icon" shows on Jack the Ripper and Charles Dickens, but this is the first attempt at a fictional character.
Project manager Annette Day said: "It's been two years since we first had the idea. Dickens had proved very popular and we thought about how literature can help us understand the city.
A view of the StrandHolmes "is set in a specific time period, but he adapts to any place and any time"
"We really grasped the challenge and had to be really creative with the way we use and look at the objects."
One of the items on display will be an authentic collapsible top hat which has been X-rayed so that people can see how it works, which Ms Day said mimics the "details and deductions" of Holmes.
There is also a collection of shoes which "Sherlock would have looked at and known if you walked with a limp".
Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch is one of the latest actors to reinvent the character
The exhibition also dedicates space to the character's life on stage and in film, including the Derek Rose camel dressing gown Benedict Cumberbatch wore in the BBC's most recent series of Sherlock.
The performances of actors gone by, including William Gillette, who was performing the character while Conan Doyle was still writing, and Jeremy Brett are also considered to see if they offer clues as to why Holmes has endured 125 years, being reinvented by every generation.
Mr Werner said: "The closest person to compare him with are the comic book heroes of the 20th Century - they've been revived and refreshed.
"Sherlock Holmes was a man of action and so he's a bit like a Batman, but earlier.
"He is one of London's icons. He helped to make London the way it is. He is the most famous Londoner who never lived and never died."
In the fashion of Sherlock Holmes, the Museum of London has promised more will be revealed before the exhibition opens on 17 October.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Oh, Yea! It's Friday and you deserve it. . . . .

Now this is an enviable library!

 See it here.

Elementary - S2E24 #48 - "The Grand Experiment" - was a failure.

Don't get me wrong, there were a few great moments in this episode, but for the most part the finale left me pretty disappointed.

And I guess in a sense they did have a "Final Problem" of sorts, only with Mycroft going on an hiatus and not Sherlock.

We left off last week with Sherlock informing us that Mycroft was being framed for murder by a mole in MI6.
That in and of itself could and should have made for a great story line.
But without the framing of Mycroft there was no indication that there was a mole within MI6 that needed ferreting out. And if Mycroft had not been framed, Sherlock would not have become involved.
The last couple of episodes became more about spy's playing spy games that became overly involved because, well, spy's like playing spy games.

And although there were several great places to use the line about Mycroft's lack of energy and industry, the line became more of a declaration of failure (which was the point they were trying to make) than a declaration of possibility and admiration of Mycroft's intelligence. When Rhys Ifans was first introduced as Mycroft, there was a promise of intellectual sparing, even though they hated each other, that never materialized. Instead of being Holmes mental better, we ended the season seemly, slightly dim-witted, but an unknowingly caring, older brother. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, Mycroft has become even less mentally astute. (I just about barfed at the closing hug!)

Ever since Mycroft said, "I am British Intelligence", it seems like he has been trying to prove he is not. That should have been the starting point on a case to prove how deeply involved and necessary Mycroft was.

We have been led to believe that some where in both brothers past, something happened to them that created this wedge. Something bigger than Sherlock's drug habit, something before then. Yet no matter how hard Mycroft seemingly tries to make amends, it never happens and we are never told the base reason for the mutual discontent. They milked that story line way longer than they should have.

And I was hoping they would bring Irene back.

This show, after the season it has had, needed to end on some type of positive note about one or more of the relationships within, or on a positive note about Sherlock's new maturity or skills. It failed to end in a very Sherlockian way for me.

I think the show does continue to examine relationships in a way that maybe has not been done before, and even if I don't like the way they do it, I do find it a plus in the show.

I do however think some of the great Sherlockian lines used in this episode were wasted on where and when they were use.

This episode also become way to convoluted and tingled up in it's own story line.

Wasted also on the show was the lack of re-use of Mrs. Hudson. Although mentioned, hardly ever present.
I can't believe I am going to quote Sherlock Peoria here, but, they had the money to blow up a car, but not enough to bring back Mrs.Hudson? (That was painful.)

I am not sure where the Watson moving out story line is going to go, but with Sherlock's lack of growth in his relationship with her (and in general), you can't really blame her for looking for new digs. The line Sherlock made when entering the 'safe house' library (which was a great room by the way!) about "don't touch the first additions, or Watson" just goes to prove the point.
Lucy Liu, it must be said, is doing a great job of showing her increasing lack of respect for Sherlock's behaviour.
And every time Sherlock seems sincere in his feelings for Watson, the show allows him to blow it. He states the one of the things he has learned during his time with her is that he is capable of change, yet he is never allowed to.

This episode left me feeling like I needed to defend this show, as I have done a little in the past. And, like I said, there were a few very good moments, but the show was way to disjointed for me, and it lacked a good Sherlockian ending for the season. High hopes dashed.
The episodes have become way to repetitive in plot and personalities (much like the Hamish Macbeth series of books).

So for those reasons, I can only give it

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A rather interesting piece on "Young Sherlock Holmes"

Young Sherlock Holmes

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes - #53 - Orlando Bloom

Put me down as lazy or that I have been watching "The Hobbit", but I didn't expect this one to come together as quick as it did. But here goes.

Orlando Bloom - (1977)

first film roll was in 1997's "Wilde"

which starred both Stephen Fry (1957)

and Jude Law (1972)

who we know have been in the latest to RDjr Sherlock Holmes films.

P.S. Or, simple minded me, he is in "The Hobbit" with Martin Freeman. . .

So, there you have it, there you are.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ian McKellen and Laura Linney to explore Sherlock's twilight years

The actors will star in A Slight Trick of the Mind, adapted from Mitch Cullin's novel which imagines Sherlock Holmes battling dementia in old age
 Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen, set to play Sherlock Holmes. Photograph: Pal Hansen for the Guardian
In recent years the sleuthing of Sherlock Holmes has been depicted as ass-kicking and wisecracking in Guy Ritchie's movies, and as drily witty and cerebrally thrilling in the BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. But now a new, quieter side to Arthur Conan Doyle's detective is set to reach the screen: his old age, after he retired to keep bees.
Ian McKellen is set to play Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind, adapted from the 2005 novel by Mitch Cullin which imagines Holmes's twilight years, alluded to in Doyle's novels. The film will depict him working on his final case aged 63, and also retired in Sussex aged 91, mentally frail and obsessed with the unsolved crimeLaura Linney will play his housekeeper, Mrs Munro, whose son Holmes has a fatherly attachment to.
The film will be directed by Bill Condon, who has worked on acclaimed films with each of the actors before: the Oscar-winning Gods and Monsters with McKellen, and his Alfred Kinsey biopic with Linney. "It's a really great mystery about who Sherlock Holmes is, but it's also a lovely, delicate movie about what happens as you get older," Condon told Entertainment Weekly. "I'm looking forward to the combined talent, skills, and smarts [of Linney and McKellen]. Both of them are incredibly detail-oriented and do an amazing amount of work before they get to set, and then they dive off the board and become their characters."
Linney, who recently gave birth to her first child, is something of a self-confessed Sherlock nerd: "I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes as a young kid. You know how some people are into Dungeons & Dragons? I was into Sherlock Holmes. I loved the atmosphere of the stories. I loved the intrigue, his personality."
The BBC TV series meanwhile may not return for some time, due to the difficulty of filming three feature-length episodes around the filming schedules of its cast. Mark Gatiss, who co-created the series with Steven Moffat, told a fan Q&A in Brazil this week that it would be at least two years before new episodes are aired.
Jude Law, who stars in the Ritchie movies, said last year of a possible third film: "I think [Warner Bros.] wants it, and there's a lot of want from us as a team. We want it to be better than the other two. We want to make sure it's smarter and cleverer, but in the same realm."

Baker St. in batter.

From Dr. Dan the pancake man.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Because it's Friday and you deserve it. . . finally, again.

Elementary - S2E23 #47 - 'Art in the Blood' - a review

Once I get past the fact that I don't like the relationship still developing between Mycroft and Joan, and the fact the Sherlock's reaction to this relationship (and many other things) is really immature, I rather liked this episode.
Mycroft reveals to Joan, and later Holmes, that he works for the British secret service, and eventually we find out he has for a long time.
Mycroft had gotten out of it, but, eventually, to save his brothers reputation, becomes involved again, which leads to Sherlock and Joan also getting involved.

Once these revelations are made to Sherlock, other than the reason for Mycroft's re-involvement, he is invited to, appearance-wise, the "Diogenes Club" for spies and asked to work for "Queen and Country" to help find out if a recent murder is connected to MI-6.

We are not sure if he does this because the case interests him, or to get back at his brother.

The episode suffered again from it's need for grotesques crimes, but if that part of the story develops (with Sherlock solving that mystery and the code on the arms) it could prove interesting. (Then again, Cadogan West probably didn't look to good after coming of the train.)
And it still suffers from the over use of Sherlock's drug habit as the driving force of his personality.

The episode was full of good Canonical references.
'Cadogan' West.
Mycroft's involvement with the British Government.
Sherlock's unorthodox methods noticed by others.
His affection for Watson, and his inability to express it.
A building with the real atmosphere of the Diogenes Club and its offering of a space where like mind men can 'hang-out'.
And although some may say West's ex-wife walking in and giving Holmes so much information is a lazy way to handle the story, when in fact in BRUC West's  fiancee provided Holmes with some valuable clues.

And others.

I loved Joan's explanation on where she stood on Sherlock's personality.
The relationship seems a little in trouble however, and it is going to be interesting to see how it is handled.
Because of the nature of the short story, Canonically we never got a look at how Watson's other relationships were handle in the Canon. Of course times were also different and such things for the most part were not handled the same. However, if we remember, Watson did have experience on several continents, so, indeed, how did he handle it.
Canonically Watson left because he got a private life. On "Elementary", Watson is leaving to get one.

This episode also highlighted some well done observations on Sherlock's part.

Canonically we sometimes wonder why the relationship between the Holmes brothers is so limited, Mycroft only appearing in four stories. So if nothing else and even if we don't like it, "Elementary" is filling in some of the details.

Hopefully next season Joan will be allowed to develop a relationship with someone Sherlock does not despise and someone we Sherlockians can Canonically except. After all we are never lead to believe Sherlock did not like Mary.
If the relationship changes between the brothers, it will be interesting to see if Sherlock still has problems with Watson getting together with his brother.

Mostly because of the wealth of Canonical references in this episode, and the twists in the case, I can happily give it . . . .

This in from Doyleockian

He, Doyleockian, knew I would have to have one.
So, yes, I went ahead and ordered one.
Limited Edition Print

Tom Richmond is one of the best at doing what he does.

And Tom has down several other great images of Holmes.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Penny Dreadfuls = Holmes mentioned twice on NPR

Penny Dreadfuls

Again, you only get one question. What would it be? What would you ask Watson?

You have caught an omnibus in London, and happen to sit next to Dr John H. Watson. You are having a very pleasant conversation when you realize your stop will be coming up soon and you only have time to ask one question and get an answer. What would it be?

Would you ask about his wound?

His marriages?


Would you ask him something about himself or Holmes?

This is your chance, what would you ask?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes - #52 - Jackie Lynn Taylor (1925-2014)

Jackie Lynn Taylor just passed away yesterday. Mostly known as a child actress in the "The Little Rascals" features from 1934-1935.

Jackie Lynn Taylor (1925-2014)

also took part in 1934's "Babes In Toyland"

which featured Henry Brandon (1912-1990)

who also took part in 1939's "Nurse Edith Cavell"

in which George Sanders (1906-1972) also took part

also playing in "Mr. Moto's Last Warning" 1939

with third billed, and great character actor, John Carradine (1906-1988)

who played Barryman, not Barrymore, in 1939's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles"

So, there you have it, there you are.