Friday, October 31, 2014

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

'Elementary' S3,E1 - 'Enough Nemesis to go around'. Enough somethin', that's for sure.

Is it just me, or was every body in this episode just in a bad mood. And by the end of the episode I can see why.
I haven't read Brad's review yet, nor any other, but I can see right now I may have to agree with whatever rant he comes up with.
Come on CBS, is that the best you can do with a returning Sherlock Holmes. Oh, wait! I don't even think Sherlock Holmes was in this episode.

We see in the opening of this episode that Watson has now struck out on her own as either a police consultant or a P.I. We don't see her card so we don't know for sure what her new title is. But whatever it is, she is way too over confident for the period of time she has been at it.

Two years with Sherlock and already she has big time drug lord cases. Who would have thought.
Really the biggest thing she has learned from Holmes is how to be first overly confident then insecure about her own abilities.

As the episode goes along Watson starts receiving clues first from an unknown informant, and then from a returned Holmes. Help from the unknown doesn't seem to bother her until she finds out it is Holmes. (Wait, Watson kept a key to the faux 221b?)

Yes, Holmes has returned from his mini-hiatus, tail between his legs, having failed in England (his home turf) with MI-something-or-other. He returns to New York, new protege in tow, who is already just about as insecure as Holmes and Watson.
Holmes is just as annoying as ever, not really having learned any lessons in interacting with other people. Which would be fine if he actually acted like Sherlock Holmes.

Well, back to the case. Watson is sent to convince a changed of heart witness that her testimony is important in the drug lord case Watson is working on. While in an elevator on her why to the trial the witness is murdered along with a cop. No one got on or off the elevator, and it did not stop, so how was the witness and the cop shoot? And by whom?
A couple of months later Watson has a new boyfriend, a shadow and still no idea how the witness was killed and still in a bad mood.
Watson eventually confronts the shadow and attacks her. (Yea, it's okay for Watson to tail people, but put the shoe on the other foot!!!!!)
Re-enter Sherlock Holmes. All apologetic, and human behavior wise still clueless.

Even Lestrade is in a foul mood and finally tells Holmes what he really thinks of him. (It's suppose to go the other way. Lestrade first dislikes Holmes, then comes to respect him as the show goes along.)

Well, really the case is very unimportant in a Sherlock Holmes story at this point. The method of murder was interesting, and to my knowledge a first.

But what we were really hoping for was, well, a little more Sherlock Holmes.
Holmes didn't come back from his hiatus with his tail between his legs having failed at his mission.

We almost got two Sherlockian references, but at least one was cut short by Watson's inpatients with Holmes (Come on! What does she expect by this time?)

Holmes as new side kick that is no Joan Watson and a waste of a good actress. Kitty, name from the Canon, may yet prove to be not so good for Holmes. She has already eluded to the need to move on from something in her past (a Sherlockian reference.) And ohYea! that single stick fight in the street, wasn't that great!

So far all Sherlock has gotten out of the last eight months is that he is meant to be a teacher of private eyes, and I suppose in two years when his new 'Watson' has learned her stuff, he will take on another.

A great opportunity was missed in this episode for reconnecting the two main characters and continuing in a more Sherlockian way. No growth was made by anyone, with, I believe Watson slipping even a little further.

Only because I don't want to spend the time cutting it in half, I give this episode one pipe.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Special night for St Louis local Sherlockians who can make it.

With the International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition in town, some of our local Sherlockians have arranged a fun night for all those who can make it.

Post in comments if you need more info.

Hi all,

Here is the latest from the Sherlock Holmes Exhibit.

As you know, I have been working to get a 'local Sherlockian' presence at the November 7th "First Friday' event at the Science Center.  I have copied below my previous text on that night.  Anyway, I can now report that WE HAVE A ROOM at the Science Center that night.  The Conference of Sherlockians will begin at 9:00 pm in the A-B Meeting room downstairs at the Science Center.  This will give you time to view and participate in the exhibit (you'll need a good couple of hours), then meet together to discuss the exhibit, then finally attend the viewing of the final BBC 'Sherlock' episode in the Omnimax theater at 10 pm.  So it will be a COMPLETE evening of Sherlock Holmes.

There will also be a table display for local Sherlockian scions which is being created by the Center (free of charge) with some help from me.  So those in attendance can take shifts manning the table and discussing aspects of our meetings that might attract new-comers.

We need at least 10 Sherlockians to get the Group Rate of $12.00 per person.  This will pay for your admission into the exhibit.  The room and the Omnimax are courtesy of the Science Center.  

So let's get this together for the common Game of all scions!  Please either send me $12 to reserve your spot or RSVP on email and PROMISE and SWEAR on the lives of all the Violets in the Canon that you will pay me back and I will pick up our tickets.  Unfortunately, I cannot be there due to a contractual commitment with my band that night.  But I will arrange this and have the tickets available for all of you at the ticket counter in the Science Center.

Schedule for November 7:
ARRIVAL 6:30-7:00 PM
EXHIBITION Immediately following
CONFERENCE OF SHERLOCKIANS 9:00 PM in Meeting Room A-B downstairs
SHERLOCK Viewing in the Omnimax 10:00 PM

On the exhibit, it is VERY impressive!  I know some of you have already been there to check it out.  They could use more volunteers, especially if you have period clothing.  They like that so much they hired actors to wear Victorian attire in the exhibit.  It's all very cool!

'Elementary' Returns - and where we stand. . . .

Their back, and Brad's glad we have them . . . . . .

Well maybe not.

Yes, 'Elementary' is coming back for the start of season three this week.

Am I looking forward to it? Yes.

But let's get some things straight first.

Do I think it is a good modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes?

No. not really.

Is it the way I would do it?

No, again.

Is it as good as 'Sherlock'?

No way man!

There is not much I really like about Mr. Miller's portrayal of Holmes, although he was getting better by the end of season two. I know, he is only doing what he is being told to do.

I don't like the writers take on Holmes and think they fall very far short of our beloved Sherlock and how he might be like in modern times.

Although I am okay with Lucy Liu being a modern Watson I am not liking the way her Watson is going towards the end of season two.

The show has very much fallen into the police procedural category and relies more on grotesque sets than on habits and skills of Holmes. I think in every way 'Forever' is filling more of the Holmes fix than 'Elementary'. (not that "Forever' isn't also starting to fall into some of the same bad habits).

With all that said, however, I am looking forward to season three. Why? Do I think the show will get that much better? Nope, but I do hope.

I look forward to it because at least for a little while we get to 'Play the Game' and look for signs, no matter how small, of Sherlock Holmes.

There, I've said it. I am looking forward to 'Elementary's' return.

I guess I was still in a Sherlockian mood after the exhibition . . .

because the very next day I had to find the closest thing I could to a Sherlockian era pub. . . .

 We are lucky in the St Louis area to have several British themed pubs and several of these actually pull of a pretty good atmosphere.

The Scottish Arms is one of them.
 Beer is still delivered to the cellar.
 Inside nice dark wood.
 The fish and chips were excellent.
And it is in a neighborhood that many old buildings and businesses, some of which have been around for a long time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How would you film 'The Adventure of the Gloria Scott"?

I don't know what made me start thinking about this. But since not all the stories have been filmed it is an interesting question.

Another thing that made me start thinking about it is the rumored appearance of Nicholas Rowe's (as matinee Sherlock)as and actor playing Sherlock Holmes in an up coming movie.

Would you film it with the lead actor telling the story in flash backs with a younger actor playing the younger Holmes.

Or would you use make-up to make the lead actor look older of younger at various times in the tale.

It would be interesting to see how film would handle a story like this.

And it is also interesting to note that the upcoming film I was talking about, 'A Slight Trick of the Mind' is now going to be called 'Mr. Holmes'.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

'Forever' - The Immortal Detective meets the Highlander

I hate to start the fall TV season off by thanking Brad, especially since we are so close to the season premiere of 'Elementary' where he will just irritate the heck out of me.

But, just to be honest, he did put me on to 'Forever'.
So . . . . thanks. . .  Brad.

'Forever' airs on Tuesday nights on ABC.

I have watched two episodes so far and am really enjoying it.

Ioan Grufford plays Dr. Henry Morgan who is seemingly an immortal medical examiner.

His hobby over the last two hundred years is studying death in an attempt to find out why he does not die.

He has chosen medical examiner and doctor as careers to allow him to be closer to his hobby.
He is very observant, and his skills have now involved him with the police to such a degree that he now helps on cases.

I have always liked Ioan Grufford as an actor and look forward to most of his performances.
This show, so far, makes a better modern day version of Sherlock Holmes (dare I say it, as such a stanch support!) than 'Elementary'.
Grufford is a classier actor than Miller and could easily carry the role of Holmes.
In two episodes so far there have been at least two references to Holmes.

Gruffords "Mrs. Hudson" is played by Jude Hirsch and is very well suited for the roll he is playing.

His "Watson" is played by Alana de la Garza. Although her role so far is that of police side-kick, she is doing a great job with the part.

The explanation of the deductions and his methods are very convincing and are a strong part of the show.

I look forward to more episodes.

One of my other favorite movies included Grufford and Cumberbatch, 'Amazing Grace'.


The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes - St Louis Science Center

As St Louis Sherlockains we are lucky that our Science Center is one of the host cities for The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes.
I am luck enough to have a little time off of work and was able to attend it yesterday.

 Unlike Holmes, I can not start a 'case' without a good breakfast.
So, since we were in the area we hit a St Louis landmark, 'Courtesy Cafe' . . .
 But, like Holmes, I do need a good assistant.
 Several blocks around the Science Center had banners and signs advertising the exhibit.
And since this is right along Hwy 70 it should get peoples attention.
 Sign along the side walk.
 Waiting in line to use the phone.
 Inside advertisement.
A little hokey but okay.
 After handing over your tickets, you walk into the gallery. The first, as should be, is devoted to Doyle, Victorian medicine and the creation of Holmes. For the older Sherlockains amongst us, there could have been a little bit more about Doyle, but what they had was a good introduction.

Poe is also give some credit for being an early founder of the form.
 Early medicine and its tools.
We were not allowed to use flash, so I could not get the photos I really would have liked.
This display shows Bells teaching gown and some of his letters. There was a very good nod to Dr. Bell. And a very good painting of him.
 The displays were very well done and very well lit.
Some were just around to set the theme, while others were relevant to the display.

Here is assistant with London street window, which on the other side was part of Baker St.
 After the displays about Doyle and Bell, we came to a section on the manuscripts and how they appeared in publication.

There were many first additions and rare letter and art work.

To the true Sherlockain of early work this was indeed a treat.

Very good labeling and numbering described each piece.
First edition Hound and letters from Doyle.
 Strand and other magazines on display.

After the historical displays about Doyle and Holmes the next section was devoted to understanding forensic science of the time. The displays were set up to help you understand the mystery you could be solving later in the exhibition. Each station would be relevant later in the show. The lighting was not good enough for me to get many pictures of this part, but the displays were fun and educational. Aimed at the younger participants.

 They also had period hosts wondering around to help and answer any questions.
Hear is one posing with daughter.
 Next you came to several displays set up to represent 221b Baker St.  It was broken up into four sections instead of one room. But, although broken up, to aid with the mystery people were working on, they were still very well done.

Here is the seats around the fireplace.
 By the window and the wax statue of Holmes.

Each room had several things in them that visitors needed to find as sort of a scavenger hunt.
 Seats by the fireplace again.

Although the items needing to be found were very Canonical, there was no explanation for the non-Sherlockian on how they appeared in the stories.

 Holmes' chemical desk.
 Pipe and tea cup.
 Watson writing desk.

After viewing the rooms at 221b you went into a section where the below room was set up as a crime scene. You were to observe numbered items in the room as clues and then go to station where four examples or explanations of the clues were shown. You had to pick the one that you thought best matched the crime scene. It was a little confusing, but very fun. (Or maybe I am just not a good detective.)
Again the lighting was not good enough for my camera to get good photos of the stations.

 The crime scene.
 After solving (or not) the mystery you entered the gallery that displayed items that have used Sherlocks representation of the years.

Here you can see 'Young Sherlock Holmes' and other movie stuff.
 Games and toys that have used his likeness.
 Some of my favorite things were all the art work by Paget and Steele.

Covers, sketches, prints, etc.
 I love these two.
Steele's work on early covers.
 More toys/
 Lots of movie props from some of the latest works.

Here is Blackwood's coffin from the first RDJ movie.
 Other props from that movie.
 And again.
 The lock wall from 'Elementary'.
 One of Lucy Liu's outfits from 'Elementary'.
 Miller's outfit from 'Elementary'.
 Do you recognize these from 'Sherlock'?

This last gallery was a great experience for anyone in to the movie or TV world of Holmes.

Over all the exhibition was very well done, with things to be found for die hard Sherlockians or casual fan. Most of it pertained to the Canonical Holmes more than the movie or modern Holmes, with just enough of that for those interested.
It was mostly aimed for a family experience but I saw a lot of adult Sherlockians taking it in.
The science center asked for volunteers to help at things like this and we spotted several local Sherlockians we knew.
If it come near you, you should go. I plan on trying to volunteer at least a few times.
We enjoyed it very much.