Thursday, April 30, 2015

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

Watching soaps with Sherlock Holmes

Source   Mark Armstrong

Doing my best Steve Martin, "The new phone books are hear, the new phone books are here!"

Not really. But even better, the new

Watsonian just arrived along with two additional publications.

And to make it even better, I am a contributor in this issue.

Can't wait to start reading them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Bob has. . .

The Sherlockian for $2.99 in ebook form right now.

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes #60 - (It has been a while) Petula Clark

I love old British War movies. The ones made during or around the time of WW2.
My father served in the RAF. I had aunts and uncles who served in various capacities during the war, from ATA to North Africa. From Burma to a POW in Germany.
So that may explain my fascination with the films.
Two of my many favorites are; 'Medal for the General' and 'I know where I'm going'.
And to my surprise when I first learned of it a young actress by the name of Petula Clark appeared in both.
I think for most of my generation Petula Clark was known more as the singer who had a hit with 'Downton' in the early 60's. A song that was the beginning of a renewed career for her.

But Petula had a very big career starting in the early 1940's.
This from Wikipedia; In October 1942 nine-year-old Clark made her radio debut while attending a BBC broadcast with her father. She was there trying to send a message to an uncle stationed overseas, but the broadcast was delayed by an air raid. During the bombing, the producer requested that someone perform to settle the jittery theatre audience, and she volunteered a rendering of "Mighty Lak' a Rose" to an enthusiastic response. She then repeated her performance for the broadcast audience, launching a series of some 500 appearances in programmes designed to entertain the troops.[5] In addition to radio work, Clark frequently toured the United Kingdom with fellow child performer Julie Andrews. Nicknamed the "Singing Sweetheart", she performed for George VIWinston Churchill and Bernard Montgomery. Clark also became known as "Britain's Shirley Temple"[6] and was considered a mascot by the British Army, whose troops plastered her photos on their tanks for good luck as they advanced into battle.

So, with no further ado. . .

Petula Clark - 1932

took part in the 1951 film 'White Corridors'

which also featured James Donald (1917-1993) (who could probably have a million Sherlockian connections of his own as many wonderful movies he has been in.)

took part in the movie 'Beau Brummell' 1954

which also featured the wonderfully recognizable Robert Morley (1908-1992)

who, as we should know, played Mycroft Holmes in 1965's 'A Study in Terror'

One fascinating thing about some of the these old films is to see how many movies these actors would sometimes appear together in.

This is not the only Sherlockian connection for Petula Clark, but was the first one I followed to the end.

So, there you have it, there you are.

Why I like Sherlock Peoria . . .

Really I do.

I don't very often agree with many of the things said there.
And sometimes, I admit, I am not smart enough to understand what is actually being said.
Many of the connections are elusive to me, and I often wonder how they pertain to the subject.

But, none-the-less, I faithfully follow the blog.
And, again I admit, sometimes I even find myself agreeing with some of it. (I fight that urge as much as possible.)

The author of the blog is knowledgeable on most things Sherlockian, and also has a wealth of knowledge about lots of shall we call it 'trivia' that he is able to weave into his Sherlockian discussions.

But what is most important about the blog is the fact that it makes me examine my feelings about some of the subjects it brings up, and where I stand on those things. And for the most part it makes me defend my Sherlockian convictions and test them and see where I stand in the end. (My opinion is not changed very often, but it is always good to look at another side of things.)

Now how much of the blog is firmly tongue-in-cheek and how much is pure. . . what ever, we may never know for sure. That is part of the allure of the blog (Yes Brad, you are alluring.)

So, Sherlock Peoria, thanks for making me a better, I hope, Sherlockian. (It even has its own 'label' on my Label list.)

(Are you going to have your summer reading list this year?)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hard act to follow.

Tinseltown Talks: Morison remembers Tarzan, the Thin Man, Sherlock Holmes

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, fewer than 0.02 percent of Americans live to be centenarians. Actress Patricia Morison joined that exceptionally rare group last month when she turned 100.

“I had a party with dear friends, that was all I wanted,” Ms. Morison said from her Los Angeles apartment. “I even sang a couple of songs.”
Morison, a mezzo-soprano, is best known for her stage work, especially her role in Cole Porter’s hit musical, “Kiss me, Kate,” which ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway from 1948-51.
Yet, while she started theater in the ’30s, Hollywood never took advantage of her voice when she moved to the West Coast to work in film. “I screen tested with MGM, but Paramount picked me up.”
Unlike many actors of the day, Morison kept her own name, which Hollywood probably found appealing with its unusual spelling – only one R.
“My father would say his family came from the northern Hebrides and were too stingy to put two Rs in Morison,” she said.
With her striking beauty and long, dark hair – down to her knees at one point – Morison was often cast in femme fatale roles.
In “Dressed to Kill,” the final pairing of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the 1940s Sherlock Holmes film series, Morison played a treacherous seductress attempting to dispatch her real-life friend, Rathbone.
“He was a lovely man with a dry sense of humor and Nigel Bruce, who we called Willy, was just adorable,” she recalled. “My mother was Irish and my father was British. When we moved to Hollywood, British actors such as Ronald Colman, Brian Aherne and Basil Rathbone would come to our house for a traditional afternoon tea.”
Morison’s murderous resolve was more successful in “Song of the Thin Man,” the final movie in another popular detective film series with William Powell and Myrna Loy.
“At the end of the picture I shoot my costar, Leon Ames,” noted Morison. “About five or six years ago, I was on a Mediterranean cruise and at the dinner table one evening a man looked at me and said ‘You killed my father!’ He then introduced himself as Leon Ames’ son.”
During the war years, Morison helped out in the Hollywood Canteen and volunteered for the USO, flying to England and Ireland with Al Jolson, Merle Oberon, Allen Jenkins and Frank McHugh. But it wasn’t just the Atlantic seaplane crossing that was memorable.
“We waited and waited at LaGuardia Airport for Jolson,” she said. “When he eventually arrived, he looked at us all and said ‘I don’t know why the hell they sent you, I could have done this by myself.’ We toured all the airbases, but Jolson complained the whole trip.”
Back at work in the states, Morison enjoyed walking the Paramount lot.
“I loved the technical side of filmmaking and visiting special effects areas,” she said. “During the war, the makeup department had a section devoted to creating prosthetics for soldiers who had lost ears or noses. The movie industry did a lot to support the war effort.”
In 1947, Morison found herself at war with the loincloth-clad jungle hero Johnny Weissmuller in “Tarzan and the Huntress.”
“Johnny was beautiful to watch, whether just standing or gracefully swimming. I didn’t socialize with him much as he was too busy with a new love affair.”
While the film used stock footage for many African scenes, there were animals on the set.
“I remember the chimp going berserk, tearing around the set trying to beat up the crew. We had to hide in our cars until he calmed down. They also used an old MGM lion. It was very hot on the set, so the big stage doors were opened to let in air. Then suddenly, the lion disappeared. We found him walking down La Cienega Boulevard with people fleeing in all directions.”
Morison’s apartment, where she has lived since the 1960s, has been home to more manageable critters, including dogs and birds. Her last pet was a cockatiel that would perch on her head and sing.
“I can still sing, too,” she said, referring to her performance at her recent birthday celebration.
“When you consider I’m 100, I probably should only be able to croak! But I’m a very fortunate woman,” she said. I’ve done what I wanted with my life and worked with some wonderful people along the way.”
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns and interviews for more than 550 magazines and newspapers. Follow on Twitter @TinseltownTalks.

And to think, I didn't have to pay anything to meet John Denver. . .

Would you pay £3,000 to snuggle up with Sherlock? JAN MOIR meets the obsessed fans who crossed the world to do just that .

Story Here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Here we go again . . . .

'Sherlock' Season 4 Suspected to be the Last; Leads Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman to Blame?

The fourth season of the much-acclaimed "Sherlock" is yet to start filming, and some rumours indicate that the next instalment could be the last in the detective drama.

The leads of "Sherlock," Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, are said to be so busy with their respective movie careers that they do not have time for the contemporary re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic.
 "They don't need Sherlock anymore. So we have to persuade them to do it - which is fair enough," "Sherlock" co-creator Steven Moffat said in an interview at the BAFTA Television Awards nominees party in London, reportedBBC.
However, Moffat said he was surprised when they agreed to return for a fourth season.
"They are very serious about it, they do love it very much," he said. "I didn't think we actually thought we'd get a fourth series out of them."
What sets apart "Sherlock" from other shows is its format of short seasons consisting of just three episodes. Also, each season usually has  a gap of two years and loyal audience have always returned to catch up on what their favourite detective has in store for them.
When questioned about the fear of losing audience, Moffat said in an earlier interview withCollider that he was sure the two-year gap wouldn't drive away audience.
"There was still so much interest in Sherlock that we didn't have any doubt. We didn't expect the audience to be larger. It's gotten larger each year. Contrary to what people think, that doesn't happen. With very, very rare exceptions, audiences, even with huge hits, go gently down. Even for massively successful shows, they decline gently over time. That's normal and fair enough. Sherlock has grown each year, which is spectacular. So, we didn't doubt that the audience was still there."
As for the future of the show, Moffat said "Sherlock" could go on for a long time and he earlier hinted that there were plans for a fifth season. However, it remains to be seen if the lead actors' busy schedule will become a hurdle.
"Sherlock can go on for a long time because we just show up every occasionally and do it. It's like a reunion party every time," the co-creator said.

Friday, April 24, 2015

We'll just have to see, won't we?

Ian McKellen Proves He's The Ultimate Sherlock In 'Mr. Holmes' Trailer

Sherlock Holmes' backstory is anything but elementary.
Move over Benedict Cumberbatch, because Ian McKellen just became our new favorite Sherlock Holmes. In the trailer for the highly anticipated film Mr. Holmes, we see McKellen as the famous detective who had retired many years ago. Although his final case had prompted him to give up his born profession, Holmes must revisit the unsolved mystery one last time to properly tell his story.
As the film explains, it's finally time to meet the man behind the myth—and we couldn't be more excited. We are sure the experience will be an extremely emotional treat. 
Don't get us wrong, we still love Cumberbatch. However, we can't wait to see this darker version of our favorite detective that McKellen is about to deliver.  
Mr. Holmes comes to theaters this summer.  

Elementary S3E21 - 'Under My Skin' - just enough to be irritating. . . .

The episode opens with Alfredo celebrating five years of being clean and thanking his friends and supporters at a support group meeting.
While at the meeting, Holmes spots someone who does not belong. 
While across town two ambulance attendants are murdered and the patient in the back is kidnapped.
The man who does not belong at the support meeting turns out to be tailing Alfredo hoping to catch Alfredo stealing cars. A crime he is not guilty of.
The women kidnapped in the ambulance turns out to be an unsuspecting 'mule' carrying drugs back from Brazil.

As far as procedurals go, it was an average episode. With the overdone murder count and graphics of the crimes, the episode lacked any finesse. The well known guest star was going to prove to be the bad guy once again. The crime lacked, really, any need for a Holmes like detective to be involved.
The fact that the victims were almost dealt with more like numbers than people was a little disappointing. They were treated more like vessels used in a crime than people who lost their lives.

The story line involving Alfredo was once again there to show how much Holmes has grown over the last three years. He is able now to recognize his need and desire to have friends and at all cost, whether they want his help or not, will do anything to protect them. A story line that is important but that is dominating too many story lines in a row.

Canonically I found nothing of note to discuss ( and hope maybe someone else did ).
Canonically I guess we can consider Watson's pointing out the sutures in the victims as a Watson-like involvement from the Canon. But even that may be reaching because the show has already done that several times.

I do however like the fact that Miller's Holmes is still being played much more low key than earlier in the season.

So, because of the lack of Canonical references of any import, and the fact that the last couple of weeks have left us hopeful, I can only fairly give this episode;

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What do you think?

I just came across this line in a review of a new book; "And if you're a Holmes fan, this book is probably a must in the canon. Dan Simmons delivers personal details about Holmes' upbringing you may not have read before."

And it leads me to wonder; How can anything be important or 'a must' to 'The Canon' of Sherlock Holmes if it was not written by Doyle?

Now to be fair the reviewer did not give good review marks for the book that he was reviewing, but the line  "... probably a must in the canon." I found rather curious.

I am not a big fan of pastiches at the moment. They don't seem quite as fun or even as good now the 'e' books makes it so much easier to get published. And I absolutely refuse to try to keep up with all of the them any more, wheat from the chaff kind of thing.

Here is the review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You heard it here first, second, third or fourth or somethin'. . . . .

Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock goes back to 1895

Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock and Martin Freeman's Watson will be visiting the year 1895 next.
The Victorian setting had already been reported, but Mark Gatiss has now revealed the exact year the pair will somehow experience.
"I can correct something that has been misreported," said Gatiss. "The series is set in 1895, not 1885."
Mark Gatiss co-created and writes BBC One's Sherlock with Steven Moffat, and features as Sherlock's brother Mycroft.
When asked whether those 10 years makes a difference, Gatiss was emphatic that "it does, you wait and see, all the difference".

Sherlockians will know that 1895 is a relevant date for the detective, often considered when he was at the peak of his popularity after author Arthur Conan Doyle had killed off the fictional character (only to bring him back to life later on).
1895 also features in a famous poem, 221B, written by early Sherlockian Vincent Starrett.
Plus the date appears on screen in series two of Sherlock as the hit counter number on John Watson's blog.
Gatiss says this back-in-time special has now been filmed. That happened in January and February.
As for the timing of when the following three episodes will be shot, "later on" was as much as Gatiss was prepared to say.
"I've become a politician," Mark Gatiss smiled, admitting that "Sherlock has made me one".
The BBC hasn't revealed yet when the 1895 Sherlock episode will be on TV, but series four is expected at Christmas.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hats banned from Yorkshire pubs over CCTV fears

Do they really ban hats in pubs in the UK now?

S3E20 - 'A Stitch in Time' - Two hits in a season of mostly strike-outs.

The episode opens with Watson on her way to met Gregson's daughter Hannah to discuss a case.
Holmes suggests to Watson to stay away for a few hours while he re-captures his escaped bees.

Holmes is next called to the scene of a murdered Internet advocate. The victim was found murdered in his car at a railroad crossing.
A hope for accident with a train would have been to cover up the murder. The train wreck did not happen.

The victim was known for trying to debunk scams of various kinds. One of the advocates latest targets had been a ruined financier.  This financier had been trying to purchase a home from a women who's daughter had called the advocate to prove to her mother that her house was not haunted. The advocate was convinced the ruined financier was the source of the ghostly 'happenings'.
Holmes deduces that the sounds or other ghostly 'happenings' the women hard were not a ghost but rather sound and vibration caused by digging at a neighboring home.
It is then determined that the advocate had been murdered at the neighboring home when he discovered a man digging in the basement trying to get to a trans-Atlantic cable.  (Considering the size of the hole, the lack of machinery, and the lack of disruption in the neighbors basement, unless the houses were connected, the lady would not have heard or felt much.)

Once again neither plots Holmes or Watson are involved in are done as good as they good be. But both, however, did hold several good Canonical references and once again timely and topical.

The opening with the bee's is obviously, once again, a nod to Sherlock Holmes' hobby later in life of bee keeping.

We get the return of an 'irregular'.

We then get a Canonical nod when Hannah mentions that neither Watson nor Holmes cares whether or not they get credit in the resolution of cases.

Another Canonical reference found in the Hannah story line is the suggestion the local police lack imagination and vision when on a case. (Is Hannah's middle name Lestrade?)(Do either of these describe Hannah:  "the best of a bad lot ... both quick and energetic, but conventional — shockingly so." or ". . . had almost no skill at actual crime-solving, his (her) tenacity and determination are what brought him (her) to the highest ranks in the official police force.") 

Another one is when Holmes is at the morgue and he talks about the debunking of spiritual frauds (among other things). Spirits need not apply. In HOUN Sherlock comments on criminals for another world are out of his realm of deduction.
It is also a nod to the unpopular publicity Doyle received for his interest in the spirit world and how some tried to debunk his beliefs in it.

The tunnel between the two houses were similar to REDH. But a better connection could have been made if the old lady had been gotten out of the house under some pretense. (And it would have made for a better story. Tell her she won a free cruise or something.)

I found Miller's Holmes once again closer Canonically than most episodes. At times he was rather manic in his pursuit of information and how he went about the investigation. At others rather subdued and reflective.
His observations of Hannah were well done.

Although Watson is still acting more detective than side-kick, most of her deductions the last couple of weeks have been reserved for the cases she has individually taken on, leaving Holmes the chief detective of the 'A' plots in both episodes.

As Sherlockians we will probably never be satisfied with many of the plots in a show like 'Elementary'. There of course will be some stand outs, but for the most part we will continue to hope for plots that are more or less modern adaptations of the Canon where we won't have to search to hard for Sherlock Holmes. And if that doesn't happen, we at least want a show with strong Canonical references.

And for the most part, in this episode,  Holmes' annoying habits were once again played down.

I found this episode fun to watch and again liked Miller's Holmes.
So I can therefore fairly give it;

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What do you think?

SFIFF: Conveying genius of Sherlock Holmes not so elementary

Photo: Photo Illus By Michael Ordona
Sherlock Holmes as played by Basil Rathbone (left), Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir Ian McKellen: Searching for genius.
Here’s the problem with Sherlock Holmes movies (and TV shows): There aren’t enough super-geniuses in the world.
To make Holmes work, writers, directors and actors must conjure a passable spark of genius, and that requires an equivalent level of megawatt brain power.
And it’s not just an intellectual problem; it’s a dramatic one. Great athlete? Just watch. Great musician? Just listen. Great intellect? Just … think?
“The Theory of Everything” won the Oscar for Eddie Redmayne’s transformative performance asStephen Hawking. It conveyed the tribulations of a marriage and the trials of an ALS sufferer, but the genius portion of the menu was skimped upon. We were told of, not blown away by, Hawking’s incredible breakthroughs.
The Robert Downey Jr.-Guy Ritchie Holmes movies are more about the actor’s charisma, the director’s technique and Sherlock-as-action-hero than puzzling along with the world’s greatest detective.
Even the Benedict Cumberbatch BBC series relies on cheat after cheat — he’s working on mysteries to which we’re not given all the clues he has. No knock on the excellent Cumberbatch, but TV’s “House” got away with that “I’ve got more info than you” trick because the quandaries were rooted in actual medicine.
Back when Basil Rathbone was sussing ’em out in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (1939), super-sleuthing was new to viewers. Since then, we’ve become inured to TV procedurals (and “Scooby-Doo”) with mysteries always one fiber analysis away from being solved in 42 minutes plus commercials.
Not since the first two Hannibal Lecter movies, “Manhunter” and “The Silence of the Lambs,” has there been a recurring character that amazed with intelligence — even more so in Thomas Harris’ deeply researched and inventive source novels.
Now Sir Ian McKellen reunites with “Gods and Monsters” director Bill Condon in “Mr. Holmes,” receiving its U.S. premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival on Saturday, April 25. McKellen’s casting implies an approach less about misanthropic quirks and fisticuffs than capturing the eye-twinkle of living thought.
Let’s hope it does more to blow our minds than other recent Holmes boys did.

For the record, Reverse Angle is a fan.

Michael OrdoƱa is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. E-mail:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Okay, if you don't like being called a fan you can now be called a 'Sherlocker' or 'Holmies'. You pick.

BBC 'Sherlock' Season 4 Air Date & Premiere: Is Benedict Cumberbatch Sexist Sherlock Holmes Ever?

Step aside, Robert Downey, Jr. and Sir Ian McKellen, British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been named the sexist and hottest Sherlock Holmes, according to reports.

The 38-year-old actor, who plays the titular character on "Sherlock," has made the sleuth more popular and irresistible than ever. Cumberbatch has gained acclaim for added his own twist to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic character, and he's earned the BBC series a devout following. That said, it wasn't the series' fans who decided that the Cumberbatch made Sherlock more toothsome (though they would agree), but the show's executive producer Mark Gatiss, who said that Cumberbatch "made Sherlock Holmes sexy."
Since premiering in 2011, Cumberbatch and the entire ensemble have managed to ensnare viewers, and seduce them with the promise of intrigue, unapologetic genius and attractive wit.
"We all are extremely proud of Benedict Cumberbatch. Sherlock turned him from a respected actor into a star," Gatiss, who plays Sherlock Holmes' older brother Mycroft in the series, said to Big Issue in an interview. "That happens very rarely, and he is keen to keep playing the part because he knows how much it has done for him, how much people love him playing it, and he loves it as well."
The Academy Award-nominated actor has found success outside of "Sherlock," but dedicated fans (often known as 'Sherlockers' and 'Holmies') are still most smitten with Cumberbatch's "Mr Darcy-esque" portrayal of Sherlock. Although Cumberbatch's depiction is sexless and explicitly uninterested in sex, he's managed to become desirable to the public.
"He is unattainable. He explicitly claims no interest in either sex, therefore he becomes very desirable. But the way Ben plays him and the way he looks is quite Byronic. He has made Sherlock Holmes sexy," said Gatiss.
The fourth season of the BBC series is expected to air during the early part of 2016. Also, the time-warped, Victorian-era Christmas special episode will precede the fourth season.
Although viewers still have a few months to wait, they can take solace in the fact that series co-producer Steven Moffat tends to very generous when it comes to hints, clues and spoilers, including the fact the upcoming season will be better and darker than ever.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

What do you think. . . .?

Not all that long ago I asked the question; Was Sherlock Holmes a social animal?

And Sandra had an interesting point; "There are times I feel Watson is a rather classic Unreliable Narrator, but in this case I think Holmes is deceiving him about how lonely he is without him during retirement by making himself into a retroactive social swimmer."

Was Sherlock Holmes a lonely old man in his retirement? Was he more sociable than we sometimes believe? Does Watson leave out key information to our understanding Holmes?

And of course, we are 'Playing the Game' here.

And on that note; Would Sherlock Holmes be as popular as he is today if Watson (Doyle) had given us lots more information about him?

I wonder. . .

TWIS - "At the foot of the stairs, however, she met this Lascar scoundrel of whom I have spoken, who thrust her back. . ."

Have you ever wondered what or whom a Lascar is?

Lascar found here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Elementary S3E19 "One Watson, One Holmes" - It's about time!

The episode opens, once you get past the 'prevousily on' opening (which proves to be relevant), with Holmes attached to a heart monitor. He is trying to teach himself to slow down his heartbeat to fake death. If Watson had come in at this point we could have maybe had a reference to DYIN.
But, alas, Holmes is interrupted by a knock at his door.
A young hacker "Sucking Chest Wound", is wanting Holmes help in finding the identity of another hacker, "Species". For whatever reasons, Holmes refuses to help "Sucking Chest Wound".

"Sucking Chest Wound" and other hackers have helped Holmes in the past as "irregulars".

Joan is involved with a 'self Cyber-bullying' case on the side.

A short time later the NYPD contact Holmes about a murder. The victim turns out to be "Species".
"Sucking Chest Wound' is the prime suspect. Eventually it is proved that "Sucking Chest Wound" is framed, . . . . by the FBI. (After watching TV for a few years, one has to wonder way anyone still applies for jobs with the FBI or CIA.)

For a change, the plot keeps developing throughout the episode and we are not handed the murderer early in the show only to move away from him and then come back. We are kept moving from clue to clue and get a rather interesting look into the dark side of hacking. (Is there a light side?)

The only faults with the plot are that the how and why for the need to frame "Sucking Chest Wound".
(How did they get a sample of his hair? Why did they chose to frame him?) And we never get to see Watson's confrontation with the 'self Cyber-bully'.

The pace of the investigation and the deductions along the way made for an interesting episode.
Miller's Holmes was very much a thinking machine in this one. And although it may seem a little weird that Holmes was practicing slowing his heartbeat down at the beginning, we can always go back and listen to Stamford for an explanation; "To do him justice, I think that he would take it himself with the same readiness. He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge.” 

This episode had much more balance in it than perhaps any other episode so far. Especially between Holmes and Watson. Watson, although still involved in the investigations had a much more of a , shall we say, Watson like role.
Miller's Holmes was much more subdued and in control. His quirks would seem less weird if this show were the gauge for upcoming episodes.
The dialog between Holmes and Watson, especially the one near the end of the show where Holmes explains his understanding of there relationship is probably the best exchange all season. He seems to understand the balance Watson creates in his life. He also understood that Watson was giving away to much of herself and was losing her balance. It actually felt sincere the way Miller's Holmes explained his feelings. A definite growth in his character.
One thing that is rarely examined in the Canon ( I said rarely, not never ) is how Holmes changed over the years and how Watson may have had affected some of that change. Canonically, was Holmes a more balanced, social person because of Watson?

This episode was also balanced in the way it handled the murder case and in the way Watson was dealing with her personal life. The story lines flowed well together.

I would love to believe that the producers have been listening to the fans along the way, and have started to get away from the weirdness of "Elementary" and just focusing on the good Holmes stuff.
But I doubt if we have influenced it at all. I just hope this is not a 'one-of'

Oh yea, Clyde was back.

I have to happily give this episode;

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My favorite quote from a recent interview. . . .

“We have just filmed the Special, which as you may know, is set in 1885. I swear to God I couldn’t answer this for laughing for fully five minutes, but Steven and I were asked: ‘How can Sherlock Holmes exist in an era without iPhones?’ He just said: ‘There is some history of that.’ 

The rest can be found HERE


Monday, April 6, 2015

S3E18 - 'The View from Olympus' - taking on the gods?

With the exception of the 'sex blanket' I enjoyed the opening of this episode. The repartee between Holmes and Watson, the mention of previous cases was well done and well played.
We know the show is going to try to shock us with references to Holmes sexual habits, so we are no longer surprised or shocked when it does.

But, at least this time the romp in the sex blanket served a purpose other than well . . . .

We have also come to accept 'Elementary' as another police procedural, with perhaps just a little more to offer, because it has to at least at some point attempt to make some reference to its source. (Was Brett's Holmes a procedural? Is Poirot a procedural?) A show, this show, can only focus on Holmes methods for so long before it becomes repetitive. Had 'Elementary' reach that point yet, showing Holmes methods? Probably not.

But 'Holmes' can only throw himself on the floor so many times. And after a certain point we have to just accept that Holmes has great observation skills. Even, if we think about it, watching Brett, it was not about the methods that kept us involved, it was the fact that the show adhered closely to the Canon and  more importantly, it was Brett's portrayal of Holmes idiosyncrasies that set the tone that modern adaptation are having to measure up to.
Even the popularity of 'Sherlock' can in great part be attributed to Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Holmes more unusual habits and manners.

Unfortunately for 'Elementary', to most Sherlockians,  the Holmes that comes out of Miller's portrayal is not as likable as the Holmes we all have pictured in our minds. Most of us come away feeling we are watching a Holmes that is much more dysfunctional than our image from the Canon. Even when watching 'Sherlock', Holmes almost comes off as an enjoyable caricature of Holmes. In Elementary we are forced, if we accept the show in the first place, to examine if not the darker side of Holmes' personality, at least parts we may not normally think about.

That doesn't mean Canonically that there is no value in the show.

I do not claim to be an expert on anything, much less an expert on all the Canonical discussion centered around 'Sherlock'. But I would argue that 'Sherlock' has generated less conversation about Holmes personality and back story than 'Elementary'. For the most part it seems most of the conversation about Sherlock's personality in 'Sherlock' centers almost entirely around his sexuality and whether or not he is a psychopath or sociopath. 'Sherlock' is fun, but it does not make me want to examine Holmes.

'Elementary' has created a deeper, darker Holmes than we see in the Canon. Something that a visual media can afford to do, and has the time to cover.

And that is what I got most out of this episode.

Once again, although topical and timely, the mystery is not all that important and shows several errors.
It does make a good social statement and the couple of times Holmes comments on the access companies have to our personal information are very well done.

The real story this week is once again about Holmes' growing as an individual and the influences his past has had on his present.

Canonically we get very few references of how others perceive Sherlock, especially his anti-social behavior (which is probably not quite as acute as either Elementary or Sherlock's portray). For the most part Stamford is the only one that gives us much insight to how Holmes may appear to others less accepting than Watson;
 “It is not easy to express the inexpressible,” he answered with a laugh. “Holmes is a little too scientific for my tastes—it approaches to cold bloodedness. I could imagine his giving a friend a little pinch of the latest vegetable alkaloid, not out of malevolence, you understand, but simply out of a spirit of inquiry in order to have an accurate idea of the effects. To do him justice, I think that he would take it himself with the same readiness. He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge.” and “You mustn’t blame me if you don’t get on with him,” he said; “I know nothing more of him than I have learned from meeting him occasionally in the laboratory. You proposed this arrangement, so you must not hold me responsible.” and a couple more.

In this episode of 'Elementary', Holmes is asked to father a child with one of the irregular Irregulars. A women Holmes as worked with before and who in the past has been mutually agreeable to an uncommitted relationship.
Between her own desires and Holmes' fathers interference (he wants a heir to the family name) she asks Holmes to offer his 'issue' in the production of an offspring.
This forces Holmes into distraction and personal insight.
This on its own would be rather a dumb side story to an already weak plot.
But, it offers us as viewers some insight into the inner turmoil into the life of someone who has such an active mind. a mind feels he has very little control over it at times.
We get glimpse's of this at times in the Canon when Holmes is without work or something to stimulate his mind, but the Canon soon finds something to occupy Holmes. Is the 'brown study' and reference to his office color or state of mind? (Don't answer that, it's a joke.)

Miller's Holmes decides not to participate in the production because he does not wish upon anyone else the troubles he wrestles with to control his over active mind. It seems he does not consider it a gift, but more a burden.

Canonically what I got out of this mostly was; What would Holmes have been like without Watson? What were his personal struggles when consumed by boredom or inactivity? What would the Canonical Holmes perhaps have been reduced to if not for an influence like Watson? Did Holmes' personality change after the great hiatus?

We hear very little about Holmes' early life in the Canon. Just a couple of nods here and there. Nothing about his father, and very little about his mother. We know the relationship with Mycroft does not come across as one of affection, but more as one of mutual respect for each others mental skills.

'Elementary' bravely keeps examining a troubled relationship between father and son.

Very few of us are ever going to really love Miller's Holmes. We probably do not hopefully imagine him someday wearing a deerstalker and portraying a more period Holmes. Buy he does make us explore sides of Holmes we don't normally go to deep into.

Sherlock Holmes would never be a popular today if the stories had not been written as short stories, not allowing for much detail. 'Playing the Game' would not be any fun if Doyle had told us everything. Speculation is the back-bone of Canonical discussion.
Miller's Holmes is one view of that discussion. Where we find absurd written debate acceptable Canonical discussion, we should also find 'Elementary' as such.

Although I found several good discussion points, once again it lack Canonical references and an okay plot, but I can only fairly give it;