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mrspencil

Hi, Guardian of the Gates :-)

Welcome:-)

Regarding Mycroft, I see him as a back room civil servant in government, with many connections and independent networks and enough clout to influence even the most senior politician or major policy. And independent of any specific political party.

Granada or canon, or other versions for that matter?...I think I base my fics on the original books...but sometimes am influenced by a particular actor's scene, tone or expression when writing. I saw the Granada series quite late on.

6/27/2015 #91
Starluff

Thank you very much to everyone who has answered :) @Stut: First of all, what is a "very confidential analyst for the Crown"? A detective that works only for the government or something? I ask this because I want more details and don't really know where to go hunting for them, really. I want to write a story about Mycroft and really delve into his job and what he does, but that isn't really going to work if you don't know what his job is or what he does, is it? Especially in BBC (both in the show and fanfiction) Mycroft is usually just this...god-like power that no one can touch. But he has to have some flaw, there has to be an extent to what he can and cannot do. Well, I'll look more into it independently and see what I can find. If anyone has anything new to add, I would definitely appreciate it.

BTW,I'm curious, do most of the fic writers here base their works on Canon or Granada?

A mix of both, really. Since Granada is so close to canon, there isn't really a difference, is there? I've seen many canon fics that I would swear was at the very least inspired by Granada (you can tell if they use Brett's mannerisms that were never used in canon, like the quicksilver smile, the barking laugh, among others) and if you're writing for Granada, then it's for canon, isn't it? If I were to make an uneducated guess, I would say most people write for canon but are definitely inspired by Granada. Most people I've seen are that way.

Oh, and hi and all that.

6/27/2015 #92
Stutley Constable

No need to be shy at all, Guardian Of The Gates. All fans of Sherlock Holmes are welcome here. I would ask, though, that you take a minute to stop in at the Introductions thread and let everyone know who you are. We won't bite, I assure you. Help yourself to some tea or a glass of brandy while you are there, if you like. :)

"Very confidential analyst for the Crown" - Not a detective, Starluff. My take on Mycroft is that he analyses data provided to him by experts working in various departments of the British government. You can find the following passage in 'The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans':

(Watson) "You told me that he had some small office under the British government."

Holmes chuckled.

"I did not know you quite so well in those days. One has to be discreet when one talks of high matters of state. You are right in thinking that he under the British government. You would also be right in a sense if you said that occasionally he IS the British government."

"My dear Holmes!"

"I thought I might surprise you. Mycroft draws four hundred and fifty pounds a year, remains a subordinate, has no ambitions of any kind, will receive neither honour nor title, but remains the most indispensable man in the country."

"But how?"

"Well, his position is unique. He has made it for himself. There has never been anything like it before, nor will be again. He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say offhand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant. Again and again his word has decided the national policy. He lives in it. He thinks of nothing else save when, as an intellectual exercise, he unbends if I call upon him and ask him to advise me on one of my little problems. But Jupiter is descending to-day. What on earth can it mean? Who is Cadogan West, and what is he to Mycroft?"

Reading that scene brings to mind any number of spy movies, but Mycroft is not a spy. He takes in data and passes on his observations including facts, probabilities and conclusions much like a modern computer. Pay particular attention to the sentences I highlighted when considering how to describe Mycroft. I also strongly suggest you reread 'The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans'.

As for the Mycroft from the new 'Sherlock' series, he's an exaggeration based on the original concept much as Sherlock is an exaggeration based on the original concept of Holmes. While I find the performances good, I am not a particular fan of the series because it translates much like a cartoon. In its way 'Sherlock' is every bit as bad as the worst of the Rathbone and Bruce films from the thirties and forties, and those are nowhere near as bad as people like to portray them. I would go so far as to say Rathbone/Bruce 'Hound of the Baskervilles' is as good as the Granada series version though it is somewhat different and takes different liberties.

6/27/2015 #93
Guardian Of The Gates
In its way 'Sherlock' is every bit as bad as the worst of the Rathbone and Bruce films from the thirties and forties, and those are nowhere near as bad as people like to portray them.

Isn't THAT the truth! Canon was my formal introduction to Sherlock Holmes, so when I first watched the Rathbone movies, the contrast was slightly grating. They are still not my favorites, but I've come to appreciate his take on the detective, and some of those old films are actually very good. BBC Sherlock, though... I'll give Martin Freeman credit for fleshing out Watson so well, and I thought A Study In Pink worked well overall, but it's so glaringly out of character and Cumberbatch so grating on the nerves with his sociopathic, full of himself portrayal. Ugh. Mark Gatiss in particular gets so much of Holmes & Watson's relationship wrong, it's maddening!

Oh, and thank you for pointing out the intro section :) Will stop by there post-haste!

6/27/2015 #94
mrspencil

I have written mainly ACD fics, but have enjoyed writing some Sherlock fics too, and have many friend writing solely for that series, with some interesting and well-written angles on the characters and plots. My enjoyment of that series has diminished significantly with each new episode, though, particularly season 3. Pleased it was produced, however, and that there are so many different interpretations of characters and settings.

6/28/2015 #95
Starluff
My enjoyment of that series has diminished significantly with each new episode, though, particularly season 3.

Hahah, don't get me started on series 3 -- it was a travesty. No, not a travesty, a joke; you get the feeling the writers got drunk, wrote the script, and then forgot to fix it later.

What don't you like about the H/W dynamic in BBC, Guardian? It was one of the best things about the show, IMO.

6/29/2015 #96
Westron Wynde

Welcome, Guardian of the Gates :)

I can't say much for the BBC series, because beyond the first season, I really don't care for it, but I think they were going with the concept that Mycroft basically runs the government, and that he's some type of omniscient politician.

BTW,I'm curious, do most of the fic writers here base their works on Canon or Granada?

Thank heavens, I thought it was only me who had issues with 'Sherlock'. Nice to know I'm not alone ;) The beginning of Series 2 lost me.

Me, I base my work on Canon and it's my first reference, but it's the early Jeremy Brett episodes that stick in my mind's eye. He will always be my idea of Sherlock Holmes because I grew up with the series (like the James Bond you grow up with too, I suppose). There's a lot of other actors and influences thrown into the mix, but Granada is the series I return to when I need a refresher.

I've seen many canon fics that I would swear was at the very least inspired by Granada (you can tell if they use Brett's mannerisms that were never used in canon, like the quicksilver smile, the barking laugh, among others)

Just to say, Starluff, that actually Sherlock Holmes does a lot of laughing and smiling in Canon, so don't let the naysayers tell you it's just a Granada/Brett thing. Straight away in STUD, ACD says of Sherlock Holmes: "Oh, that's all right," he cried, with a merry laugh.

Sherlock Holmes, merry? Who'd have thought it? :) Then of course there's the best bit from The Red-Headed League: "Sherlock Holmes and I surveyed this curt announcement and the rueful face behind it, until the comical side of the affair so completely overtopped every other consideration that we both burst out into a roar of laughter." Highly unprofessional, but amusing nonetheless.

Now, jumping over the furniture, yes, that is Granada.

As for Mycroft, I see him as an advisor to the government. I take Sherlock at his word when he says Mycroft has "no ambition and no energy", so it has to be a fairly passive role. Take a problem to him, let him give a broad overview, take it from there, let him go back to sleep. Actually running the government takes ambition and energy, and I don't see Mycroft as having either.

6/30/2015 #97
tripleransom

Hi Guardian of the Gates,

Regarding Mycroft - anyone else remember the absolutely chilling portrayal of him by Christopher Lee in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes? He was willing to do anything to anyone, including his brother, in the service of the Crown. I think tht film has influenced me more than anything else in the way I envision Mycroft and his relationship with Holmes.

I have the discs for BBC Sherlock, but so far I haven't watched them - I just can't work up the interest. Oddly enough, I can handle the RDJ films (mostly because of Jude Law). I'm afraid for me, it always has to be 1895. Now, the LenFilm Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson - that's a series I adore almost as much as Granada. But when it comes to writing, Jeremy Brett is 'my' Holmes. I pretty much see him when I read the original stories, so I guess I'd say, I base my work on a kind of fusion of ACD and Granada.

Which reminds me, I have several stories that I need to get on the stick and post here...wup.

6/30/2015 #98
Westron Wynde

Good points, tripleransom.

Regarding Mycroft - anyone else remember the absolutely chilling portrayal of him by Christopher Lee in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes? He was willing to do anything to anyone, including his brother, in the service of the Crown. I think tht film has influenced me more than anything else in the way I envision Mycroft and his relationship with Holmes.

Brilliant film - in places. There's bits I love and there's bits were I'm scratching my head and going 'eh'? Sparkling dialogue, tick. Irene Handl as Mrs Hudson, great stuff. Christopher Lee as Mycroft, sinister. I particularly like the line where Dr Watson says about his drinking affecting his gout, and Mycroft says: "The last doctor who warned me about that was crossing Piccadilly, slipped on an orange peel and was run over by a delivery van from Fortnum and Mason." The implied threat in that is delicious :) Robert Stephens too makes a sympathetic Holmes, and I rather liked his portrayal.

I can absolutely see Mycroft leaving younger brother hung out to dry if it suited him. Which brings up the question, are they close? Any thoughts?

If I remember right, hasn't Mark Gatiss said 'The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes' was one of his sources of inspiration for BBC 'Sherlock'? I can see the connection.

7/1/2015 . Edited 7/1/2015 #99
tripleransom

It's sad that TPL of SH had to be chopped up so badly for theatrical release. I don't think there's a complete version in existence anywhere. My DVD has a reconstruction of the missing bits. They're incomplete, but with them the film makes much better sense, although I could live without the Sherlock-was-in-love-with-a-prostitute-and-that-exerience-turned-him-gay storyline. Still, it's a brilliant film with some terrific performances.

I think you're right that Gatiss said it was an influence on him. Also, I think it must have been the inspiration for the Lenfilm Mycroft, with the slicked back hair and the monocle. When I saw it I thought 'WTF' - then I saw TPL of SH and it became clear.

I read somewhere that it was a real breakout role for Christopher Lee, who had mostly played in B horror films before.

I loved Robert Stephens in it, but evidently playing Holmes for Billy Wilder was such a bad experience that he tried to warn off Jeremy Brett from taking the role for Granada. Thankfully, Jeremy didn't take his advice!

7/1/2015 #100
Guardian Of The Gates
Hahah, don't get me started on series 3 -- it was a travesty. No, not a travesty, a joke; you get the feeling the writers got drunk, wrote the script, and then forgot to fix it later.

That is undoubtedly the best explanation I've heard for the train wreck that was Series 3 :D

What don't you like about the H/W dynamic in BBC, Guardian? It was one of the best things about the show, IMO.

I get the feeling they are trying to create sexual tension for the sole sake of appealing to the fangirls, which would be fine by me if they didn't leave out the love and respect H & W had for each other in the process. It's a very twisted, needy, dependency between the two of them instead of having their mutual affection and the bonds of friendship hold them together when it all hits the fan.

This was really not an issue in S1, but in S2, it was painfully apparent, with Sherlock delighting in causing John mental pain in the Hound episode - that's a far cry from the botched experiment in DEVI, which Holmes is immediately apologetic for having put Watson in danger. In The Final Problem, Holmes deliberately sends Watson away when he realizes Moriarity has found him, to keep the doctor from harm, even though he admits he knew it would cause Watson pain. He still acted selflessly, though, and that's a far cry from how it plays out in TRF. He also comes off as a snot rag in The Empty Hearse when he assumes Watson has no life.

The entirety of The Empty Hearse was rubbish, imo, because instead of being overjoyed his friend was alive, Watson flies into a rage. Was there anger in Canon!Watson after the fact? I'm betting there was, but that immediate forgiveness is what makes their friendship so rare. BBC has made it common. And I think it was the final episode of S3 we find out that John is some sort of psychopathic danger addict himself, and that is the reason he sticks around Sherlock. In the books, his interest begins as an intellectual curiosity that never really fades, but does come to be outshined by his friendship with Holmes.That's what did it for me. I shut off emotionally after that scene, because there's only so much character bashing I can take.

I think you're right that when BBC gets the friendship right, they do a fantastic job (I loved how John is the only one who believes Sherlock is in danger in ASIP) but they're getting it wrong more often than not :( That's just my humble opinion, of course.

Sorry for the long windedness :)

7/1/2015 #101
Westron Wynde
It's a very twisted, needy, dependency between the two of them instead of having their mutual affection and the bonds of friendship hold them together when it all hits the fan.

I think you've analysed that very well, Guardian of the Gates. Needy is definitely the word I'd use, almost to the point of suffocation.

I get that Watson wants a little excitement in his life - who doesn't? - but again I agree with you in thinking that it was pushed too far. Actually, imho it's the thing that 'Elementary' gets right (whatever its other faults and what you think of the concept in general). What starts as an assignment for Joan Watson becomes an interest in its own right, harking back to what Guardian said about 'intellectual curiosity'.

Good analysis. Food for thought, definitely.

7/2/2015 . Edited 7/2/2015 #102
mrspencil

Interesting comments re BBC Sherlock...there are bits I liked, but I missed the quirky clients and villains which populate canon, and found the plots became too busy and too dramatic. "Worth a wound, worth many wounds" worked well for a single scene in canon...less impact when life and death situations happened so often. Almost didn't trust itself to take things more gently and slowly, perhaps.

7/2/2015 #103
Stutley Constable

A brief exchange with Starluff has prompted me to ask this question: How many languages do each of you speak?

I know a small amount of German, a few words of Spanish and fewer words of French, and a very little bit of Japanese thanks to having watched the miniseries 'Shogun' several times.

I ask this because now and then languages other than English can be very useful when writing. Please do let us know. Your language skills might prove the difference between a good story and a great one.

7/5/2015 #104
Starluff
Just to say, Starluff, that actually Sherlock Holmes does a lot of laughing and smiling in Canon, so don't let the naysayers tell you it's just a Granada/Brett thing.

Oh yeah, I made that discovery for myself when I read the original :) He also eats a lot more than he does in fics, which is funny. What I meant was the very Brett-specific mannersisms: the hand flourishes, that way he smiles and then looks down, how he presses his index finger to his lips when he's thinking (he steeples his fingers in the books, if I remembered correctly, but not the index finger specifically) -- none of these are mentioned in the books. And the jumping over furniture.

I get the feeling they are trying to create sexual tension for the sole sake of appealing to the fangirls,

That *is* something that annoys me in modern shows: creating ambiguously gay men to appeal to fangirls without actually saying that they're gay and dealing with those issues. I kind of liked it in BBC, if only because we get to see John get exasperated everytime (he's cute when he's exasperated), but...yeah.

This was really not an issue in S1, but in S2, it was painfully apparent, with Sherlock delighting in causing John mental pain in the Hound episode - that's a far cry from the botched experiment in DEVI, which Holmes is immediately apologetic for having put Watson in danger. In The Final Problem, Holmes deliberately sends Watson away when he realizes Moriarity has found him, to keep the doctor from harm, even though he admits he knew it would cause Watson pain. He still acted selflessly, though, and that's a far cry from how it plays out in TRF.

Hum... you have a point there. I never thought of it like that but yeah, it's true. But wait, *did* he enjoy it? I thought he was just being an unfeeling douchebag, as apposed to being a sadist.

The entirety of The Empty Hearse was rubbish,

My policy when it comes to S3: I pretend it doesn't exist. The thing is, it actually isn't consistant with the rest of the show, which is why I do this. Do you, in most interviews I saw about S3, everyone talked about how Sherlock had lost all the people skills he gained while on his hiatus, when in reality it was the opposite: he was *better* with people. Well not really better but more willing to deal with people. I thought they did it kind of silly, though, the way he was awkwardly trying to figure out how normal people do things...I don't know, it felt kind of childish and could have been done better. And John *likes* adventure and danger but he can live without it. AND WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT MARY BEING A SPY, A *SPY*?! REALLY? DID YOU EVEN READ THE STUPID SCRIPT LIKE COME ON- Ahem. As for the above question by Stut, I hadn't realized that we could use that as a resource, that's a good idea :) I know Arabic (mostly Egyptian Arabic -- there are a lot of different types) pretty good and, perhaps more importantly, know people who know even better Arabic than I do so I could even ask them if I don't know. My French is almost nonexistant so I doubt I could help anyone with that.

Sorry for the long windedness :)

Haha, if yours was long winded, what is mine? XD

7/5/2015 #105
Stutley Constable

I have a question for all you lovely Brits. What is the difference between a pub and a free house? I ask because I was just scrolling through a list of pubs in the UK, enjoying the various signs and the often humorous names and noticed three or four of them were labeled 'free house' while all the others were either inns or pubs. I also noticed not one of them was called a tavern. Is that designation no longer in use in the UK?

7/11/2015 #106
mrspencil

Morning, Stutley:-)

A free house is a public house which is not tied to a particular brewery, so can stock whichever beers etc the owner chooses..Most are tied to a brewery, but can extend the range of what is on offer, a little. Pub is used as a general term, inn less often, and tavern, I think, only if it is in the actual name of the pub...a more old fashioned name.

7/11/2015 #107
Westron Wynde

Just to add to that excellent explanation by mrspencil :)

I notice in terms of etymology that the use of 'pub', which is slang shortening of public house, is evidenced in 1859. Canon, however, prefers 'public house'. There's no reason why 'pub' couldn't be used, apart from its slang origins. I wonder if ACD considered that it wasn't 'proper English'? Even today, I notice that although slang crops up in novels in written speech, it appears less so in prose.

Whatever the reason, what you can't do is send Holmes and Watson on a 'pub crawl' - the phrase wasn't invented until 1910. Public house crawl doesn't have quite the same ring to it :)

Etymology is fascinating!

7/13/2015 #108
tripleransom

Now, see I learn new things all the time. This fandom is so dang literary (and ain't it wonderful!)

7/13/2015 #109
cubatute
Hello again! Regarding the fic I had mentioned - I'm afraid I don't have many details to share, as I hardly remember any of it, save for bits and pieces. It was either ACD!verse or Richie!verse since it was definitely set in the Victorian era. The story itself wasn't so much of a story but more like a drabble or a plot-bunny - just one of those super short one-shots. It took place in the middle of the night at 221B and either Holmes or Watson (I think the author was intentionally vague about it.) was suffering from a nightmare. The other says something along the lines of "Come on, man, wake up!" and the sufferer wakes and says "Thank you." Then I believe the next and final line is "They sit in silence [or darkness] for the rest of the night." Thank you so much for.your help, I will continue to search in those websites you all had recommended. ;-)
7/14/2015 #110
Hades Lord of the Dead

Hello friends :) It's been a few months since I last had a look round so am catching up on everything in The Consulting Room. Was reading the Sherlock discussion from earlier (prepare for another long-winded post) and wanted to throw in my own thoughts if that's okay. Am also totally willing to move this to the Variations on Canon topic instead - still getting to grips with this whole forum thing! Also apologies if any of the details are wrong here - it has been a while since I watched any of episodes of Sherlock available to us ;)

[Please feel free to not read the following my thoughts got rather out of hand... there is a more personal note at the bottom that is far better suited to "General Discussion" I think!]

I totally agree with what has been said before about the relationship between Sherlock and John seeming wrong in Sherlock, in a similar way to the Rathbone films. I think though that it isn't JUST the relationship between them, but actually in Sherlock's relationship with EVERYONE - now obviously Sherlock's the main character in the series, but the focus on him often seems to be at the expense of the rest of the characters. They don't get fleshed out very much - for example Lestrade is used frequently as a comedic element but I know nothing about his family, love life, anything that isn't to do with Sherlock really. I know Donovan and Anderson had a relationship but never find out anything deeper than that, or any of their reasons for doing the things they do. So we never see reasoning behind Donovan hating Sherlock other than what she SAYS (which is so against the show-don't-tell ethos of storytelling and is something that I've noticed a lot in Sherlock), and we never really get a satisfactory reason for why Anderson became so obsessed with proving Sherlock was alive at the start of S3; it just seems as though it was added for humour, which is great occasionally but it happens so frequently I long for some real meaty character development. An added issue to this lack of character development for supporting cast means that actually Sherlock's development as a character seems quite stilted. In S1 it seemed as though there was a progression from him being totally uncaring and disregarding of others' emotions and opinions to caring for John, at least (as we see in the bomb scene end of S1 and a few other moments). For me it seemed a natural progression was for him to begin caring for other people generally; this is what happens in the books in many ways, we learn that he's softened with age and so on. It's also something that seems a lot better in the series Elementary - not only do Holmes and Watson have a much more co-dependent, healthy relationship but we also learn a lot more about the supporting characters. There's a whole episode concerned with Gregson's divorce and a crime surrounding it, we have another episode in which Watson's former medical career is explored and we STILL have episodes exploring Holmes's backstory and character. What's more is we see Holmes progressing from being totally unreasonable and uncaring in many ways to actually learning to be more accepting and understanding of others. (Also Elementary is just so brilliant in a gazillion ways but that's DEFINITELY a post for the variations on canon topic!)

I have to admit that, as far as I can see, a large reason I don't like Sherlock is because of (unpopular opinion coming) Stephen Moffat's writing. His focus on Sherlock as the main character is very similar to what he changed in Dr Who about the Doctor. Yes the Doctor is the titular character, but what made it such a brilliant show before Moffat become head writer was the PROPER backstory given to other characters and the fact that The Doctor was focussed on their well being not his own - this is lacking in Doctor Who and in Sherlock in many ways. Also in pre-Moffat Who motivations of supporting characters were not always concerned with the main character - they had their own interests and wishes and dreams that weren't focussed on The Doctor. Similarly it seems to me none of the supporting characters of Sherlock do anything that isn't somehow geared around Holmes... for me this a) makes everything seem unbelievable, unrealistic and very contrived and b) again adds to this sense of Holmes as the centre of the universe and nothing else matters. Yeah he's obviously a great character but I want LOTS of great characters (like in Elementary - again another post...) to make the world they co-exist in seem real, fleshed out and detailed. I found Jared Harris's portrayal of Moriarty in Game of Shadows really chilling because I genuinely felt as though yes, he respected Holmes, but he wasn't actually focussed on him - he had his own motivations and agenda and Holmes only became important to him because he was the only one with potential to prevent it from happening. By contrast Moriarty in Sherlock just doesn't scare me because I know he wouldn't do anything - I mean he has the chance at the end of S1 to kill Sherlock and doesn't - for no other reason than he's a bit unhinged and enjoys the thrill; for me that just seems like something the writers can use to contrive any situation us to watch Sherlock confront. To be fair, saying that, I think I remember Magnussen as being a slight improvement but haven't re-watched S3 at all...

Admittedly part of the issue may be the format of episodes. As an introduction S1 was great with the structure of longer, fewer episodes in a season. But the problem now seems to be that there's enough time to have a large, complicated plot, but not to get too deeply into characters. And it seems to be characters should really be the driving force behind a plot. Also as mrspencil pointed out the life-and-death situations are so frequent it's unbelievable - again, IMO, due to the few episodes the writers feel the need to constantly have the stakes be high... this is also frustrating because in general the cases link back to the overarching villain, Moriarty or Magnussen. Something which again might work in a series with more episodes, because you can throw in a few or maybe even many cases which are dedicated to exploring the characters of the show rather than expositioning on the plot and setting up for the evil villain of the piece.

Queer-baiting is also a really serious issue in Sherlock. It's already been said, but they throw in a lot of homoerotic subtext between John and Sherlock to appease the LGBTQA community and in a way that makes a lot of fans consider it to be "progressive" but the fact is we still haven't seen any characters that are explicitly said to not be straight, as far as I remember? Even Irene Adler, who says in response to John's "If anyone still cares, I'm not gay" "Well I am" - ISN'T GAY, because she falls in love with Sherlock. So perhaps she's bisexual - but that isn't stated, which erases an entire sexuality??

AND ON THAT TOPIC I would just like to say that I am incredibly frustrated that Sherlock somehow managed to make an interpretation of Irene Adler which was more sexist than the original, Victorian-era story -_- In A Scandal in Bohemia I always read Irene Adler as being resourceful and clever, on a level with Holmes - hence her being "The Woman". At the start of A Scandal in Belgravia and for a large portion of the show she seemed quite similar - very driven towards her own goals and using her own intelligence to outsmart Sherlock and guess his weaknesses in order to get what she wanted; similar to how Victorian Irene used Holmes's misogyny and arrogance to outsmart him and get what she wanted. But then, of course it's revealed that most of modern-Irene's security and her outsmarting of Holmes is because Moriarty gave her advice - so turns out her motivation wasn't what drove her it was Moriarty's and she wasn't clever in her own right. She became a really passive character who was just there to give plot and a romance plotline for Sherlock. And of course her main motivation is, typical to the series, SHERLOCK(I mean SHER -locked - REALLY?!) - she even had to be saved from terrorists by him in the very end. I was so upset to see her disintegrate from this really great, interesting and fierce character to a damsel-in-distress propped up by men. In an interview Moffat said

"I remember when I was reading that story [A Scandal in Bohemia] as a kid, Sherlock goes on and on about The Woman, the only one who ever beat him, and you're thinking, he's had better villains than this. And then you click: he fancies her, doesn't he? That's what it's about."

It frustrates me so much because NO, that isn't - Watson says in the fourth sentence "It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler." - and it adds to this whole thing of characters in the show's importance based purely on their relationship to Sherlock and whether he likes them/needs them/fancies them. He also talks about her not "being a bad girl any more" and being a limited as "a deadly femme fatale"; again frustrating that the only way many writers consider female characters to be well written is if they're a "bad girl" and "strong" - i.e. witty, carry a gun, sexy. It didn't matter that Irene of the original books was an opera singer and that her goal was to marry the man she loved - the point was that she had her own agenda and didn't let either the King of Bohemia or Holmes get in the way of it. She chose her path in a way that was really progressive for a book on that time and it just seems as though BBC Sherlock unravelled the whole thing :(

Anyway apologies this turned into possible the longest rant of all - it is great to know there are other fans out there who are willing to look with a critical and comparative eye on both the original stories and the adaptations!

[AND BACK TO PERSONAL THINGS SUITED TO GENERAL DISCUSSION]

Am performing in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe this August and was thrilled to hear that there are three different improvised versions of Sherlock Holmes! Will definitely go see each of them throughout my month in Scotland _ Anyone else going for a visit, or even to perform??

7/23/2015 #111
Stutley Constable

Long posts are not a problem as long as you have a point and make it, Hades. I think you did quite well with yours. :)

Also Elementary is just so brilliant in a gazillion ways but that's DEFINITELY a post for the variations on canon topic!

From the Mission Statement and Rules of the Consulting Room - Mission Statement – This forum has been established to discuss Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes canon and pastiches based on it. We welcome discussion of the original works, movies, non-canon novels and short stories, but discussions of the modernizations of the canon, such as BBC's 'Sherlock' and CBS's 'Elementary' should be very limited. If the modernizations are your passion, perhaps another forum would suit you better. I recommend Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen. They are a friendly lot and BBC's 'Sherlock' is their primary subject of discussion.

If you are going to discus 'Elementary' you will need to do so in the way you discussed 'Sherlock'; compare it with canon and make your points clearly. If you want to extol the virtues of the modernized series I suggest finding a forum that is dedicated to them. And I would much rather you make such a post here in the General Discussion thread rather than the Variations thread.

That being said, I also want to stress that this forum is not a place to bash the modernizations. I personally like 'Elementary' but recognize that it could easily have been called something else and the main characters could have names other than Holmes and Watson. They do not resemble the canon characters very much, after all. I like the later episodes of 'Sherlock' less than those in series one, but the show is not terrible. Its saving grace is the dynamic of Freeman and Cumberbatch. I feel the two actors have a genuine chemistry that compliments their performances. I think the writers and directors are primarily to blame for the show's shortcomings. I do object strongly to the notion that John Watson is some sort of danger junky and is attracted to dangerous companions. That strikes me as bovine scatology. In canon it comes across pretty clearly that Watson was fascinated by Holmes and his abilities. Also, Holmes warmed to Watson over time. He did not immediately like Watson as a friend, but after several adventures he valued him and from that mutual respect their friendship grew. 'Sherlock' does try to bring this across in a rather clumsy, brittle manner as can be seen in 'The Hounds of Baskerville' and 'The Empty Hearse', but they are handicapped by the short amount of time in an episode and the small number of episodes in a series.

Queer-baiting is also a really serious issue in Sherlock.

I absolutely agree with this statement. To make the joke once was humorous and not out of place, especially considering it happened in the first episode when the two men had only known each other for about twenty-four hours. To repeat the joke was insulting to my intelligence. It does not make for a good running gag. If you want to see a good example of how to treat homosexuality in a humorous and respectful way look up some episodes of 'Brooklyn 99'. The series is available on Hulu.


Now a change of subject. We all know Holmes did a variety of chemical experiments at 221B. Many of us have even gone so far as to include explosions of his apparatus in our fics. I can't recall any explosions mentioned in canon, though. Anyway, I was surfing one of my favorite distraction-type websites and came across this post of chemical reactions. If any of you are chemists or know a chemist could you try to identify these demonstrations? I think it would be pretty cool to include one or two in some of my stories and maybe there are other members who would appreciate the information, also.

www dot collegehumor dot com/post/6814933/10-gifs-of-science-bitches

7/25/2015 #112
Hades Lord of the Dead

Yeah totally agree Stutley and reading back I see what I wrote did seem like just tearing into the show; I think I got carried away with the realisation that there were others out there willing to look at it in a more critical light than my other friends who watch it! But it's definitely important to say that the acting is really brilliant, particularly by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and also that the show is really beautifully shot and put together. It has its highs and its lows.


In response to the chemistry post - thanks so much, these GIFs are brilliant! Isn't it funny how sometimes the fanon can begin to overtake canon? At least that's what I think happens occasionally in my mind because you're right, I just sort of assume that chemical explosions are commonplace in 221B, despite the fact that it doesn't mention that in any of the stories!

7/26/2015 #113
tripleransom

As far a both Elementary and Sherlock go, anyone who knows me knows that I am a purist who really only plays in the Victorian sandbox. One big reason I don't care for the modern adaptations is because they are modern. For me it has to be "always 1895". But the 2013 Russian series is set in the Victorian time period and I'm unimpressed with that one also.

I'm going to quote an LJ post I made a couple of days ago, because Peter Haining absolutely summed it up for me:

Somebody in the Gift of the Heart for Jeremy Brett group on Facebook just pointed me toward a wonderful interview with Peter Haining, author of many books, including The Television Sherlock Holmes. (Well worth reading, BTW) In the interview he expresses a great deal of admiration for Jeremy Brett who really poured himself into his role as Holmes, but the part that I thought really hit the nail on the head was when he talked about Peter Cushing: "Peter Cushing...who was very quiet, very gentle, but determined to portray the character in the way he felt was closest to the original author's intention - whereas so many actors want to change a character and imprint themselves on it. If you're dealing with classic figures of fiction, if you want to really carry the audience with you, then go back to the original. It wouldn't be so popular or enduring if the original hadn't got it right in the first place." [the boldface is mine] Bingo! Mr. Haining, you just expressed in three sentences exactly why I don't care for either Elementary, or Sherlock, or the 2013 Russian series. Note that I'm not necessarily blaming the actors themselves; I'm sure the directors had a great deal to do with the idiosyncratic, quirky portrayals of Holmes that emerge from those shows. And they are original, they are modern, they are whatever. The point is, none of them are Sherlock Holmes to me in the way that Jeremy Brett, Peter Cushing, and Vasily Livanov were - precisely because those are the guys who kept it closest to Doyle's original character.

And there you have my .02.

7/26/2015 #114
Stutley Constable

Changing subjects to something completely unrelated to Sherlock Holmes. This is just all kinds of funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO-phqmyqdY

I will bet you will be smiling after watching the video.

8/11/2015 #115
mrspencil

Very cute, Stutley:-)

and best wishes to all.

8/11/2015 #116
Stutley Constable

For anyone who likes violin music, check this guy out. I think he's pretty damned good.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLeDrPeczFI5lZ9nI7S5X9w

9/4/2015 #117
Stutley Constable

Okay folks, this is a warning flag I feel I need to throw up to alert you all to a potential scam. I just got a PM from "annduck" regarding a website called Inkitt dot com.

Here's the text:

Want to join a Fanfiction contest? I just read Captain Sparrow and the Falcon

Hello, I think this might be a great opportunity for you: There is a contest for Fanfiction novels at Inkitt. They are looking for full length Fanfiction novels, and previously published works are accepted too. See the details at inkitt [dot] com [slash] fandom. Check out the writing guidelines as well, they are pretty strict with those. If you do not have a full novel ready just yet, there are 6 other contests running for original short stories as well, all for different genres! It'd be an awesome way to get some recognition for your work! inkitt [dot] com [slash] contests Best wishes

After I read the message I checked to see if anyone had read my story recently. Not really surprised to learn there has been no activity on that particular story in more than a month. Not just an absence of reviews. No one has even visited the story recently. Strike one for Inkitt! I then started doing some nosing around and have found a mixed bag of reviews on the site and its contests. I haven't dedicated a lot of time to investigating at this point, but I have been unable to find anyone saying Inkitt is legitimate. Several are suggesting it is some kind of scam with one person seemingly convinced there is something rotten in Denmark, though, this person lacked any facts.

For my part, I will not be sending them any stories. It is possible that this company would steal the story and publish as their own while denying me any compensation. They could say that because I entered the story in one of their contests they had the copyright. I would have to sue them in order to have some sort of compensation and a lawsuit is a very expensive thing.

If anyone knows more facts about Inkitt please let us know.

10/1/2015 #118
tripleransom

I haven't heard anything about Inkitt before, but I know at least one artist who has warned people several times about exactly this kind of 'contest', which she feels is an attempt to hijack artwork without compensating the artist. In the case she was talking about, you were required to sign an agreement as part of your 'entry' giving the contest holders the right to reproduce your work. I don't know if Inkitt's contest agreement includes this kind of language or not, but if so, I'd definitely be very wary.

Trip

10/1/2015 #119
mrspencil

Worth having a look at this thread on the Writer's Anonymous forum, re Inkitt

https://www.fanfiction.net/topic/2872/126212871/1/General-inkitt-mystery

10/5/2015 #120
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