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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Mycroft was my first exposure to Mark as an actor but I searched up everything I could find that he has appeared in. Like many character actors who disappear effortlessly into their roles and do the workmanlike labor of supporting the leads, his talents are underrated, but he stays humble…and busy! His scenes as Mycroft with his onscreen “brother mine” where the highlights of the series for me. I love the chemistry of the two Holmes boys. As I am the oldest and dare I say the smartest of my own siblings, I am partial to Big Myc. I feel we have a lot in common. It is a testament to MG’s skills that he deftly created a very specific and so memorable character despite not much screen time. He has taken the barely sketched in character of M given to us by ACD and brought him to glorious life. Not forgetting his contributions as screenwriter and producer. His Great Game episode in S1 was stellar—My favorite of that season. His contributions to the other seasons all had to stand out moments as well. A very well deserved award.
  2. You might luck into a PBS broadcast or find the DVDs at your library. The show is a hit for ITV and a fourth season has been commissioned and is probably shooting as I write. I notice that most of these detective shows that go on location tend to shoot in the summer months. S3 was supposed to have 4 episodes but I only see 3 listed. Either the last episode got delayed or it got scrapped altogether. The second season was interrupted by Covid and may have also affected the schedule for the following year. I wouldn’t call it a necessary purchase but seeing Jason Watkins as Dodds is not to be missed. Tala Gouveia said there was some pushback against the show being too woke because she, black woman of Portuguese descent was cast as the lead. Technically Watkins is the star, even though his character defers to hers. More woke than a black DCI is a gay Detective Superintendent who is obliged to mention’my husband’ in every scene he’s in. Bath is on the bucket list. It makes a refreshing change from London.
  3. Recent discovery and the reason I finally broke down and signed up for BritBox… MCDONALD AND DODDS Starring Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia If you watch Netflix’s The Crown, you may recognize Jason Watkins as PM Harold Wilson in Season 3. His part was not huge, but his scenes with Elizabeth (Olivia Coleman) were a highlight of the season for me. So I was delighted to hear that Jason continues in work as the co-lead(he takes first billing) Opposite newcomer Tala Gouveia. The show is up to its third season, but the runs are brief, only two or three episodes each. So it didn’t take long to catch up. Watkins demonstrates his character actor prowess as he inhabits a completely different character here in both looks and manner to Harold Wilson. Indeed, so different is he that unless you recognize his name, you might not know he’s the same guy. Ambitious high-flyer Lauren McDonald left the London Met for the picturesque spa city of Bath In order to take a promotion to DCI. She is very young for the post, and anxious to prove herself. She gets assigned mild mannered socially awkward Detective Sergeant Dodds (no first name given) Who has been riding a desk and out of the field for the past 11 years. The top brass hope to get the new DCI to encourage Dodds to take early retirement by showing him he can’t handle field work any more. DS Dodds surprises everyone, including his DCI by being a quiet quirky deducing machine, with a specialty in research and a prodigious ability to absorb new information fast. McDonald is the mouth and the extrovert bluster fronting this team, but Dodds is the brain and the soul of deduction. This partnership is what Conan Doyle’s might’ve looked like if Holmes and Watson had switched personalities—and if one of them was a woman. In an already overstuffed genre field, this show distinguishes itself with its inventive casting and its gorgeous location—Bath has not been featured before in a detective drama. The tone is more akin to Midsomer Murders than Inspector Morse or Vera. I felt that the 90-minute running time per episode was too long, as the cases didn’t have enough heft to warrant that length. So there was a lot of extraneous padding which made for slow going at times. I think the show might have been slightly more successful as a 60 minute drama, allowing for six episodes per season rather than three. I would definitely enjoy seeing more opportunities for DS Dodds to flex his stuff.
  4. P.S. As someone mentioned earlier, A Confession reunited Martin with ‘Mike Stamford’ (David Nellist) who plays Steve Fulcher’s DI, and advises him that he’s making a terrible mistake. Happier times by far in the St. Barts lab.
  5. Only four years late to the party, but I finally watched “A Confession”. I recently signed up for BritBox. Solid work by MF as the lead of this gritty procedural drama based on a true-crime case in the UK a decade ago. MG plays Wiltshire detective superintendent Steve Fulcher whose unorthodox methods in coaxing a confession from a suspect accused of abducting a young woman have long-reaching ramifications for his career and the public perception of police conduct. DS Fulcher lost his reputation over the case, and resigned his commission, becoming a security contract advisor in the Middle East. I couldn’t help drawing comparisons between this detective and Dr. Watson. I asked myself whether if John Watson had chosen to become a police detective rather than an army surgeon, would he likely have taken the same course of action which Steve Fulcher did—Pursuing justice even though it meant breaking the letter of the law and putting his own career in jeopardy? I could only conclude that yes, he would, particularly after having apprenticed with Sherlock Holmes.
  6. Hikari

    Zawe Ashton

    I just find it interesting that Mark Gatiss is the spokesman for Tom Hiddleston’s preferences in that area. Did the two have a meeting about it? Why is Mark announcing something that should come from Tom himself, if it has to come from anywhere? It seems presumptuous to declare something like that on another man’s behalf, doesn’t it? I haven’t been privy to this interview but perhaps that comment was meant in a humorous sort of way. Because being asked to comment about someone else’s love life who isn’t like, a best mate or family would be awkward. Well, Zawe seems a much better partner for Tom than Taylor Swift ever did, so I am glad they got together. When you find the right person, everything clicks. Tom seemed headed for confirmed bachelor territory or else he has an exceptional knack for privacy because he’d never been linked with anyone apart from the Swiftie Summer Tour several years back.
  7. Hikari

    Zawe Ashton

    ??? Are you saying there is already a HiddleBaby??! I have not been following HiddleNews lately. I know he was touted as the next James Bond after his work in the Night Manager. Tom Is insanely talented and incredibly bright, too. Indeed, one might say that a career in the Marvel universe isa waste of a double-First degree in Classics from Cambridge. There’s hardly an impression that he cannot do. I recommend everybody check out his turn as Prince Hal/Henry V in The Hollow Crown to see what Tom is capable of. Loki wastes him, really. I’m rather surprised that he’s into women. Zawe is a catch! In recent years I have had my wonderments about which team our Bendi is on. Some of his recent choices are definitely Pride Nation approved. Interesting times we live in.
  8. Hikari

    Zawe Ashton

    I guess that makes it definitive then! One wonders if TH confided this personally to MG? All the best to cover and perhaps in due course they will present the world with a HiddleBaby. It’s going to be a good looking child I’m pretty sure.
  9. Hikari

    Zawe Ashton

    Tom is engaged? Congrats to the couple. I had rather assumed that Hiddles batted for the other team, owing to being a 41 year old bachelor with no long-lasting relationships with women, at least which have been publicly announced. I do not count the baffling interlude with Taylor Swift several years ago which featured 4-6 weeks of staged displays of PDA for cameras before abruptly ending. It's been speculated for yonks that Tay-Tay also bats for the other team and the two were providing beard deniability for each other and clicks for their mutual upcoming career projects. Zawe is a beautiful woman; after her brief stint as Donovan in the unaired pilot (speaking most of the same lines which Vinette Robinson would reprise in the official first episode) she next appeared opposite Jason Isaacs as sassy PA Deborah in Case Histories. It wasn't a huge role but it was recurring over 2 seasons (6 episodes) and on balance had much more screen time than Donovan. Her commitment to Case Histories probably made her unavailable when Sherlock went back into production. Also in the cast was Amanda Abbington, playing this show's version of Lestrade . . or possibly John. Anybody out there who hasn't seen it yet, I recommend it. Jackson Brodie has a very Sherlock-y vibe at times and features another brunet lead with arresting blue eyes who is very dishy. If anyone didn't know that Lucius Malfoy has black hair in real life . . he does. An unrelated but still fascinating factoid: Tom Hiddleston was classmates with Prince William at Eton, so the two are of an age. No doubts whatsoever about William's team.
  10. Welcome to the forum! You can find some of the best pastichers now working collected in The MX New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series edited by David Marcum. He releases two or three volumes of short stories a year since 2015. Denis O. Smith, Michael Kurland and Donald Thomas are names you should know. Also Lyndsay Faye. Happy sleuthing!
  11. Who's been cavorting on stage in his underpants? Daniel Radcliffe of course shook up the post-Harry Potter world when he played the lead role in "Equus" sans culottes . . sans everything to announce his arrival as a fully fledged adult actor. Boy did he ever announce his adultness. Nothing by halves. Henry Knight was the first thing I'd seen Russell T. of the distinctive ears in; the exchange in Baker Street prior to setting off for the moor is one of my top series moments. Having had an uninspiring breakfast sandwich on the Amtrak once, I can vouch for train breakfasts being disappointing. Surprisingly decent coffee on the Amtrak . . much better than I had expected. After I ran out of Sherlock episodes, I tried to find every role that every cast member with a regular or meaningful guest role had done prior. That's when I found Starter for 10, a number of Benedict's indie UK films and The History Boys. Mr. Tovey had a role in that ensemble on stage and in the subsequent film. The kid playing young Henry in the flashback sequence at the top of Hounds of Baskerville is actually Russell's nephew and his uncle joked that he was cast for those ears that run in the family. Another of my very favorite moments features young Adam Greaves-Neal as the young Sherlock prototype who Sherlock tries to school in ringbearer etiquette in the Sign of Three episode. "Archie" would go on to the title role of The Young Messiah in 2016. He was only 5 when Sherlock 3 was in production so I call that darned impressive.
  12. Ben was very appealing in “Murder Is Easy”, and it was very droll to see Russell Tovey playing a constable. I don’t suppose either guy imagined that four years later they would be working together again on the case of the Hound. Unfortunately, I did not care for Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple at all. I wished that Geraldine McEwan could have had that case. Besley, I would be interested to know if you have seen a little indie project Ben did with Claire Foy and Shaun Evans called “Wreckers”. It was released in 2011, after the first season of Sherlock had aired, but I think it was shot at least two years prior on a shoestring and there were some problems getting it distributed earlier. It was a labor of love project with a very small budget and largely unknown cast. Benedict sports his own natural curly red hair and I think since the black dye is so very difficult to get out, It’s unlikely this movie was made after Sherlock premiered. They wouldn’t have been able to afford him after that. It tells the story of two brothers with a very dysfunctional childhood and how it echoes in the present of the older brother’s new marriage. Claire Foy and Shaun Evans have of course gone onto brilliant respective careers starring in their own series on TV. The role Ben plays is as unlike Sherlock Holmes as can be imagined. I wish he would do more of these kinds of diverse dramas instead of playing silly buggers in the Marvel universe but that’s my own personal taste. Playing Khan and Doctor Strange has made him very wealthy but I don’t think it stretches him at all.
  13. A round-trip walk of three hours would be too onerous to undertake every day as a commute, though it wouldn't be bad as a weekend ramble if one was prepared to walk that far. With two jobs plus the cricket, MD didn't have that kind of time in his day. But I thought Blackheath was a much further train journey away . . another county. I just checked online. Blackheath Station to Whitechapel is covered by the modern rail in approx. 41 minutes, listed at a distance of 8 miles. There must be a lot of stops in between because the metro bus covers the distance in only 10 minutes more, still under an hour. This is the modern transit and in Victorian days it would've taken longer, but presumably it's always been 8 miles between stations. I remain curious as to what the terms of Druitt's employment at both locations were. If he were only a very junior member of his chambers, he might not have had a very busy docket at all and been advised that he'd need a side gig to make a go of it. But he had office space in chambers and also a room at his school. Part-timers don't normally get offered accommodation, so he had kind of a sweet arrangement going at both places of employ. If he were engaged as a PE teacher/coach at the school, perhaps he didn't have classes or coaching commitments all day every day. Maybe he had a half-time berth at each place . .2 or 3 days at the school and the same amount in his chambers. In American law firms, the junior associates are absolutely buried with work and routinely work 60 - 80 hour weeks in order to prove themselves. They wind up doing all the scut work for the senior partners . .research, writing briefs, etc. even if they aren't yet qualified to take lead on their own cases. A lot of them are studying for the bar exam in addition. It's hard to imagine how MD found the time for everything attributed to him. He is an intriguing individual for sure . . more interesting than some unwashed Jewish mental cases. Who can say?
  14. Herl, Very titillating account from the newspaper; thanks for sharing that. If Montague was the Ripper, then his family seems to have been quite connected to keep his crimes and identity mostly quiet to the general public. But if his family and some close associates had no difficulty believing him guilty of these horrific crimes because he was a 'homicidal maniac' who had escaped from a lunatic asylum, and besides which had medical training and kept being referred to as 'an insane doctor' . . the first he may have been, but demonstrably not the second . . how is it that an escaped lunatic continued with his work as a barrister and as a teacher and a respected member of a cricket club for how many months or years after supposedly escaping from the asylum until so very suddenly going off the rails again? How does a lunatic wanted by the authorities for escaping from an institution present himself at the bar or as a sports coach for youth and successfully get hired for both of these respectable positions of some authority? He was not practicing law or teaching under an assumed name, so I'd suppose that his mental health commitment would have caught up with him sooner or later as he tried to pursue these professions, if he had in fact gone AWOL from an asylum. We've observed before that a difference between the UK and the US is that in the UK, 100 miles is a really long way and to Americans, 100 years is a really long time. I guess a walk on foot of an hour and a half or thereabouts is a considerable distance enough to be inconvenient and time consuming to have to do every day as a commute, but if the distance could be covered on foot in that amount of time between MD's two places of work, then I imagine a train might take perhaps 20 - 30 minutes with stops, making a rail pass a good investment. A 30-minute commute by train is not outlandish at all, but we don't know how the train service would have been at the time. Still, if a man could walk the distance in an hour and a bit at a brisk pace, that's close enough to have had regular trains coming and going, I should think.
  15. By “business” I was referring to the whole underground dealing in body parts, not just exhumed corpses to be sold wholesale to medical colleges desperate for cadavers. I said I did NOT assume the Ripper was doing body snatching, but that he might have been familiar with this underground world due to work in a morgue. Mssrs. Burke & Hare dealt body parts out of a wagon…the Ripper collected organs as trophies. Presumably he didn’t eat them all. Mostly he left everything arranged still-life style in situ. The Ripper’s victims were fresh, but I could see how dealing in dead bodies as a profession, like in a morgue, would desensitize one to the human carcass. There’d be lots of sharp blades around in a morgue. A morgue seems a very likely place for a failed med student or disgraced doctor to end up, if he had a fetish for cutting up women. Eventually he thought he’d try it in some still warm ones. Not a very zany theory considering what he did to them.
  16. What is the distance from Blackheath to his chambers in the East End? Which room was the ostensible suicide note found in? If the two locations are close enough for a rail journey of an hour or less, maybe he was back and forth between the school and chambers often enough to make it worthwhile. It's hard to imagine that he could have had anything like a full-time post at either position. Am I right in thinking that he was a PE teacher at the school? Maybe he was only there a few days a week, or half-days in order to teach sport . .or maybe he was only in chambers a few days a week. Being on staff and a school AND a practicing lawyer in a completely different jurisdiction would be too demanding to be combined on a daily basis. The only way it would be manageable is if one of his jobs was quite sporadic or less than half-time. I do favor the theory that the Ripper might have been someone with more than rudimentary anatomical training via being a medical student or working in a morgue perhaps. I assume that the medical college rolls and local hospitals would have been canvassed for any former students/employees who might have been dismissed for inappropriate/disturbing behavior. The Ripper didn't remove enough organs from the scenes to have been a body snatcher but maybe he was familiar with that business. He had no qualms about dissecting his victims but his work lacked the precision of a highly trained surgeon. If MD had begun medical training and done a couple of years, but had to quit due to his nervous constitution or having been dismissed, he'd certainly have had enough skill to do the Ripper's work. Him or someone like him. I try and fail to really imagine either of the Jewish lunatics being the author of all of these murders. Both were mentally unsound and both worked with sharps in their day jobs. A butcher would know more about removing internal organs than a tailor, I would imagine, but neither of them appeared to have the mental organization exhibited by the Ripper at least in the earlier going. I don't suppose we will ever know . . .
  17. If the Druitt family were prone to insanity, then Cousin Lionel might have been similarly afflicted. And he lived a 2-minute walk from one of the infamous murder sites…had resided in Whitechapel for some time…and he was a *doctor*? I’ve got to say that cousin Lionel is looking better for it then Montague. M. Had office space nearby, true but his residence was elsewhere and he was just so busy with two jobs plus the cricket… I don’t think he would’ve additionally had time to be involved in a charity for downfallen women. But his cousin the doctor would be well placed to be involved, eh? Someone involved with a local charity might even have been known to some of the victims as a friendly face… earning their trust if they happened to encounter him whilst doing business. Jack’s knife work points to anatomical knowledge and comfort with blades. I don’t think I buy the “Montague watched his father at work and that’s how he picked it up” theory. Unless daddy Dr. Druitt gave regular dissection lessons at the family kitchen table, how would young Monty have watched his father at work? A 12, 13 year old boy allowed into the operating theater? Doesn’t seem plausible. But there’s a cousin who lives in Whitechapel and went to medical school?! Why haven’t we heard about Cousin Lionel before?
  18. Had Montague been committed to an asylum before? We know the two Jewish suspects had been, and both died inside the same institution. Could a man really successfully obtain employment at the bar and in a school with mental commitments on his record? The contemporary suspicion of Druitt certainty seems damning, but I remain troubled that his chief accuser in law enforcement couldn’t correctly identify his age or profession and kept repeating the same errors in print. Almost like he wasn’t sure who he was talking about. That is inexcusably shoddy police work. Our young Mr Druitt was living some dark and convoluted secret life. To manage two professions simultaneously, along with an active extracurricular cricket hobby that involved travel to out of country matches paints a picture of a very industrious person of high energies. It seems he was managing a complex life to a high-level until having some kind of breakdown in the last months of his life. If we add in stalking prostitutes in Whitechapel and committing 5 (at least) heinous murders into the mix, I don’t see how Montague was sleeping at all. Burning the candle at both ends as well as the middle like this would certainly drive someone over the edge. I’m just wondering, if the evidence was so strong against Druitt, and the family testimony so compelling that high government officials and top brass LE officials repeated it and were convinced in their own minds that the Ripper had been identified correctly and had done himself in, why in the intervening century plus this incriminating evidence has not been released. One can assume that all of Druitt’s relatives and those of his victims are now deceased. In the public interest, the Druitt case files should be released. All we’ve seen is basically speculation of some public figures wondering aloud or reporting hearsay. If MD is patently guilty, let’s see more specific proof. We haven’t seen any since 1889. What we’ve got is in the realm of family folklore and urban legend. Did the school destroy all of the records of the incident which forced them to dismiss this teacher? If Montague was the ripper it would be nice to put this to bed forever, but if he wasn’t, then he has been libeled and slandered in perpetuity. Druitt’s cricket club, of which he was an officer, removed him summarily from their membership roll after the Kelly murder but weeks before his body was found. The reason cited being that they had received information that he had “gone abroad.“ Now this is very interesting; who told them this? Or is this the story they told because they knew of some reason why they did not want the man who had to that point been one of their star players as well as their vice president involved in the club anymore? And what was that reason? Was “gone abroad” a euphemism for “We know he’s dead and why but are not at liberty to publicize this.” We definitely have not heard the whole story here.
  19. A possible encumbrance might have been blackmail, perhaps? “Encumbrance she would never be rid of” suggests some kind of ongoing and distasteful obligation, and the use of the term “encumbered” has a financial feel to it. Estates are encumbered; debts too. She could have been referring to the encumbrance of the guilt of the knowledge that Montague was the Ripper, but the term she used is suggestive of other possibilities. It seems inescapable that Montague was embroiled in some kind of a scandal shortly before his death. He made enemies clearly, because he lost his job. I still favor a sexual scandal involving underage boys. That would’ve been an item the family could’ve been blackmailed over… Ongoing payments in favor of suppressing the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by MD. Based on the available photographs, MD seems quite an effeminate person, not that that is proof of anything, but it would be helpful to know what contemporary sources meant by publishing that he suffered from “sexual insanity”. Despite the note found in his room that definitely sounds like a suicidal frame of mind… it doesn’t overtly say he is going to kill himself, just that he wonders if he wouldn’t be better off doing so because he could feel himself going off the rails like Mother. His pockets were full of stones, and they were also full of money which is an interesting juxtaposition. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that one of Montague's enemies, perhaps a father of a school boy victim stuffed stones in his pockets and forced him to jump into the river. That might seem outlandish, but a staged suicide would save everyone the trouble of a trial for sodomy or other. That would also be an excellent reason for Montague to want to end his life purposefully. Filling her pockets with stones and walking into the river is how Virginia Woolf committed suicide. I think more women would favor at this method. I might expect a gentleman to do something even more decisive and guaranteed to succeed: use of a handgun. Montague’s mysterious end is a sad coda for him and his family even if it doesn’t put an end to the Ripper speculation.
  20. I'll amend my earlier comment to "John's white undershirts stopped being visible except when he was wearing them as sleepwear." Good thing, too, as dead white does nothing for Martin's complexion and it looks a bit tacky.
  21. I think that's common knowledge. There must be dozens if not hundreds of unaired pilots every year on both sides of the Pond for shows that were rejected and not picked up as regular series. Generally speaking, in the United States, the launch episode of any new show is referred to as the pilot, even if it has an official episode title. A lot of times the graphics, opening cast credits and even theme music might be very different from the pilot episode to the next installment. Shows that get green-lighted for a full season order usually get an uptick in the budget and so more money can be spent in polishing up the final 'look'/sound of the show into what will be its 'brand' format. It was very interesting to see how the show developed from its initial pitch to its finished product that we saw in the regular films. Benedict's character in particular was practically redesigned from the ground up. In the unaired episode, Sherlock Holmes is much more a contemporary young man of the 2010s. His style is modern. Some of his clothes look quite club-suitable for an ordinary Millennial. Bendi sported his natural hair color. SH seems a little bit unusual in his social interactions but on the whole a lot more approachable and more 'normal' than he would present later. Martin didn't have to tweak John very much; he got a wardrobe upgrade and stopped wearing white undershirts. Also his hair had grown out between the pilot and the Study in Pink episode. The lighting was better and the whole thing looked more expensive generally. I'm particularly glad that 221B got an upgrade as well. The original set was quite violently pink chintz and looked like an Edwardian grandmother's sitting room that smacked vaguely of a funeral parlor. The enlarged set had a much more masculine and suitable vibe. When we meet Sherlock in the series proper, he has a much darker and more remote/formal presentation, both in the color and cut of his clothes but also in his manner. He stops feeling like a contemporary of Watson in 2010 London and harkens back a bit to a Victorian reserve that sets him apart from his peers. Though SH can and does often act out in childish ways, his 'look' is very much adult, and he's got more gravitas than originally conceived in his modern-cut denim jeans. The final iteration of SH has got a very expensive and tailored gents' wardrobe, just as his Victorian counterpart would have had. They are modern clothes and yet they feel quite timeless. Sherlock's signature 'look' goes a long way toward establishing his character without need of words. The Scarf and Coat almost become separate characters in their own rights! Just found this comment from a 2015 discussion: One thing I really like about the pilot is Sherlock's apparent youth (I love the line in John's blog that "he looks about twelve.") There's something about the idea of them starting with Sherlock in his twenties that really appeals to me ... and also, so many of his little personality quirks make more sense on a much younger man. Oh well, I suppose Moftiss had to leave something for the next incarnation of SOne thing I really like about the pilot is Sherlock's apparent youth (I love the line in John's blog that "he looks about twelve.") There's something about the idea of them starting with Sherlock in his twenties that really appeals to me ... and also, so many of his little personality quirks make more sense on a much younger man. Oh well, I suppose Moftiss had to leave something for the next incarnation of Sherlock to work with. Someday somebody will do a jeans-clad, boyband-haired, barely adult Sherlock Holmes and everyone will think it's brilliant. herlock to work with. Someday somebody will do a jeans-clad, boyband-haired, barely adult Sherlock Holmes and everyone will think it's brilliant. Even in the aired Study in Pink episode, I erroneously assumed that BC was a recent drama-school graduate of about 24 years of age when I first saw it . . Come to find out I had seen him in several supporting parts previously (Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl to name two) but he looked so different as Sherlock I did not recognize him.) It was a surprise to find out that he was a decade older than I first thought and had been a working actor with increasing degrees of success all that time. The TV show in which he played Hugh Laurie's oldest son (how brill was that casting?!) didn't cross my radar until after "Sherlock" when I was hunting up Bendi's ouevre. In the unaired pilot, he definitely looks to be early 20s, like maybe 'just left university last year' age. In A Study in Scarlet, the famous roommate duo meet when Dr. Watson, recently returned from Afghanistan is 27 years old and his new flatmate is just days shy of his 26th birthday. One supposes then that Doctor Watson runs into his old dresser Stamford at the Criterion Bar in the week between Christmas and New Year's, if SH has a birthday on January 6th (that bit is ex-Doyle, being an invention of W.S. Baring-Gould, but it's a convention I am fond of). The age gap is 18 months. With BC and MF, it's 5 years. I was aware of Martin Freeman from The Office and from his appearance in Love Actually. I think it'd be fair to say that at the start of Sherlock, Martin was more famous than his castmate. But BC went supernova in the course of one Sunday evening, almost like he was James Dean or something. I think that level of global buzz over this show and its star took everyone by surprise, a bit. Doctor Who has an enduring popularity over decades but it never attained the global audience that Sherlock did in just one episode. It was an incredible thing to witness. What J.K. Rowling achieved with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Moffat, Gatiss, Cumberbatch and Co. did in one go with A Study in Pink--instantly created an absolute international phenomenon.
  22. I forgot about the stones in his pockets. That certainly seems intentional. What is curious, apart from the train ticket, is that he threw himself in the river with his valuable pocket watch, and several thousand pounds in gold and cheques. Strange he didn’t leave all those valuables in his room with the note. With so much insanity in the family and a family legacy of suicide, Montague’s fragile mental state was probably not attributable to remorse over being the Ripper since he had so many other potential reasons for ending his life. He was a high flyer and quite a remarkable mind and athletic talent before going off the rails. It was a sorry end for a promising life— But there are definitely murky waters here and we don’t know the whole story.
  23. You of course have a lot more familiarity with the casebook of potential Ripper suspects than I do, but I'd have to call all of the so-called evidence supporting Montague Druitt as the Ripper to be entirely circumstantial. I've seen his photograph, and he does very much resemble the popular image of the Ripper as 'a gentleman'. Indeed, of all the suspects that have been fingered, he's nearly the only one that qualifies as a gentleman, if we leave off completely fantastical suggestions like Lewis Carroll. But we are on a slippery slope once we start saying 'Well--this guy seems like a completely unlikely suspect . .no history of violence at all, but he's been named so he MUST be guilty of something." That's how 22 people or thereabouts got burnt as witches in Salem, Mass.--on the hearsay of neighbors and some teenage girls that thought they seemed guilty. MacNaghten may have had a *reason* to want to discredit Montague, but all are dead now who could say definitely it was because M. made such a convincing presentation as the Ripper. Vendetta of some kind? If Druitt were a sexual deviant, I don't think it would've taken much for the disgust over his orientation to seep into people's perception of him as an all-around bad element. Let's say Monty preferred schoolboys to women and that's why he was dismissed from his post. If he liked boys, it doesn't follow automatically that he must hate women so much he wanted to cut some up. As for his mother having the local MP's address in her address book . . she was a constituent. I'd have thought any number of the people he represented might have his address to write to him about civic matters. Maybe Mrs. Druitt was involved in politics locally, even though she didn't have the vote yet. Or maybe she was having an affair with MP Farquarharsen. I can't really see how having the address of her local representative would implicate her son as the Ripper. But again, it seems that Montague had shamed the family with his behavior in some way. A number of powerful men seemed not to like him very much, to besmirch his name for these crimes after he had already ended his life. Did Farquarharsen offer some explanation for how he came by his information about the Ripper being awfully like the dead son of his constituent? His involvement remains murky to me. Family shame would explain why a brother might want to disown a man who possibly had unlawful relations with a minor he was entrusted by as a figure of authority . .if he'd done immoral things with school lads. In Victorian society to be a pedarast was equivalent to being a killer in most people's minds. I'm not sure why a family would want to court even more notoriety by accusing their loved one of being the Ripper. That's murky . . but the family didn't offer proof either. If every man in London in the fall of 1888 who had a fraught relationship with his family, lacked an alibi for all the nights in question and had some secret vices could by these means be a viable Ripper suspect, the suspect pool would swell to hundreds of thousands more. As for why Druitt had a return train ticket on him when he was pulled out of the Thames, I'd suppose that at the time he purchased the tickets, he was planning on needing a return. Suicide is very often an impulsive act. But the fact that he was planning to return actually argues against him actively planning to do himself in over remorse at being the Ripper, doesn't it? All that could really be determined is that this man had drowned in the Thames some several weeks before his body was found. The presence of a return ticket in his pocket actually raises the possibility that his death was just as likely, or more, even, to be an accident or caused by some other person. Attempted robbery? Or someone wanted him dead and pushed him in after a struggle. Impossible to say now. If Monatague didn't leave a detailed note or confess his intentions to someone before he died, how is suicide absolutely assured? It's rough down by the river, then and now. A suicide does fit with the official reasoning for the cessation of the murders, though. I think MD is a convenient scapegoat, whose sad and somewhat opaque last days have been molded to fit prevailing theories. Edit, you mention that one of McNaghten's best friends was related to the Druitts by marriage. That would explain how McNaghten might have more knowledge of young Mr. Druitt than the average anonymous London resident, but it's this kind of tenous tie of acquaintanceship that also makes it possible that he could have been biased toward Montague in some way even before the murders. The young man was not a complete stranger but known to him at least by reputation from his friend who was a relative. He was not viewing MD through a completely uninvolved lens. Maybe he was being influenced though a dislike of the young man. For what reason, is lost. I wish we had more details to go on. Whoever perpetrated these acts on the five victims was an entirely depraved person. It'd be hard to imagine anyone functioning normally and appearing normally and swanning off to play cricket tournaments whilst in the midst of a murder spree of this magnitude, with nobody the wiser. If Montague had left papers--a diary, letters, something--to bolster the suspicions that he could have done these heinous murders on such thin extant evidence, I'd understand it more.
  24. One salient difference between UK show pilots and the US is that the UK pilots seem to stand alone, sometimes for as long as a year before the show proper gets underway and will subsequently be counted as ‘Series I” all by itself. When the British shows are subsequently packaged for release in America, the counting of seasons is off compared to the UK renditions since the pilot episode is usually put with Season I in the American sets. American shows tend to run weekly until the episodes run out…maybe 10 for a cable series, but 22 - 26 weeks for a regular network show. No way would Americans be willing to wait a year between the pilot launch and the regular season, so the pilot is immediately followed by the full first season.
  25. Carol, I defer to Herlock, who has made a special study of all the known Ripper suspects. I think Druitt’s family and acquaintances were satisfied that it was suicide, since the death was just days after the loss of his teaching post. If his dismissal was due to “sexual insanity”, Druitt might have been facing criminal charges as well. The specter of prison and scandal in the papers may have overcome him. In the absence of a note or a declaration about taking his own life, there’s the possibility that he was attacked and thrown in. The river was frequented by all sorts of criminal elements—rough trade, robbers— If the body had been in the water for a month before it was discovered, it would’ve been beyond grim, and probably impossible to say whether the body had received injuries prior to going into the water. Ending up in the Thames was certainly not uncommon. In a city the size of London, dozens of people a week must’ve gone in there, either intentionally, or falling and drunk or being killed and their bodies dumped. Then there was always the potential of a boating accident. In the case of the confusion between Kosminsky and Kaminsky, that was actually in a published report from a member of the top brass—Herlock could say whether it was the ACC— But it’s a pretty safe assumption that like a game of telephone gone wrong, he was repeating erroneous information from his subordinates. The two Jewish lunatics with similar names were about the same age, from the same neighborhood. Both had professions but were considered crazy and were immediately suspected, since what the Ripper did could only be the work of an insane person. Perhaps he was insane, but probably more capable of executive functioning and planning that either of these two guys who both wound up in the Colney Hatch asylum. I’m wondering if this institution is where we get the phrase “nut hatch” from.
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