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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. It might have been between seasons of Sherlock that I discovered the long-running BBC series MI-5 (called Spooks in its home market but for obvious reasons, the name was changed for syndication to America). Is anyone else familiar? Over ten seasons, commencing in 2001, it followed the ever-changing group of 'spooks' based at Thames House under the command of Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) and collectively known as 'Five'. "Five" functions the same as our FBI, concentrating on terrorist threats to security at home, whilst their fractious rival cohort across the Thames at Whitehall, MI-6, like our CIA deals in international terrorist threats to the security of Britain. There is sometimes a lot of overlap between the two agencies, with British citizens getting involved in terrorist organizations abroad and foreign nationals infiltrating Britain to commit terrorist acts on domestic soil. Much like our two security agencies (and now we've got Homeland Security as a Cabinet-level agency, too), it's often hard to say definitively who has jurisdiction and there's a ton of inter-agency political infighting and brinksmanship. Events of 9/11 made it seem dicey whether the show could actually go forward at all, since probably at least half of it deals expressly with Middle Eastern terrorism. In this world, the two greatest threats to the United Kingdom today are al-Queda and 'The Americans' . . chiefly, the jingoistic cowboys of the CIA, egged on by the American President, whoever he is. Incidentally, our Ben appears in a small guest role as a nervous junior Five officer under interrogation for suspected treasonous activity in a Season 2 episode. Sherlock and international stardom was still some 8 years in the future. Five and its sister agency Six tend to recruit the brightest and the best from Cambridge & Oxford and other universities. The ideal candidate is fit, multilingual, prepared to work all hours, cool under pressure and doesn't have many personal attachments. They have to be comfortable operating in an often grey area between what is 'legal' in the eyes of the law, or ethical/humane in the eyes of society . . and what is required on an operational level by one's government. These spooks are patriotic as a default, but I think it'd be really tough to reconcile a religious faith and adherence to tenets like 'Thou shalt not kill' and 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' with the requirements of the service to one's country in this capacity. To enter the security services is to enter a world where 'truth' and 'good' are situational, where the end does justify the means and where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. In short, if one is not prepared to adopt easy lying and false identities as a lifestyle, even to one's partner, parents & children . . if one is not able to kill another person without hesitation if the operation demands it, often using resourceful means. . in other words, to live within the grey areas . . one is not equipped to do this job. Few are, and for officers in the field, sometimes the life expectancy is not long. Yet what these security services personnel are, at a fundamental level, are soldiers in the service of their country. If we can accept that soldiers on the battlefield are not held culpable for killing in combat out of necessity, should these officers be labeled monsters for fighting the Cold War to win for their nation? The trouble with Mary's past is not just that she was recruited by the CIA and had to kill while on assignment for the United States government, but that she had committed civilian crimes before that and afterwards, was a mercenary doing 'wet work' for cash. At least, I think that this is implied--that she'd become a loose canon for sale to the highest bidder, including the terrorists she'd been fighting against while in the CIA. I guess the fundamental question one has to fall on to one side or the other is: Is murder ever justified, and if so, under what circumstances? Mary had fallen on the wrong side of that line . . Sherlock killed CAM without authorization so he had as well. Seeing as he brought a gun to the encounter, it was premeditated murder, not operational. Would we feel differently about it if Mycroft, having assessed the threat posed to national security by CAM had had him taken out by one of his legitimate agents? Does it make a difference? Sherlock overstepped himself but maybe he just hastened something that would have happened to CAM in the near future anyway. CAM never got punished for any of his crimes against humanity--until SH appointed himself executioner. Despite his many gifts which would make him an excellent operative, he does have one major failing that could be fatal, and was, nearly, in Scandal . . his uncontrollable urge to Show Off that overrides any instinct to discretion. Executing Magnusson was strenuously out of character due to the violence, but even canon Sherlock often appointed himself judge and jury when it came to deciding to what should happen to a miscreant. I can't recollect any instance in Conan Doyle where Sherlock Holmes ever killed a person. Perhaps ACD, with his devout Catholicism and his vow to 'first do no harm' could not bring himself to write his hero as a killer, even in the service of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. In the final story "His Last Bow" Holmes and Watson *are* on Her Majesty's Secret Service, and it is implied that this is a role which Sherlock Holmes has been engaged in since his abrupt 'retirement' from the consulting business and quitting Baker Street at the tender age of only 50. and one he plans to continue. So the 'beekeeping in Sussex' is, while a hobby SH does dabble in, also a convenient cover story for his actual activities for the Crown. No matter what century SH is living in, he's too valuable an asset to the Crown and to humanity in general to let rot in prison or execute, even if his actions *technically* warrant some sort of consequence. At times like these, it's ever so helpful to have an elder brother who '*is* the British Government. The clandestine operatives that have to commit murder for Queen and Country are supposed to remain under the radar and avoid having their fingerprints on the scenes. Because they do tread on morally suspect areas at times, and if caught by the civilian authorities, sometimes have to be disavowed, just like Ethan Hunt.
  2. Seconded. I don't really see how anything in the final season can be construed as 'playful', unless one is a psychopath. Mark Gatiss dressed up like the Gorton fisherman . . eh, rates a half-smile from me. After an initial reaction of disappointment to TEH--specifically *the criminal waste* of Sebastian Moran as a character--Really, what a squandered opportunity!! Moran, Moriarty's chief henchman and lieutenant is just as scary as his boss. He blithely assassinates people with his airgun, doesn't just hide in a rented room and press a button on a computer. Perhaps--this Mary is supposed to be the 'Moran'? How similar the names--Moran, Morstan--I did quite like some of the bits. The Sign of Three is great craic . . and the first bit of HLV is as well . . 'Billy' is sublime. But it all goes off the rails and never recovers.
  3. Re. Janine Someone mentioned before, don't know which thread now, that before Sherlock cultivated Janine without her knowledge as a useful tool for access to Magnusson, *Mary* had pipped him to the post, and a long time prior, as a matter of fact. J. was maid of honor at Mary's wedding, a role usually reserved for one's closest friend, if one isn't choosing (or doesn't have) a sister or other close female relative. John admits when proposing to Mary that 'it hasn't been long', ie. that they've been dating. Maybe they knew each other for a couple of years at the surgery before becoming a couple . . but just how long Mary has been cultivating Janine is a mystery. How would those two ever have organically become friends, with their very disparate careers? Janine seems quite a bit younger as well, so how many social circles would there be that overlapped between them? Yet, here's J. in the premier supporting role in the female side of the bridal party. There are some other bridesmaids too . . then all those wedding telegrams with well-wishes for 'Poppet'. For an 'orphan' who's only posing as a nurse named Mary Morstan, she's collected a lot of pals. There was the ex-boyfriend interrogated by Sherlock . . bit of low-hanging fruit for our Mary . . She was really going deep underground cultivating this younger and rather vapid set of social acquaintances. So--she targeted Magnusson, because it surely was not sheer coincidence that her 'best friend' just happens to be CAM's PA. Why? Was she actually still a sleeper agent the whole time? Did she actually fall in love with John or--a more blood-chilling explanation: did she cultivate him too, as an asset? Surely the person closest in proximity and feeling to Sherlock Holmes is a useful person to know. A lesser bit of wonderment is--what exactly does she do at the surgery? Is she a nurse or is she just a receptionist? I don't suppose it'd be hard for a CIA operative (I don't necessarily say 'ex-operative', either . . ) to fake up a nursing credential, but working in a medical clinic it would become apparent pretty quick if she didn't actually know what she was doing. So, all the more reason to suspect that Mary in fact chose to work at *that* particular NHS clinic because the (late) Sherlock Holmes's best mate/confidante/business manager/publicist worked there. Her duties at the surgery would not otherwise seem to be a good fit for her considerable skill set. Before we 'knew' Mary's proclivities, when we were intro'd to her at the engagement dinner, she seemed like a 'creative' type, not a nurse/receptionist in a government-run clinic. That was Amanda's own style informing Mary. So many other things they could have done with this character, wholesome things, like adding a sassy gal who knows a skip code and has a memory like a steel trap to the detective business as the Girl Friday/co-investigator. Or they could have paid homage to the original Mary, John's lovely, traditional, yet surprisingly independent-minded wife by having her modern counterpart do something nurturing of her own like baking artisanal breads or running a nursery school. Mary is unmasked in HLV, but so many threads are left dangling, because it doesn't seem like Mary had really given up the covert espionage business at all but had just gone a bit dormant. We see she still had all the kit. I still don't understand why Mofftiss felt compelled to make Mary a ninja assassin, especially if they were going to introduce 'Euros'. How many sociopaths can one small doctor collect around himself? For me Sherlock jumped the shark when Sherlock came face to face with John's wife in her assassin gear and took a bullet in the chest. Subsequent events were both the writers and John Watson losing their minds, in my opinion. In comparison with that, the rather anti-climactic 'reveal' of 'How Sherlock Did It' (the Fall) is the height of rationality. Very funny how Mofftiss hewed strenuously to the laws of physics in that instance but threw caution to the winds in going all Arkham Asylum with the 'reveal' of Euros and Redbeard. I did like the device of Sherlock explaining (or, condescending to) 'Phil', his former antagonist and audience stand-in, who, like many of the audience had wasted three years of his life heatedly divising, discussing and discarding 'theories' during the explanation portion. I guess we can take Sherlock's dismissive, 'aren't you lot silly'? attitude as indicative of the writers' attitude toward their fans. I don't believe it's a writer's responsibility to pander to his/her audience's expectations . . but I do expect well-written material that holds together and still lets the audience have their dignity. I always understood the gay subtext in the episodes was just a tease for humor, not a promise that 'more' was on offer . . John Watson has always historically been a hetero character and Sherlock Holmes is not tuned to the carnal frequency. But the issue of Mary and Euros and the toxification of the the Sherlock/John relationship . . those I did object to. The whole last season and most of HLV felt like a two-fingered salute from Mofftiss to the viewers to me.
  4. Freddie Jones as Harry Field, Sr. wins my award for 'Top Guest Star' of the whole series. I would have liked to see more of Harry, Jr. (Trevor Byfield). Trev appeared in the "Counter Culture Blues" episode of Lewis and . . the years have not been kind. His appearance was pretty shocking. The episode with Morse and Lewis on the church roof was "Service of All the Dead" (Season 1:3). That was the one with the dead kids in the coal shute. Very tough episode apart from that bit of humor with Robbie. Ghosts in the Machine is a favorite of mine, too. That was our boys at the aristocratic house with the French nanny. I vaguely remember some stolen artwork there? FYI, I have just discovered that all the episodes of "Lewis" are available on YouTube. I own the DVDs but my remote decided to puke out of the blue and I can't get it to work. A DVD is stuck in my player, too. So I guess I need to get a new remote. In the meantime I was in the mood to watch "Dark Matter" after "Jupiter" was featured at the DoE's funeral.
  5. You'd be surprised . . Years of honing my ear on British television dramas and films have made me able to decipher most accents of the UK. I do confess that Scots does still mystify me at times. I hear that goes for British residents of 'down South' as well. In the Morse episode "Who Killed Harry Field?", one of my personal favorites, at the top of the episode, Morse tells Lewis that he will get to conduct the next interview. Robbie is very pleased--until he finds out that 'conducting the interview' means translating Geordie (or Scots, maybe, I wasn't sure) from Morse's car mechanic into 'English' that Morse can understand. LOL My favorite Geordie joke of all time goes like this (paraphrasing a bit because I can't find it again, of course): If Jesus Had Been a Geordie Jesus was enduring Crucifixion and the disciples were standing around at the foot of the cross. Jesus called out, "Oi, Peter . . ", then again, this time more loudly. And a third time. Finally Peter went over to see what He was on about. "Aye, Master, what is it?" The Lord replied, excitedly, "O'ee Peter, Ah ken see ma 'oose from 'ere!' **** Peter wasn't actually at the Crucifixion but I had to chuckle because there's a scene in the third ever Morse episode that has Sgt. Lewis and his boss up on the rooftop of a church. Morse is terrified of heights and he's white and sweating and clinging to the wall, having a panic attack. Meanwhile his sergeant is gamboling around the steeply pitched roof in dress shoes like a spring lamb in a pasture. Lewis: Whoo, what a view! Ye can nearly see Scotland! ***** Unless Russell Lewis can contrive some reason for a young police recruit from Newcastle to come to Oxford in 1971--using Kev's own birthday for Lewis, Robbie is barely 20 at that point (perhaps an intra-jurisdictional police mentorship scheme or a cricket tournament) there is no interface between Robbie and Morse until 1987. It is my fond wish that they would 'meet', accidentally--neither will remember it, so it can't be an official introduction. I used to think it could happen, but then I'm still waiting for Endeavour to buy the red Jag (which I call 'Her'). He looked at Her in the pilot and I got all excited. Thought maybe after he got promoted to DS he could afford the payments and Thursday might help him out with a downpayment by way of congratulations. But Fred has his own money woes. I hope E. gets that car before we have to leave him, or I will be Seriously Put Out.
  6. Showrunner Russell Lewis has said that Series 8 will be the end of Endeavour but . . never say never! In the world of the show, only six years have passed (1965 - 1971). In reality it's been 10 years. Roger Allam is incredibly in-demand as a stage actor, which is why there were only three episodes last time, not 4. Roger was the lead in a play, so production had to either start late or finish early to accommodate him. He sported a huge bushy beard in the play . . very unlike Fred Thursday. I had rather hoped that they might make it to 1974 -'75, as these years were significant for Morse from the original series. 1974 was the murder of 8-year-old Mary Lapsley, the case which Morse has never really gotten over because he found the body. The case and his contentious relationship with 'Dawson' is covered in the 'Second Time Around' episode. 1975 was the year he finally made Detective Sergeant, according to what he tells someone in 'Absolute Conviction'. I wondered if he wasn't pulling our legs there because someone of Morse's ability wouldn't languish at Det. Constable for a whole decade . . but maybe it was the Masons. In 1971, our Robbie would be a 20-year-old police cadet up in Newcastle. Poor sod doesn't know what's coming in his life! "Lewis" is done and dusted, I'm afraid. I'm still hopeful that the actors might be tempted back for a Christmas special. I have an idea: a Robbie - Laura wedding, with Hathaway as best man. It is never explained what exactly Lewis and Hobson's status is. Together, obviously but no peep about an actual marriage. I always felt gypped on that score. Neither Lewis nor Hobson is particularly religious but Robbie is the marrying type, not the 'shack up with my bird' type. And I think Laura would want a tiny bit of wedding fuss after waiting so long to get married for the first time. Maybe they'd even find a nice girl for H to settle down with. They could call it a 'vow renewal', explaining that they just had a registry office 'do and never really told anyone but now that they are celebrating 7 years of togetherness, (yes, it's really been that long since Season 6) they decide to throw that big white party they never had. Ma'am is the matron of honor and Haddix can be the bridesmaid. So twee, you think . .but wait! Of course there must be a dead body at the wedding. Or a couple of them. I would be perfectly fine to have a reboot of "Lewis" without Hathaway. The genius of his character was that he was the perfect, snarky #2. After he got promoted to Inspector, he completely lost his signature snarky spark. Shades of Morse: fell into police work and, despite real aptitude for it, hates it and always wants to be elsewhere. Constantly whinges and threatens to quit, to go on pilgrimages in foreign countries. Never does quit and just ends up getting promoted up the ladder until he's old, crabby and dies of a heart attack. DS Haddix was a lovely person and had real potential. Let Lewis mentor her instead. They could even say that H has left the police force to run for Parliament, haha. I don't foresee Lozza winning his bid for office but I wish him luck if he really wants to dive into that fray. Apparently the Hollywood movie career went nowhere--probably because the niche of posh, super-tall, blond, slightly strange-looking English dude has been filled by Paul Bettany and we really can only have one of those at a time. L. invoked a Victorian version of Hathaway in his portrayal of Lord Palmerston, P.M. and he was quite droll. He had released a rock album and was touring and the music career looked pretty promising . .and then Covid hit. I will watch his political aspirations with interest.
  7. According to photos posted in the Inspector Morse World FB group I'm in, filming for Series 8 is currently underway in Oxford. The set will be set in 1971. Shaun looks very fetching in his mask between takes. I have decided that the secret to looking good in a mask is good hair, and Shaun's hair is righteous.
  8. Arcadia, In that case, I recommend New Tricks. Have you seen it? If it's possible to die laughing, then Mssrs. Armstrong, Waterman and Bolam will do you in and you will like it. Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) of the Met spearheads a public relations disaster for the force when she shoots a dog during a police raid while attempting to rescue a hostage. This doesn't sound funny so far but stick with me. In punishment (to be fair, the dog was charging her . .) Sandra gets demoted to the basement of Scotland Yard (literally) as the CO of a new initiative, a cold case squad comprised of retired officers. Sandra: Retired detectives . . Does this mean they have their own teeth? She consults with her former mentor, DCS Jack Halford (James Bolam), who will be her right-hand man on this team. Jack (sorting through photos of potential candidates): Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead . . well, nearly. Alive, but don't leave him alone with your kids. Dead. Would be if I got my hands on him . . . Looks like you're going to have to advertise! They collect Gerry (Dennis Waterman) and Brian (Alun Armstrong) and the hilarity begins. I avoided this show for ages based on promo clips because I thought it was going to be unbearably slapstick and twee, like Benny Hill . . it's not. There is a serious crime procedural running alongside the comedic team camaraderie stuff; it's deftly blended by great scripts and the most talented ensemble cast on television. They all handle drama and comedy equally well. Two shows with a similar aesthetic: crime dramedy featuring a strong female squad leader over a team of sometimes bumbling men: Blue Murder (UK) and The Closer (TNT). Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn, can be dark sometimes but there's humor to be had in this squad, too.
  9. Stranger Things has been quite the rage here. I have not seen it as it didn't seem to be my cuppa; paranormal stuff leaves me pretty cold, but fans like it for the sense of 1980s nostalgia. I gather it's kind of like a Steven Spielberg/Stephen King mashup, so if you liked some of those 1980s films like ET and It, you might get into this show. It stars Enola Holmes's Millie Bobby Brown, who was only 12 or 13 at the start. I'm trying to think of shows with a similar feeling to Sherlock or House. You might enjoy Endeavour (aka 'Young Inspector Morse'). He is a cerebral detective and the 1960s production design is pretty fab. Morse is the creation of Colin Dexter, who was an avid Sherlockian. We've also talked about Zen, starring Rufus Sewell. That was three films only . . I think there were plans for more but it turned out that filming in Roma got too expensive. My impression from the books is that Zen is also an homage to Sherlock Holmes. If you're willing to read anything else written by Michael Dibdin, those seem pretty good. I really enjoyed the Marple series of films done by Geraldine McEwan, though those might be a tad cosy for you. Miss McEwan (RIP) is my favorite Miss Marple. Hercule Poirot leaves me a bit cold but he's definitely more Sherlock-like in his methods. The major fun of these films is seeing all the major stars of British stage and screen popping up in supporting roles. I enjoyed Ken Branagh's take on Wallander on the BBC, but, as beautiful as the locations in Ystad, Sweden are, those stories can get very grim. The long-running Swedish television Wallander starring Krister Henricksson is closer to Henning Mankell's detective as written . .more brain work, less running around with guns. This Wallander is a classical music buff with a fondness for alcohol and aloofness. I think of him as the Scandinavian Morse. So, rather Holmes-like.
  10. "God Save My Gracious Me; Long Live My Noble Me; God Sa . . .ve . . . Me!' I think the Queen is at her core a humble and rather self-effacing person, considering who she is, so that must get old. When they broke into "God Save the Queen" at PP's funeral as the State Bentley made its entrance, it really struck me that on that day of all days, she might have not wanted to intrude on those proceedings. But it's the National Anthem so it had to be played. I am not versed in all the world anthems but I think God Save the Queen is one of the few that are an ode to a leader him/herself rather than the more amorphous odes to country or patriotism. Q: After 70+ years of singing 'God Save the Queen', a period during which 80% of all living Britons were born, do you think your countrymen are going to have a devil of a time switching over to God Save the King? Particularly when it's a King that nobody is remotely excited about? Poor Charles--after having waited so long for the Top Job, the chances of him doing it more than a decade are increasingly slim. He does not seem poised to be as long-lived as his parents. He will be like the second longest-tenured Prince of Wales, Edward VII and have a short reign. Even if it's 20 years, Mummy's record will still dwarf them all. I am preferential to "Jerusalem" as an anthem but that is so closely tied to England rather than the UK as a whole, I can see why it was not picked. Evidently the tune to the American anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner goes to a bawdy drinking song popular in England back in the day, and that has caused hilarity in some quarters. This song is so notoriously difficult with its windy phrases, chewy words and octave change that it is a supreme test of vocal ability and stamina, not to be undertaken by the faint-hearted. The former British subjects that settled these lands could not give up entirely on God Save the King, so they kept the tune and changed the words. My country t'is of thee; sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing Land where our fathers died; Land of the Pilgrim's pride From every mountainside, Let freedom ring! ******** I expect that My Country T'is of Thee will shortly be cancelled as 'Pilgrim's Pride' is symbolic of the cultural appropriation and destruction of the indigenous peoples of North America by privileged white people, following in the footsteps of Columbus Day, and all Native American sports team mascots & names. It can only be a matter of time until the the continent and this country must be re-named since Americo Vespucci is just another European (white) guy taking advantage of indigenous peoples. 'Panem' is up for grabs.
  11. Carol, I had to rely on DVDs to get my Sherlock fix since I don't have access to PBS. To the best of my recollection, the DVD of Sherlock 1 hit these shores in March 2011; at least, that's when I discovered it. My Sherlock experience has been tied to the availability of the DVDs in America and not to the UK release dates, so if I'm 'off', that's why. UK broadcast schedules were not relevant to me, but had I been able to teleport myself to London to watch the premieres 'at home' (Sherlock's home), I certainly would've.
  12. Look at you! Congratulations! I have 125 posts to go, evidently. At my current rate, that is going to take me 5 years. You seem to have been super busy while I've been absent. The other night, I dug out my Sherlock 2 set and went 'round the dance floor again with A Scandal in Belgravia. We are approaching 5 years since the last episode aired. I think back to this time 10 years ago, when we here Stateside had just discovered 'the best thing on television' . The following summer, 2012, was probably the height of my Sherlock addiction. I consumed fan vids on YouTube like a madwoman and ventured into the . . .stimulating . . world of fan fiction. That was the high water mark. Having watched all the episodes many, many times, and able to quote blocks of the script verbatim, I find that all these years on, I may have overdosed on Sherlock to the point where it's become rote rather than enjoyable. I truly envy everyone who is just discovering this show, or who are still delighted by repeat viewings. I will hang onto my DVDs and perhaps share them with a newbie in the future--that would be the portal to rediscovering what was so captivating about this show in the first place. Right now, I am not feeling it any more. I need a new drug.
  13. I have not seen this posted yet but here seems to be the appropriate place. All best wishes and prayers to Her Majesty, the Royal family, the UK and the Commonwealth on the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. This week just past has been a pretty mournful one for me ever since I heard of his passing on 9 April. Elizabeth and her consort have been, like the stars, two fixed points for all of us who do not know a world where she hasn't been the Queen, with him two steps behind. With the passing of 'The Iron Duke', reminders of our own mortality are inevitable. I watched the supremely moving funeral on Saturday, and it lost no power despite having to be stripped down due to Covid. The Queen looked very tiny and frail as she sat alone in the quire. The seat beside her, normally filled by her husband was poignantly empty. The Queen is a very strong lady, and I fully expect her to be here next year for her Diamond Jubilee (?) and her 100th birthday, but it cannot be too much longer now before London Bridge follows the Bridge of Forth and goes down. If you missed the service, the whole thing is available on YouTube. I recommend the BBC coverage. There are any number of documentaries also available about Philip and his extraordinary life. Like his predecessor, Prince Albert, he truly was a Renaissance man. It is easy to see why the Queen fell for him at the age of 13 and never looked at anyone else.
  14. Ooh, yeah. I had forgotten exactly how Kutner left the show. Kal Penn is alive and well and helped get his guy into the White House. I think he went on to have a role in the Administration. That seems like eons ago . . . ! Despite owning the box set, I don't think I made it all the way to the end--Lisa Edelstein got other work, I imagine. After you are done binging House, you might be interested in Dexter. It's not really a 'Whodunnit'. It's more a 'Who Done It is Gonna Have It Done to Him'. Imagine if Moriarty found a way to turn his penchant for violence into a sort of wild justice . . that is Dexter Morgan. As a toddler, he experienced the worst trauma imaginable and as a result he has grown up with serial killer tendencies. But as a grown up working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami PD (Dex loves his work) he's still moonlighting as a serial killer--only, he only targets other killers. To get under Dex's knife you have to have committed heinous murders yourself. Innocent people are in no danger from Dexter and in fact he is extremely protective of normal civilians, especially women and children. A cuddly serial killer? Fact.
  15. I got a good deal on a box set and am now working my way through Season 5. I had seen some of the later seasons, but not from the beginning, because I had never seen any of Rob Lowe's tenure. He left, ostensibly over a salary dispute but I think in tandem with that was his dissatisfaction with the size of his role. The show was rolled out as a star vehicle for him, on the strength of his Brat Pack movie star reputation. Out of the entire cast, only he and Martin Sheen were known stars. The first season was fairly Sam-centric. He carries a large portion of the pilot. Over time, Sam's appearances got fewer and shallower until sometime in Season 4 Sam went to California to run for Congress, never returned and was never mentioned again after he filled his own job with Will Bailey (Joshua Malina). The show shifted to featuring President Bartlet more, which was a good move, seeing as Martin Sheen is a charismatic actor, but also shifted to favoring Toby Ziegler and Josh Lyman hardcore. Sam got forced out. There is too much Toby and Josh for me since I find both of these characters like sand in my underwear. I think I would have liked the show better, and Rob Lowe probably would have as well, if he and Bradley Whitford had switched roles. Rob Lowe's mistake was in accepting the job when his character's title was only 'deputy communications director'. He should have said, 'Drop the Deputy' and I'm in. How was a 'deputy' supposed to be the centerpiece of an ensemble drama when nearly every other character except the clerical staff was more interesting and more powerful than Sam Seaborn? Sam had a sweet and goofy demeanor that was unexpected, and I miss him. I really liked him and Ainsley Hayes together. Emily Procter left to take the second lead on CSI: Miami, and I can't blame her for that. This is a political fantasy only loosely tethered to actual West Wing operations, so they can do what they like, but in the real world, I question that the 'Deputy Communications Director' and the 'Deputy Chief of Staff' would be cable news TV stars with their own groupies seeking autographs AND taking meetings with high ranking Senators to browbeat them into voting according to the President's agenda. That is a legislative function; since when is the junior speechwriter at the White House deputized to act like a minority whip? I guess I remain uncertain about to what degree the Chief of Staff and *his* staff are responsible for not just executing policy but making it. Josh and Toby seem to wield a lot of power which seems Cabinet-level. Advising the President in-house and lobbying votes on the Hill are two different functions. After the fourth season, Aaron Sorkin departed the show, apparently due to a severe drug problem. He had been in recovery and the pressures of cranking out the show caused him to relapse. I've enjoyed the nostalgia tour of a time when America had more faith in the Office of the President, but there are only a select few episodes, maybe 10, that I would think was worth revisiting. C.J. Cregg is my heroine, though. Grace under pressure, wit, and always impeccably suited. From now on when faced with a stressful, crazy day, I'll ask myself "How would C.J. handle this?"
  16. Cameron has too much moral integrity to thrive according to House's playbook, but it sure doesn't help that she was so tentative in herself and transparently crushing on her boss. Cameron is a Molly; useful dogsbody in the lab but House doesn't regard her as anything else. Of the first batch of Irregulars, I only ever thought Omar Epps projected enough gravitas to be a doctor. I could accept that Foreman was a gifted doctor. House clashed with him so often because he represented a rival. Maybe Foreman is Athelney Jones or Gregson. Not 'Wiggins' because he's not that deferential. Maybe Chase is the 'Billy'. Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison came across as actors playing doctors. Some of the next batch of interns were not as appealing as people, but they made for good doctors. Kutner departed the show mid-season because Kal Penn was tapped to work on the Obama campaign. Based on the number of cracks House makes constantly about Cuddy's rack, he is definitely looking. Though her blouses make it impossible not to.
  17. You and I talked about this before; I also think Cuddy was the Woman. At least, she seemed to be the only person House semi-respected, even when he was clashing with her. He might have feared her a little bit, too. I feel that he respected Cuddy more than he did his Watson. He abused Wilson constantly but he toed more of a line with Cuddy, and not just because she was the 'boss'. She's the sharpest brain in the hospital besides his. Lisa Edelstein is an attractive woman, but it always bugged me that Cuddy's clothes were always so tight. With her oversized lollipop head and her tight, sex-kittenish costumes on a very thin body, Lisa E. looked like a live action anime character at times. She certainly did not dress like any hospital administrator I've ever encountered. I've been working my way through The West Wing lately. In the first season, which aired in 1999, a very young-looking Lisa E. has a recurring role as Sam Seaborn's (Rob Lowe) girlfriend. The wrinkle is--she's a prostitute. It's a cute scene: After their first-night stand, Sam takes her cell phone by mistake because it's identical to his. Then he gets a call and thinking it's his phone, calls the number back and gets her escort agency. So--he's got a hooker's phone and she's got the White House deputy communication director's phone--awkward! She did not tell him she was a working girl because she liked him so much she went home with him for free. By day, she is studying for the bar. I can imagine a part-time job as a prostitute may come back to haunt an attorney in the future but her role didn't go past her law school graduation. Sam has to of course disclose this relationship to his bosses, and the papers get wind of it . . it's all a bit of a mess for Sam. A few years later, Lisa got the job as Cuddy. Amber was who, then? House was attracted to *her* because she was smart, but she was also as ruthless and conniving as he himself was. A female version of him. Being an egomaniac, of course that would make her attractive to him, his mirror image. Maybe Cuddy and Amber together were meant to represent different facets of Irene Adler? Amber would be Adler as played by Lara Pulver. Cuddy was the Woman, but she was also Lestrade--House's contact with 'officialdom', and the gateway to all his cases and his continued employment as a consultant in that environment. House had a very fraught relationship with his father . . who might stand in for Siger Holmes . . .or for Mycroft, as a the family connection with the superior power to his. As for the 'Moriarty'--I did not see that as any one individual. House's Moriarty was in fact, his addiction. It was seductive, it was his dark side . . and it was much more powerful and crafty than he because of the things it made him do. The characters who were antagonistic could be considered the minor villains like Culverton Smith or Grimsby Rylott or Milverton . . but the Master Villain was Vicodin. The members of his staff who were antagonistic like Vogler could be construed as 'the Scotland Yarders' who resent Holmes. The ones who venerate House are his Irregulars.
  18. Congrats, Herl. Or should I say, condolences? As others have mentioned, the show declined somewhat in quality over such a long run. With the arrival of all the new interns, the intimate feeling of the original team was lost. I liked some of the new characters, but others were a trial. House stopped being the charming addict and descended into being just a full-time arseh*le. Addicts do that--use everyone without regard for the consequences. I really started to lose steam after the extended bit of House in rehab doing a musical. I'm sure Hugh Laurie won any number of Emmys (our TV BAFTA). His transformation into a gruff American renegade was really something to see. Question: Who do you see as 'the Woman' for House? Does he have one? I'm pretty sure that Elementary lifted the idea that Holmes sees prostitutes recreationally as a means of tending to the physical instrument. There's a scene in an early episode where House is at the OTB shop and he meets the eye of a Rubenesque brown sugar lady and they exchange knowing smiles. This was one of his birds of the night and based on the look she gave him, it must have been an outstanding night, even for a professional.
  19. The BAFTAs are separate from the Queen's Honours Lists. Though the BAFTAs do reward television work--hence our Ben and Martin (and Andrew Scott), and Mofftiss all winning in their categories--and though Mr. Brett was deserving of a TV BAFTA for the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, I am more upset about JB not being recognized in the Queen's Honours Lists, ever, over such a distinguished career. That feels like a bigger insult to me, seeing as Jeremy did view himself as far more than 'a TV actor'. At heart he was a thespian of the stage, classically trained, with the kind of deep Shakespearean chops and roles that seem to be prerequisite for an acting knighthood. He didn't even rate one of the lower ranks like the OBE. A BAFTA is great, while it lasts, but unless it's a lifetime achievement award, is for one specific role or project. A spot on the Honours list rewards the longevity of a career and the lasting impact of a talent across roles and even mediums. Jeremy should have been honoured at some point over his decades of service to the British stage and screen. He saw himself as far more than Sherlock Holmes, but that role, over such a long span of time, really defined that quintessentially British icon for all time. If being 'the' definitive Sherlock Holmes for a generation (if not all time, though he is to me) doesn't rate a Royal Honour, I don't know how he could have been *more* exemplary.
  20. If we anoint thee Sir Herlock of Sholmes, will that make you feel better? I was surprised at the number of Americans who have received honors from Her Majesty. I can understand giving honorary titles to the American Presidents, but . . Ralph Lauren? If honors can be passed out like candy to American pop culture figures, then it was a grievous oversight that Mr. Brett, one of the finest stage and screen actors the UK has ever produced, not to mention, the definitive Holmes, a British icon if ever there was one, was never recognized for his contributions to the performing arts. Had he lived longer and continued in better health, he may have gotten his KBE--but if Kenneth Branagh could be made a KBE when he was only 50 . . . I'd say Jeremy Brett had done as much for British acting by that age as Ken had, and in the classical milieu as well. The theatre world is rife with homosexuality so it wasn't JB's sexuality that would have excluded him; do we suppose he might have been discriminated against due to his mental illness? That is not terribly rare in the theatrical world, either. Those same qualities which make performers so dynamic, charismatic and fearless in the pursuit of entertaining audiences are very often the flip side to bipolar disorder. A great many American child stars who grew up on Disney and Nickelodeon and went on to stratospheric fame as adult performers are in fact bipolar--Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, Amanda Bynes--to name just a few that have had highly public mental breakdowns in recent years. Jeremy was not alone in suffering from this disease in his profession. Show business attracts a disproportionate number of the mentally afflicted, I think, because of the nature of it: Performers have to be tight-rope walkers, performing without a net for audiences, and chameleons, becoming different characters, sometimes within the same production. Those who love the thrill of danger and of being the center of attention gravitate to performing, but the same qualities that make them gifted and exciting to watch are facets of their illness and not conducive to a calm and measured approach to life that promotes good mental health and well-being. The erratic hours, too many parties, too much indulgence of things that are not good for one just make any underlying mental conditions worse. Somebody with mental health challenges needs a steady routine, healthy diet, regular hours, exercise, low stress, calm. Supportive friends who advocate for healthy living and who aren't always in constant professional competition with one. In short, the opposite of how an actor or other show business type lives--particularly if he or she is famous. Wiki has a really exhaustive list of persons who have refused a Royal honor of any sort. Surprised to find Rudyard Kipling on this list. Has there been a British author who championed British Empire more? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_declined_a_British_honour The most high-profile refusal of a knighthood from the Queen would have to be Peter O'Toole, who was protesting on political grounds, being from Northern Ireland. I think it is pretty well de rigueur to do so. But here's a list of 11 others who have done the same. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/29904/10-famous-people-who-turned-down-knighthood Mysecond favorite knighthood story is probably apocryphal and is more like a cosplay knighthood. It was several years ago now that singer Ed Sheeran appeared doing the rounds of talk shows with a visible cut on his face. He had an entertaining anecdote about how he got the injury. While attending a raucous party with Princess Beatrice of York in attendance, the duo were horsing around with a decorative ceremonial sword that got taken down off the wall and used by Princess Bea in a mock knighting ceremony of Sir Edward, Lord of Sheeran. Everyone concerned was well-lit and Ed claims that the sword slipped and Bea accidentally cut his face. There actually is a photo of a giggling PB holding a sword and Ed kneeling on the ground in front of her. Fellow party guest, singer James Blunt, being a more mature (and sober) man saw what happened and refutes this version of events. Yes, there was a mock knighting, apparently but Ed actually got the cut on his face when he fell face first drunk into a coffee table and cut himself on an object on the table, whether bottle opener, bottle cap, ashtray or other. James didn't seem terribly impressed with Ed's state of inebriation and probably didn't care to have Princess Beatrice unfairly blamed for nearly putting Ed's eye out. First place favorite knighthood was seeing Sir Rod of the Stewart receive his KBE from Prince William. Both gentlemen were absolutely tickled to be there. Hard to tell who was fan-boying more. Pretty large moment for William, too, I imagine. This was probably one of the first times he was deployed to stand in for Granny in this manner.
  21. Got my second dose of Pfizer on Thursday. Had yesterday off from work, which was just as well. I had no major side effects, but I definitely felt this one more. The first jab was nearly undetectable, but the second one was a real Ow. Felt like a bee sting. I had the same nurse as before, so I don't think it was her technique. Other people reported the same thing. Immediately after I got back from the observation period, I put a cold pack on my arm for 2 hours and took three Tylenol. My arm still got sore, but doing this bought me about three additional hours before that happened. It wasn't more painful than before, but it has definitely lasted longer. First time was 24 hours almost to the dot. I'm in hour 47 now and I can still feel a little pain when I lift my arm. I switched up arms so this time was in my dominant one (the right). I developed a headache between my eyes around 9 or 10 pm that night that lasted for a couple of hours; I took 3 more Tylenol before I went to sleep. No problems sleeping; no night sweats, chills or fever. At worst, I felt tired, heavy and stiff. Kind of like you do when you've got a cold, except there wasn't any congestion or coughing. I had a stuffy head for a little while when I first lay down, but that went away. That might have also been from dust mites or the seasonal change in temps. All in all, not bad. I'm glad I didn't have to work the next day but I think I could have, if required--though pushing it may have made me feel worse than I did at home. It was a great excuse to lay in bed for most of the day watching movies, in between bouts of making food. My appetite seemed normal, but I tried to eat fairly light over the two days because I didn't want a lot in my stomach in case I felt pukey. I didn't. I would advise, if feasible, that anyone getting the second shot (or the first, in the case of J&J) schedule a sick day for the following day. My employer was generous in allowing us an hour each time on the clock to get the shots without having to take time. I was prepared to get more ill, so I would have taken a sick day if I hadn't been off already. You most likely will feel pretty OK, though you might not feel up to your usual activities and will just want to sleep or relax. If you do have to work, at least try to take a half-day or do lighter activities if you can. If your job involves being on your feet a lot or heavy lifting, probably best to avoid that first day after. I'm at work today and I feel fine now.
  22. Seems very likely, Herl. Though Moffat may not have been referencing TLSHS in particular that time. Isn't there a passage (or more than one) in a story/stories in which other characters (I'm thinking Lestrade and Watson), and even SH himself muse on what Holmes might have done if he'd opted to turn his prodigious mind to committing crimes instead of solving them? I'm sure there is, but I couldn't tell you where it appears just now. The Reichenbach Fall presents us with a scenario where Moriarty, posing as 'Rich Brook' convincingly casts doubt upon Sherlock's sanity and makes himself into a figment of SH's imagination as far as others are concerned. Watson & Molly are the only ones who have actually met 'Jim' to know any different. The scene on the roof of Barts could be read as the two sides of Sherlock's nature dueling it out for supremacy "Just because I'm on the side of the angels, don't think for a moment that I AM one of them". There's a very similar handling of the character of Moriarty and an eerily similar visceral shock ending to this episode as in Dibdin's story, wherein one of the main characters makes a shocking choice to self-annihilate for an ultimate goal. Sherlock Holmes always redeems himself in the end; even Mr. Dibdin put that in. Sally may be a good policewoman; Lestrade certainly relies on her, and she's his right-hand officer, so she's got skills, apparently. But they are hard to discern owing to her really unprofessional behavior toward Sherlock. It may be human to think of him as Freak, because, let's be honest--his personality and methods are completely his own, openly defiant of proper police procedure and equally antisocial in presentation. But Donovan and Anderson fan the flames with their snarky insults and open hostility and jealousy toward their boss's civilian consultant. They behave in an unprofessional, childish manner toward him and that only succeeds in bringing out the worst in SH. If they would have been polite in their dealings with him, one supposes that he might have given more politeness back to them. Sherlock is fully aware of social norms; when he ignores them and insults people, that is a conscious choice. I actually think he secretly relishes being called Freak and knowing that he gets under their skin that much. But you are correct that such verbal bullying is unacceptable behavior from law enforcement officers, and it's a failing of Lestrade's leadership as their boss that he didn't nip that in the bud earlier. He could have made it plain that Donovan & Anderson, as the two senior members of his team, could either be professional toward the consultant or be assigned to another division after a disciplinary leave and obligatory seminar on appropriate language in the workplace. That said, Donovan was right to force her boss to confront the valid possibility that his pet consultant might actually be responsible for the very crimes he was purportedly investigating. Donovan is a good officer in other respects, but she's always been such a b--- to Sherlock that it's hard to accept her criticisms of him as anything less than sour grapes. Lestrade is too indulgent of SH because he likes him, and he's far more likely to excuse SH's flaws. Sherlock gets results but at a great cost to Lestrade personally and to his division with the unconventional behavior and the animosity he sows among Lestrade's official subordinates. Greg gives the unpaid civilian a LOT of leeway, probably harming his own advancement in the process, and displays pretty blatant favoritism toward him. He calls in SH at the drop of a hat, undermining the morale of his actual team who are all sworn officers and can't get away with most of the cr*p that SH pulls--like B&E--because they are obliged to uphold the law. There is definitely legitimate cause for resentment among Greg's staff, but they all like him, apart from this one blind spot, so it's easier to target the source of their anger directly and call him names. Then there's the matter of Donovan and Anderson conducting an illicit workplace sexual affair. The married Anderson is guilty of adultery and it just displays how rather desperate Donovan is for attention . . or maybe she just wants to destabilize Anderson's marriage and hurt his wife. Sally seems like a pretty miserable cow. Kudos to Vinette Robinson because it's not easy to play such an unlikeable character. She really made us hate Sally, so, well done. Donovan of course has a significant role in The Reichenbach Fall, but we never see her again after that that I can recall. I don't remember exactly, either, but she is not in the first two episodes of S2. I do not recall her presence in the last two episodes of S1 specifically. She may have been in as little as two episodes then. She certainly made an impression as SH's primary antagonist on Lestrade's squad, until the focus shifted to Anderson for subsequent episodes in S3. S4 is honestly a blank to me vis. Anderson's involvement, but I think Vinette Robinson had left for other pastures. She turned up subsequently in an episode of Vera as a murder victim, which would represent KARMA! to a lot of Donovan haters. In my mind palace, Donovan transferred to another division/jurisdiction in the wake of the Fall to take a Detective Inspector opening. Lestrade will have recommended her highly for a promotion, if only to get her out of his sights. I don't think he would have wanted to work with her after events of that episode. Anderson had his own problems and was off the squad, too. A lot of people may not realize this but the role of Sally Donovan was played by another black actress in the unaired pilot episode. Zawe Ashton was the original Donovan, but was replaced by Vinette Robinson subsequently. The two actresses look remarkably similar. Ms. Ashton went on to a much beefier supporting role on Case Histories as Jackson Brodie's (Jason Isaacs) sassy secretary, Deborah over two seasons. I have a feeling that Ms. Ashton was no longer available for Donovan, having accepted the Case Histories job, when shooting commenced on the Study in Pink episode that actually aired. Moffat had to go back to the drawing board and produce a 90-minute script and completely redo the sets and wardrobe and everything. Ashton made a good call, I think, since Sally Donovan was such a tiny supporting part. P.S. Displaying the 'It's a Small World' theme in British television, the second lead in Case Histories (in the Lestrade role) was none other than Amanda Abbington, playing Brodie's DI contact on the Lothian & Borders police force. The two were former partners in the major case squad, until Brodie got fitted up by some fellow officers he testified against and was forced to leave the force and become a private detective. So there are definite Sherlockian characteristics to Brodie--a pissed-off loner who is working outside of the official police structure and who can therefore take creative shortcuts in his investigations that may not be strictly legal. Brodie and DI Louise Monroe appear to have a past history of being romantic partners or wanting to be, but Brodie has an ex-wife and a daughter, and the timing is always off for them. Amanda A. does a bang-on Scots accent and looks really good with red hair--better than the blonde, IMO.
  23. Well, yes. It is just a comparison for literary purposes. I was trying to describe a feeling in reaction to a story, not trying to equate both central figures as being equal in humanity, ie. 'realness'. I would hope that would be understood. Though when it comes to a certain breed of diehard Sherlockian, such as the type that becomes inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars Society, one must never discount that for those people, Sherlock Holmes is absolutely real. Certain individuals have been known to become unhinged if it is suggested in their hearing that Sherlock Holmes is not currently alive and hale and tending bees on the Sussex Downs. I am serious. Membership in the secular Church of the Great Detective is a religion a number of people hold dear; for them Sherlock Holmes goes way beyond a hobby or an admirable character from literature. For some really diehard Sherlock believers, he is real and has become real in the same way the Velveteen Rabbit became real: by being loved that much by enough of his readers. Sherlock Holmes cannot give one eternal life . . but many of his followers believe that he possesses it, or at least, give the appearance of it through their devotion to The Great Game. (in which disciples of Sherlock Holmes conduct their meetings and all their discourse, both oral and written as though the person they are discussing and writing adventures for not only lived for real on Baker Street during Victoria's reign and had a great pal called Watson, but is in fact, alive now and still working on behalf of Her Majesty's government in between bouts of beekeeping. ) Like Santa Claus, he is steadfastly real to those who believe in him and to those that don't . . well, it just looks like imagination or insanity, depending on the age of the believer. The lines get blurry. Because the chief tenet of the Great Game is never admitting, to outsiders or even within the circle that one is playing a game at all. Michael Dibdin was absolutely a Sherlockian, but his actions had a similar effect on his brotherhood of believers as Judas's did. An insider who went renegade and cast himself irredeemably into exile. Let's just say I don't think Michael was welcomed into any Sherlock scion society meetings after 1978.
  24. The following post does not contain any overt spoilers about The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, but certain plot points can be deduced by armchair detectives. I will leave it to the moderators to determine whether the entire thing belongs in a spoiler box, but I think we are all adults here and can determine for ourselves how much opinion about a book we have not read we are willing to accommodate. If you haven't read it and think you would like to, and you really, really want to go in absolutely blind, I suggest you go read it first and then come back to my comment. ************************************************** Michael Dibdin (RIP) was barely past 30 when that book--his first--was published. I don't know if the subsequent furore over this book was the cause of him leaving England to live in Italy for four years . . Italia is a lovely place, much favored as a holiday/retirement spot by Britons, but this was a young, first-time author making this move. Was he hiding out from enraged Sherlockians, one wonders . . ? Italy would prove to be fertile ground for inspiration because Dibdin is not remembered for his notorious freshman effort (except among dedicated Sherlockians); he is famous for his original detective character, Det. Aurelio Zen, a Venetian native working for the Carabinieri di Roma. Zen has some Sherlockian characteristics: he's a loner, very fond of deduction and resolutely incorruptible, which is blasted inconvenient for an Italian policeman. I read Michael's book very early on in my renewed Sherlockian period. I recognized Dibdin's name from the Aurelio Zen books (the most famous trilogy of which have been turned into films starring Rufus Sewell as Zen. That set is worth every penny) . . and it's a very slim book--200 pages or thereabouts. I figured it would be an easy breezy read before I dove back into Leslie Klinger's Annotated Sherlock Holmes. I was very wrong. It is neither easy nor breezy, though one can certainly read it in its entirety in under two hours. I was so gutted by it I had to reread the entire thing again immediately, just to be sure I hadn't hallucinated certain outcomes. I revisit the horrors of that book periodically just because I have a temperamental disposition to the Romanticism of making myself suffer. I think as I told Herlock Sholmes at the time, I have never both loved and hated a book so much simultaneously. Michael Dibdin may have succeeded in writing Dr. Watson better than Conan Doyle himself. It really is an outstanding piece of literary craftsmanship--pastiche done at a supremely high level that may have been equaled but never bettered, by anyone before or since. It is astounding that a first-time author, only in his 20s when composing it, would have blown onto the scene with such a masterful work. Or to have had the cojones at the very start of his career to publish a manuscript that was not going to be anything less than controversial. In the genre of Sherlockian lore, Michael Dibdin is both genius and heretic. His book is an apocryphal Gospel of Sherlock Holmes--as written by a Judas. I hate the nihilism of it but can't help but admire the sheer guts it would have taken to defiantly carry out his vision to its singular conclusion. His publisher was pretty ballsy, too, taking this on from a new author who was an untested commodity. There's a bit of cosmic irony--some might say karma--in Dibdin dying young, at only 60 (incidentally, SH's age in the last published canonical case His Last Bow) while Sherlock Holmes continues to 'live' on and go from strength to strength across pieces of three centuries. As for the reasons why such an obviously well-versed Sherlockian disciple would have engineered that level of betrayal toward his Master, those Mr. Dibdin has taken to his grave. It was a bravura turn--into Hell. The book, I mean . .not Mr. Dibdin's life, though some really hardcore Sherlockians might say he deserved nothing less than to be consigned there. I am not that angry, because Sherlock Lives . . he's bounced back a treat from the paces MD put him through. I would very much like to hear from MD himself over a pint about his process of creating this story and and even more . . .Why? . . .but mostly I admire the confidence it would have taken to pull it off, and then go on to a distinguished career creating his own signature detective. In my library, DIBDIN is shelved right alongside DEXTER, creator of Inspector Morse, which is a bit of serendipity. It occurs to me that the writers of Sherlock BBC, Sherlockians which they are, must have been aware of this story, and might have even derived elements from it for their take on The Reichenbach Fall. Steve Thompson was listed as the primary writer on that episode, which narrowly missed being my favorite episode of the series. (In the end, A Scandal in Belgravia edged it out for its greater humor and more positive ending . . I really hate seeing Watson cry) . .but he certainly consulted with the showrunners on the direction the episode would take. The similarities are there. We can rejoice that like Jesus busting out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, Sherlock Holmes did not stay dead. We like him much better that way.
  25. That seems to reflect the results of my informal poll, too. Perhaps the people who have a bad reaction but have never officially been diagnosed with Covid actually had an asymptomatic case earlier or at any rate, enough viral exposure for the body to ramp up. The Johnson & Johnson shot is appearing attractive to a lot of people who are wary of getting sick on two shots . . maybe people who know for sure they've had Covid would be sufficiently covered by the one dose, since for them, the first shot functions like the second shot for people who haven't been exposed. A nurse friend of mine had Covid in May or June of last year; she was working on the Covid unit in a nursing home, so that is hardly surprising. As a health care front liner, she was in the first round of vaccinations. After the second shot, she had to take a week off work because it felt like Covid all over again. Another friend had quite a Covid year . . She was expecting her first baby when her library was closed due to the pandemic. Initially this seemed like good timing, as she was set to go on maternity leave soon after, though she would have worked another couple of months. It took weeks and weeks for her to get anywhere with the unemployment benefits office--if she ever did. I hope she got some of that money because just before her baby was due, she was told that her job had been eliminated--bye! She gave birth in July and her husband was able to be with her. Their daughter is adorable. Then she and her husband both got Covid, despite barely leaving the house. Daddy works from home. Everybody got better, but then all three got Covid again within a few months--a variant version. Lord knows how because they still weren't going out much. Then, while still recuperating, they decided to sell their home and were on a time crunch. She's only 30 so hasn't queued up for any shots yet, but she's got antibodies for at least two strains! It's an irony that many of the people who are being *soo* careful, germophobic even, are still getting this thing despite taking every precaution while legions more who deny the whole thing exists are absolutely fine. A colleague's immuno-compromised 80-year mother was infected at family Thanksgiving which she adamantly insisted on attending. She passed away a month later, coming down with symptoms within 48 hours of that gathering. She didn't live to see the vaccine that might have given her several more good years with her family, so I think the vaccine is definitely worth getting. If not for yourself, to protect vulnerable loved ones. The colleague that went home sick yesterday the day after her shot is back today, feeling much better. Another reported a bad headache last night but it was gone by morning.
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