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"A Study in Scarlet"

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It's a shame they didn't get around to doing A STUDY IN SCARLET, before Jeremy [brett] passed away. It's a great story!

 

But to have had it make any sense at all it would have had to be the very first offering of the series. It was the case that brought these two men together. That first magical meeting. To try to stick it in any other way couldn't nor wouldn't have worked.

Edited by Carol the Dabbler
Split off from another thread.
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Oh, yes; absolutely! And it's a well-written story, in my opinion, too.

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Maybe they were thinking of doing it as a flashback.  They might have thought the audience would be more interested in how they met after becoming familiar with the two characters.

 

Also, since they were doing such a generally faithful version, they might have dreaded doing that middle section set in Utah!  (Thank goodness Sherlock didn't even try to adapt that part.)

 

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As much as I liked the story, I did think those middle parts made the whole thing drag a bit.

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I liked it too, at least the London parts.  Seems like that middle part could have been replaced by a few paragraphs of exposition, probably as part of Holmes's deductions.  Either that, or it could have been tightened up a lot.

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The thing is though, Jeremy Brett played Sherlock Holmes for ten years and no "A Study in Scarlet" in sight in all that time? Still have to wonder why.

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Yes, well I do remember reading in David Stuart Davies book on Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, that the producers were worried about doing the UTAH part of the story, as it seemed a real challenge for them.

As Carol said earlier, though, the plan was to do all of the 60 stories of the Canon, so it's sad that Jeremy became so ill. Apparently Jeremy was very keen to do all 60 stories, and I think he became very depressed when he realised that his declining state of health just wasn't going to allow him to do that.

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'Twasn't me -- Fox, I think, back on that other thread.  But I can't argue with either of you!

 

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The thing is though, Jeremy Brett played Sherlock Holmes for ten years and no "A Study in Scarlet" in sight in all that time? Still have to wonder why.

 

Did A Study in Scarlett have the whole Utal villifying Mormons stuff in it? I'd forgotten. I think it played best when they glossed over some of the more egregious and blatant racist, sexist, and generally (authorial) prejudices present in some of the stories.

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Oh, sorry, Carol, that was Fox, was it; sorry Fox!

 

Yes, Conan Doyle seemed to really have it in for the Mormons, in A STUDY IN SCARLET, didn't he! Are the Mormons really that bad, or were they that bad, back then in the 1800s?! I must say that I know very little about the Mormons in general!

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Well, the Mormons did practice polygamy back then (though not any more), which may have offended Conan Doyle.  Other than that, there are bad eggs in any basket, and there are people who will take unfair advantage of whatever situation they find themselves in, Mormons and non-Mormons alike.  The few Mormons I know are very decent people.

 

Yes, just as well to gloss over some bits!

 

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Yes, very good point, Carol; point taken, in fact.

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Well, the Mormons did practice polygamy back then (though not any more), which may have offended Conan Doyle.  Other than that, there are bad eggs in any basket, and there are people who will take unfair advantage of whatever situation they find themselves in, Mormons and non-Mormons alike.  The few Mormons I know are very decent people.

 

Yes, just as well to gloss over some bits!

 

I come from Mormon people (though I don't practice and never have) and I think a lot of the offense back then (and even now) had to do with the man they called a prophet and his presumptious ursurping of certain Christian beliefs. It is still considered a religious cult by many Christians rather than an actual religion.

 

Conan Doyle, like many of his contemporaries, had a number of unexamined prejudices that showed up in his work and were accepted at face value by his reading public. Prejudices that I believe a man of logic such as Holmes would not have.

 

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the Cushing series managed to adapt it perfectly well, excising the 'first meeting' bits

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So -- they did just the casework?  (Too bad, I love the Watson-meets-Holmes aspect.)  How did they handle the Utah part?

 

I think this is the first time we've met, softmachine -- welcome to Sherlock Forum!  :welcome:

 

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thank you for the welcome, Carol :)

 

yes it was just the case itself. The Utah section was told in short dialogue by Jefferson in his cell

 

we get to see Holmes and Watson track down the actor who had shammed as the old woman (performing in music hall!) in this version! It's a lot of fun. Cushing is just so good.

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n.b the DVDs are thankfully easily available , ether on its own box set, as individual discs (I *think*) or even better as part of the big 6-disc 'The BBC Sherlock Holmes Collection' box set

 

at least the Cushing series is easy to get rather than the Wilmer series, which you need to get from America for reasons which baffle me!!

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The Utah section was told in short dialogue by Jefferson in his cell

They really had mercy on the audience, then!

 

I've often wondered why Conan Doyle didn't handle it that way, and all I can think of is that either he was paid by the word, or else the publisher demanded a certain length or they wouldn't buy it.  Can anyone think of an in-universe or artistic reason?

 

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The only in-universe reason would have Holmes' trying to understand Jefferson Hope's motives. The ring suggested a woman, where was she, what made her so important to Hope and what happened to her?

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Right, but an in-universe reason for why the entire backstory had to be elaborated at such length?

 

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Holmes's focus on detail? He wants to know every little thing about every crime he investigates?

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True.  But doesn't he also get impatient with too much detail -- or is that just what's-his-name?

 

In any case, I'd think he could have made do very well with something much shorter, maybe a few pages.

 

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n any case, I'd think he could have made do very well with something much shorter, maybe a few pages.

 

 

 Absolutely. Or maybe it took a far shorter time for Holmes to think it then it does to read it?

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The Utah section was told in short dialogue by Jefferson in his cell

They really had mercy on the audience, then!

 

 

 

 

haha!!!! Oh you cruel thing!!

 

I think I must be one of the very few people in existence who actually LIKES that part of the book. It chills me to the bone everytime. The vultures flying overhead..... the romance that builds to inevitable tragedy... the 'Here lies..' sign..... ((shudders)).

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