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Carol the Dabbler

"Lady Frances Carfax"

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I've seen the Jeremy Brett episode more recently than I've read the original story, so please forgive me if my details are a bit muddled.  But I've been thinking about how this story ends.

 

Spoilers ahead, obviously, so I won't say more till the next post.

 

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I had the impression that the Brett episode had taken some liberties for dramatic purposes, so I decided to refresh my memory of the original story, and find (much to my dismay) that I have never read it!  I was right about the dramatic license, and I'm completely unfamiliar with some of Conan Doyle's details.

 

So I'll be back after I actually read it.  This may turn into a discussion of the Brett episode, depending on how the original story ends!

 

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Gives us all an excuse to watch some Jeremy Brett and read a Doyle canon story.....oh the drudgery!.....Not.

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:D

 

I've given the story a fairly quick read-through now, and am amazed by how much of the Brett episode was either greatly expanded or (like the boat scene) simply made up.  I guess they had to do something of the sort, though, since it's a pretty short story with few details and not much action.

 

The part that I was wanting to discuss has roots in the story, but the part that bothers me is mostly a Granada elaboration.  In that dramatization, Lady Frances herself tells us that she never wants to see her would-be suitor again, so even though he later claims to have turned over a new leaf, I have to wonder about her reaction to being nursed back to health by him -- could it be his presence that's slowing her recovery?  Does she now feel obligated to marry him?

 

In the original story, we never "meet" Lady Frances until she's been chloroformed into a stupor, so we have only the man's word that she grudgingly loves him and has begun to soften toward him (frankly, that sounds like wishful thinking to me).  And we never learn what becomes of her after she's rescued.  For once, Watson gives no prognosis and no epilog.  The Brett ending was apparently suggested by a few words spoken by Holmes: "... here ... is someone who has a better right to nurse this lady than we have.  Good morning, Mr. Green; I think that the sooner we can move the Lady Frances the better."

 

So what do y'all think -- about the story and/or the episode?

 

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I never saw the Jeremy Brett version, but what I remember most (fondly) from the story is Holmes' behavior. Once again, he sends Watson off on a case alone, only to criticize his reports, send obscure requests via telegram without explaining why (like when he asks about a person's ear) and finally turn up in person at a crucial moment to rescue his "damsel in distress", stand in the lime light and act smug. This is one of the stories I think they used for the characterization of Sherlock. It also has his warm, more human side when it comes to Holmes' concern for the client and his anger at her would-be murderer.

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You remember it well, T.o.b.y.  :D

 

The Brett episode retains most of the story, but fleshes it out a great deal.  Watson just happens to be on holiday at the same resort, so he's on the scene when Lady Frances disappears.  They added some scenes of her arguing with her brother over her allowance, and (less understandably) a scene where she sails a boat across the lake and back.

 

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You remember it well, T.o.b.y. :D

 

The Brett episode retains most of the story, but fleshes it out a great deal. Watson just happens to be on holiday at the same resort, so he's on the scene when Lady Frances disappears. They added some scenes of her arguing with her brother over her allowance, and (less understandably) a scene where she sails a boat across the lake and back.

Exactly this. :)

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I like the bit with the coffin but otherwise this is one of those stories that are so boring that I've forgotten most of it. Oh, there's a possible reference to the latter-day Baker St Irregulars, and Holmes in a disguise. But that's literally all I can recall *lol

 

I won't be rereading this any day soon. I think even the tv versions are a bit boring.... Just me..?

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I like the bit with the coffin but otherwise this is one of those stories that are so boring that I've forgotten most of it. Oh, there's a possible reference to the latter-day Baker St Irregulars, and Holmes in a disguise. But that's literally all I can recall *lol

 

I won't be rereading this any day soon. I think even the tv versions are a bit boring.... Just me..?

 

I don't remember the story as being boring... I thought Holmes was so funny with his mysterious telegrams. He's very eccentric in this story, kind of like Sherlock.

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Mr. Brett's health (though it was failing) may not have had a lot to do with how this story was treated.  For one thing, it was the first episode (in airing sequence, at least) of the two series filmed in the 90's.  I suspect that the writer simply felt that Conan Doyle's rather brief story needed fleshing out in order to fit the time allotted for the episode, so he embellished a great deal.  The basic structure is still there, but as you say the overall effect is quite different.  The Wikipedia article agrees with you:

The
starring
is not completely faithful to the original story. The action takes place entirely in the Lake District of England, where the holidaying Doctor often sees the Lady (and her stalker Philip Green) at the hotel before her disappearance; she has a brother; her jewellery is French rather than Spanish; no mention is made of the maid; Peters is not Australian and does not have a bitten ear, but is in a wheelchair; Green made his fortune in Australia rather than in South Africa; there is no police intervention at the house; the coffin is opened at the cemetery rather than at the house; Lady Frances is traumatised by her experience (though Holmes says that "There is every hope of a full recovery"); and Holmes acknowledges the case as one of his few true failures and refuses to be rewarded by Green.

 

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Dear waterfowl princess, how right you were to bring this particular story to all our attention, since in the Abominable episode,

Sherlock digs up Emelia Ricoletti's grave, fully expecting to find two bodies, to provide him with solid proof of Jim's demise!

 

Edited by Carol the Dabbler
Added spoiler box

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Khhhhaaaaaaannnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!

KGTKfHO.jpg

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Dear Arcadia, his followers were not actual cadavers, just frozen using cryogenics, so what has he to do with a double coffin?

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Hey, what am I doing here? I have no business here, or anything to contribute.

Why there is a strong unseen force to click this thread and I swear I never did....

 

...

 

Dear God, Arcadia!

(Hi Khan :))

 

Sorry guys, let me do a bit of screen-cap and whisk my butt out of here. (blame Arcadia..hey why there is a cat...Khan is a dog person! :))

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Hi gang, just checking to see if the summons still worked... :P ;) :rofl:   Hi, VBS!  35o46Bs.gif

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Yes it does..surprisingly a little bit too well XD, but dat picture......totally worth it..he he

 

Now, is this place have some kind of punishment for moderator who messed with innocent member's sanity (that is already questionable in the first place :P?)

Mild electrocution maybe? Come on..! :)

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Innocent member? What innocent member? Do we have those here?

 

By the way, the kitten is for dessert.

 

Oh, um, Lady Frances Carfax ... who she? :tongue:

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Khan: "My name is.... Holy Peters!!!"

McCoy: "Dammit Spock, you green-blooded hobgoblin!!"

Kirk: "Open up that damn coffin."

Spock: "This is all highly illogical."

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Eh, logic is boring... :d

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Innocent member? What innocent member? Do we have those here?

Dang! That is true. Hmm.. (proud being a mess) XD

 

By the way, the kitten is for dessert.

Fiu...what a relief.

It's so out of his character.

Puppy, on the other hand...

 

Oh, um, Lady Frances Carfax ... who she? :tongue:

I absolutely have no idea.

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Oh, um, Lady Frances Carfax ... who she? :tongue:

I absolutely have no idea.

 

She's the gal on those commercials -- you know, "Show me the Carfax!"  (Least that's what Alex told me. ;) )

 

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Oh, of course! Silly me! :p

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Ladies, please! Not first thing in the morning! Or are you lot bent on proving Enormous Mycroft wrong, and they should have won THAT war?

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Interesting to read the (old) comments about the Jeremy Brett adaptation. I think I remember from David Stuart Davies' book that budget cuts were already affecting the series by this point, so they had to film in the Lake District.

 

The Granada series had sadly already peaked by this time and producer Michael Cox had moved on.

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