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It just occurred to me that in each of the three series there has been an episode in which the villain was introduced in the last few moments - just when we think the episode might be over. It happens in The Blind Banker, The Hounds of Baskerville and The Empty Hearse.

 

I think it's safe to expect the same to happen in series 4 (not in the Christmas Special).

 

And, of course, there's the cliffhangers. There always has to be a cliffhanger.

 

Have you noticed other patterns throughout the series?

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Well I see it as slightly different.

The overall villain of S 1 & 2 was Moriarty.

We had the revelation of his minions: Cabbie and Shan at the conclusion of their episodes.

The 'new' villain, CAM, was introduced at the end of ep 1 in S3  and he met his demise in ep 3.

But then we have the 'revelation' at the end of S3 that Moriarty may be alive after all...that is the cliffhanger we are all awaiting the resolution of.

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Another pattern -- the middle episode tends to make the least contribution to the story arc (though it may contribute a good bit of character development).

 

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That difficult middle episode.

I always felt Steven Thompson had been handed a bit of a poisoned chalice with Blind Banker...but he managed ok.

Oh that reminds me of another pattern!

The best episode for each of the writers is their cliffhanger...IMHO.

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The pattern visible to me is that Mr Gatiss actually bothers to create new Sherlock content by developing several detection themes, like in Hounds and The Great Game and The Empty Hearse, while Mr Moffat simply takes any old ACD subject and then draws it to improbable extremes, like Scandal and HLV, borrowing material right left and centre from other detective stories. Also, he is the one who repeatedly points out that their stories are NOT detective stories, but stories ABOUT a detective and his growing entourage, Angels and Ministers of Grace protect us!

In that respect, Mr Gatiss, despite the problems I have with his subtext agenda, is the industrious ant, and Mr Moffat the grasshopper of their fanfiction fairytale!

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That difficult middle episode.

I always felt Steven Thompson had been handed a bit of a poisoned chalice with Blind Banker...but he managed ok.

Oh that reminds me of another pattern!

The best episode for each of the writers is their cliffhanger...IMHO.

 

I was going to agree with you till I remembered that Steven Moffat wrote "A Study in Pink" (which in my opinion is tied with "Great Game" for both best episode of Series 1 and second-best episode overall).  Will definitely agree on Gatiss's "Great Game" and Thompson's "Reichenbach," though!

 

The pattern visible to me is that Mr Gatiss actually bothers to create new Sherlock content by developing several detection themes, like in Hounds and The Great Game and The Empty Hearse, while Mr Moffat simply takes any old ACD subject and then draws it to improbable extremes, like Scandal and HLV, borrowing material right left and centre from other detective stories. Also, he is the one who repeatedly points out that their stories are NOT detective stories, but stories ABOUT a detective and his growing entourage, Angels and Ministers of Grace protect us!

In that respect, Mr Gatiss, despite the problems I have with his subtext agenda, is the industrious ant, and Mr Moffat the grasshopper of their fanfiction fairytale!

 

I think I see what you mean, but I need to think about it a while.

 

Regarding Mr. Gatiss's subtext agenda however, the poor man seems to be trapped between people who complain that he has one and people who complain that he doesn't!  The latter may believe the original Holmes and Watson were thinly-disguised lovers and feel it's about time that was acknowledged -- and may feel betrayed by Gatiss, who as a gay man himself "ought" to implement that point of view more explicitly.

 

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Hang on  a minute.

I do apologise in advance, but I cannot have this.

Mark Gatiss has no agenda whatsoever and has stated so in public.

His husband had to intervene on Twitter to defend Mark from an attack by Johnlockers.

I personally have had the agony of having to watch the youtube film of Mark facing  a baying mob of Indian fans screaming for Johnlock and the poor brave soul having to take them head on and firmly say ' No'.

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Well, I don't know about his agenda... but I've always assumed the whole "Johnlock" aspect to be nothing more than what is said on the show: John and Sherlock are best friends, they love each other, but they are not in love - of course the latter is open to interpretation, as no one actually says that, but... I can't see that they are. It makes me kind of sad that Gatiss cannot be "allowed" to make jokes about Sherlock and John being a couple without some people getting upset, one way or another. Ah, well.

 

I agree that the middle episode of each series has the least impact on the story arc.

 

Interesting observation/interpretation of Moffat and Gatiss' way of dealing with the ACD stories. Since I haven't read more than three of them, I cannot know, but Moffat's stories do seem quite edgy.

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Dear Sherlockandjohn, IF you have read ACD, you will see what I mean. J. P., on another thread asked what Mr Moffat has lifted from where, and I went on a full-out rant, which was then moved to another thread, but he definitely does not bother overmuch about borrowing other people's intellectual property if he can get a shortcut to a good plot point.

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But the whole POINT of BBC Sherlock is it is an update of The Canon...

They never claimed to be creating a whole new body of work.

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I do apologise in advance, but I cannot have this.

Mark Gatiss has no agenda whatsoever and has stated so in public.

 

I see that I may have worded my last post somewhat ambiguously.  So -- for the record -- I did not mean to state that I believe Mr. Gatiss has any sort of agenda, merely that Sherlock fandom seems to consist of a] people who think he does and wish he didn't; b] people who think he doesn't and wish he did; and c] people who think he's simply doing his honest best to present a good story.  As I meant to say before, I suspect that categories a] and b] consist largely of people who believe that merely because Mr. Gatiss is himself gay, he ipso facto either has a gay agenda or should have a gay agenda.

 

Dear Sherlockandjohn, IF you have read ACD, you will see what I mean. J. P., on another thread asked what Mr Moffat has lifted from where, and I went on a full-out rant, which was then moved to another thread, but he definitely does not bother overmuch about borrowing other people's intellectual property if he can get a shortcut to a good plot point.

 

I'd just like to clarify the concept of intellectual property as it applies here.  The vast majority of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories are now in the public domain.  His last few stories are still under copyright in the US (though no longer in the UK), and even those copyrights will expire in a couple more years.  So unless Mr. Moffat uses material from those last few stories, he is not actually borrowing Conan Doyle's intellectual property.  He does, of course, also borrow from prior adaptations and even from non-Holmes stories, but I assume he's worked out the legal details with those copyright holders (as well as with the Conan Doyle estate for those last few stories).

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I see that I may have worded my last post somewhat ambiguously.  So -- for the record -- I did not mean to state that I believe Mr. Gatiss has any sort of agenda, merely that Sherlock fandom seems to consist of a] people who think he does and wish he didn't; b] people who think he doesn't and wish he did; and c] people who think he's simply doing his honest best to present a good story.  As I meant to say before, I suspect that categories a] and b] consist largely of people who believe that merely because Mr. Gatiss is himself gay, he ipso facto either has a gay agenda or should have a gay agenda.

 

And I thought I was having a dizzy spell BEFORE I came on this forum. :blink: You want to run through that again?

 

No, I'm kidding, you make perfect sense and I whole-heartedly agree. I'm sorry to hear Mr. Gatiss is receiving attacks, I hadn't heard about that. He seems like a lovely person to me. Oh my, what a world, eh? I get a lot of kicks from the internet but sometimes I think it should be kicked into last week.

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 I get a lot of kicks from the internet but sometimes I think it should be kicked into last week.

 

 

Amen to that! :)

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Another pattern -- the middle episode tends to make the least contribution to the story arc (though it may contribute a good bit of character development).

 

A general rule of trilogies/three-part things is is that the middle one always suffers the most -- Catching Fire of The Hunger Games, Insurgent of Divergent, Toy Story 2Temple of Doom from Indiana Jones, Back to the Future Part II, etc.

 

 

 

 

I see that I may have worded my last post somewhat ambiguously.  So -- for the record -- I did not mean to state that I believe Mr. Gatiss has any sort of agenda, merely that Sherlock fandom seems to consist of a] people who think he does and wish he didn't; b] people who think he doesn't and wish he did; and c] people who think he's simply doing his honest best to present a good story.  As I meant to say before, I suspect that categories a] and b] consist largely of people who believe that merely because Mr. Gatiss is himself gay, he ipso facto either has a gay agenda or should have a gay agenda.

I really don't think it's a gay agenda. I think Mr. Moffat and Mr. Gatiss have an angst agenda, because, you know, they're Moftiss. :P

 

tumblr_mssgy4AALu1saigkto1_400.png

 

^This is where your favourite characters all go to die.

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Well I can see that sadly I'm going to very quickly gain myself the reputation for being a total whinge!

But anyhow...can I just say that's another personal dislike I have:

This 'Mofftiss' thing.

They are 2 independent men, not one being...

I think their only agenda is to write a good TV show.

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I really don't think it's a gay agenda. I think Mr. Moffat and Mr. Gatiss have an angst agenda, because, you know, they're Moftiss. :P

 

tumblr_mssgy4AALu1saigkto1_400.png

 

^This is where your favourite characters all go to die.

Oh, they soooo need to use that for a location shoot!

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Well I can see that sadly I'm going to very quickly gain myself the reputation for being a total whinge!

But anyhow...can I just say that's another personal dislike I have:

This 'Mofftiss' thing.

They are 2 independent men, not one being...

I think their only agenda is to write a good TV show.

You mean they have two brains? With different ideas? Annnnd... OMG ... possibly different agendas???????? How will we survive!?!?!!?? :D

 

I have to say I'm not that fond of it either, but when one doesn't know which man to blame for one's latest bout of gibbering idiocy, "Moftiss" is just too convenient to resist. :P

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Well I can see that sadly I'm going to very quickly gain myself the reputation for being a total whinge!

But anyhow...can I just say that's another personal dislike I have:

This 'Mofftiss' thing.

They are 2 independent men, not one being...

I think their only agenda is to write a good TV show.

Dear besleybean, I prefer to use names separately, prefaced by Mr. until they do something so heinous to my favourite detective of all times that I shall turn absolutely monstrous. But GOOD TV shows, where practically everything in Mr Moffat's stories is derivative is a matter open to debate.

And if neither of them wanted the subtext of the stories, then we would not have had such a long discussion about this Sherlock's proclivities either way. It would have been as easy for them as for the Russian series scriptwriters, and, come to think of it for John Hawkesworth in the Jeremy Brett series, to write straightforward, plain text without innuendo and ambiguous stances or doubtful double entendres, which are not always in the best of taste.

No whinging! Please remember the good old saying, Never explain, never apologise! It holds true on both sides of the Channel, otherwise our respective ancestors could not be proud of us! Have a :rose:!

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Well I can see that sadly I'm going to very quickly gain myself the reputation for being a total whinge!

But anyhow...can I just say that's another personal dislike I have:

This 'Mofftiss' thing.

They are 2 independent men, not one being...

I think their only agenda is to write a good TV show.

 

You're certainly not alone, Bev -- as you may recall, Aely started an entire thread on the very topic of how much she hates portmanteau names (it focuses mostly on shipper names such as "Johnlock," but we've also discussed "Moftiss" there).

 

While I personally do not care for shipper names, I nevertheless see the point of "Moftiss."  The two men work together, quote each other, and finish each other's sentences to the point where it can be very difficult to attribute anything to either of them specifically.  Admittedly, that's something of a lazy way out, but I also enjoy picturing them as a two-headed monster!

 

Dear besleybean, I prefer to use names separately, prefaced by Mr. until they do something so heinous to my favourite detective of all times that I shall turn absolutely monstrous. But GOOD TV shows, where practically everything in Mr Moffat's stories is derivative is a matter open to debate.

And if neither of them wanted the subtext of the stories, then we would not have had such a long discussion about this Sherlock's proclivities either way. It would have been as easy for them as for the Russian series scriptwriters, and, come to think of it for John Hawkesworth in the Jeremy Brett series, to write straightforward, plain text without innuendo and ambiguous stances or doubtful double entendres, which are not always in the best of taste.

Now you've got me confused. It sounds like you consider Moffat's use of bits of Conan Doyle's stories to be "derivative" (which I take to be a criticism), but Hawkesworth's use of entire Conan Doyle stories to be "straightforward" (which I take to be a compliment). Could you please unconfuse me?

 

No whinging! Please remember the good old saying, Never explain, never apologise! It holds true on both sides of the Channel, otherwise our respective ancestors could not be proud of us! Have a :rose:!

 

But why in heaven's name should we neither explain nor apologize?  I will admit to a preference for the former, since it can obviate the latter.  But surely there are times when either (or both) may be appropriate?

 

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Regarding Mr. Gatiss's subtext agenda however, the poor man seems to be trapped between people who complain that he has one and people who complain that he doesn't!  The latter may believe the original Holmes and Watson were thinly-disguised lovers and feel it's about time that was acknowledged -- and may feel betrayed by Gatiss, who as a gay man himself "ought" to implement that point of view more explicitly.

 

What? Oh my god. Let me get this straight (no pun intended): There are people out there who think that just because a man is gay, he is obligated to "promote" gay relationships in all his work? So am I expected to promote monogamy just because I personally have only ever "had" one man? Like, if I went and wrote a character like, say Irene Adler for example, I would be betraying all monogamous people? But where's the fun in making stuff up if you can't explore something different from what you have in real life?

 

Goodness gracious me, I do see the case for the aforementioned interpretation of the old Doyle stories (although I am almost certain that Sir Arthur himself would be appalled by it, having lived and created in very much less enlightened times as ours), but seriously, if people want that, they should go and write it themselves. Hurray for fan fiction - write what you want and for god's sake let others do the same, even if they do earn money with it. And for the record: I think that the relationship in Sherlock is something much more beautiful than a standard love affair.

 

No, I'm kidding, you make perfect sense and I whole-heartedly agree. I'm sorry to hear Mr. Gatiss is receiving attacks, I hadn't heard about that. He seems like a lovely person to me. Oh my, what a world, eh? I get a lot of kicks from the internet but sometimes I think it should be kicked into last week.

 

Amen to that!

 

I think their only agenda is to write a good TV show.

 

In that case, they are doing a splendid job, and it's all I want from them for sure. Not that I don't have any ideas about gay rights, feminism and a whole bunch of other stuff, but I don't look to entertainment to fight my battles for me. If it does so incidentally because the creator just honestly has certain beliefs and they show through, well and good, but as soon as it's some kind of calculated, preachy effort, I usually turn away in disgust.

 

And if neither of them wanted the subtext of the stories, then we would not have had such a long discussion about this Sherlock's proclivities either way. It would have been as easy for them as for the Russian series scriptwriters, and, come to think of it for John Hawkesworth in the Jeremy Brett series, to write straightforward, plain text without innuendo and ambiguous stances or doubtful double entendres.

 

Where would be the fun in that? I like the winks and nods and many layers in Sherlock. I just love reading between the lines and if I mis- and overinterpret a lot in the process, so be it, at least I'm enjoying myself.

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Dear Carol, Haweksworth worked within ACD rules at a time when the copyright was very much in force, Jeremy Brett actually made a point of meeting ACD's only surviving direct female descendant, he read the whole thing so many times that he admitted to substituting actual snippets for written dialogue.

Mr Moffat has repeatedly gone on record about "museum pieces" regarded with too much reverence by the public, and that the time has come for a whole fresh new approach to blow the cobwebs away, he actually says so in the extra material. What does the lazy grasshopper then do except borrow heavily from ACD from details like Japanese wrestling, to great big chunks like the whole Irene Adler and SiP story arcs, not to mention his admitted revenge on the original Charles August Milverton' story by creating a monstrosity in HLV with which more people have had problems, vid. your own thread about how to fix the #*#*#*# episode, than the deliberate sexual innuendo and ambiguities discussed elsewhere. Not to mention that both creators have taken a step back with the Christmas Special. Whatever it is about, their story necessitated a regression to the "museum piece" even to the point of Mr Gatiss twittering the title sequence with the news of the New a Forest Murder, surrounded by a stack of Strand magazine facsimiles. :evilinside:

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In that case, they are doing a splendid job, and it's all I want from them for sure. Not that I don't have any ideas about gay rights, feminism and a whole bunch of other stuff, but I don't look to entertainment to fight my battles for me. If it does so incidentally because the creator just honestly has certain beliefs and they show through, well and good, but as soon as it's some kind of calculated, preachy effort, I usually turn away in disgust.

 

That's one of the lovely things about this show ... I believe Moftiss when they say they have no agenda, but I also think a lot of things they care about seep in anyway, simply because the show is such a personal pet project.

 

There's a couple of shows I watch sometimes (Forever and Scorpion) -- both are obviously influenced by Sherlock, but there's no heart there. They feel like the sort of TV you'd get if you consulted a focus group instead of your own sensibilities. I doubt if I'll ever complain about a plot twist they come up with, but I'll never really care about anything else they do either.

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Dear Carol, Haweksworth worked within ACD rules at a time when the copyright was very much in force, Jeremy Brett actually made a point of meeting ACD's only surviving direct female descendant, he read the whole thing so many times that he admitted to substituting actual snippets for written dialogue.

Mr Moffat has repeatedly gone on record about "museum pieces" regarded with too much reverence by the public, and that the time has come for a whole fresh new approach to blow the cobwebs away, he actually says so in the extra material. What does the lazy grasshopper then do except borrow heavily from ACD from details like Japanese wrestling, to great big chunks like the whole Irene Adler and SiP story arcs, not to mention his admitted revenge on the original Charles August Milverton' story by creating a monstrosity in HLV with which more people have had problems, vid. your own thread about how to fix the #*#*#*# episode, than the deliberate sexual innuendo and ambiguities discussed elsewhere. Not to mention that both creators have taken a step back with the Christmas Special. Whatever it is about, their story necessitated a regression to the "museum piece" even to the point of Mr Gatiss twittering the title sequence with the news of the New a Forest Murder, surrounded by a stack of Strand magazine facsimiles. :evilinside:

 

Inge, I believe what Messrs. Moffat and Gatiss have said is not that Conan Doyle's original Holmes stories are museum pieces, but rather that many people treat them as though they were.  Moffat and Gatiss love the stories and treat them with a certain degree of reverence themselves.  Their main complaint is actually that people don't understand that, at the time he wrote them, Conan Doyle's stories were fresh and modern, and Holmes was a modern man using the latest technology to help solve his cases.  So their intention has been to present stories that modern audiences will react to in the same way that Victorian audiences reacted to the originals.  For that reason, many of the plots are intentionally similar, as are some of the details, but a good many things had to be changed in order to fit into the 21st century.  That's what they mean by blowing away the fog.*

 

As for what they're up to with the Christmas special, I'm virtually certain that they are not simply reverting to the old Victorian stories, they're doing something clever.  (We've had a number of guesses on the forum, with my favorite being that Sherlock is actually in his mind palace, solving one of Scotland Yard's Victorian-era cold cases.)

 

 

* Victorian London was plagued with what is politely referred to as "fog" -- though it was actually what we now call smog.  The air there is far cleaner now, so the only fog is the occasional real thing.

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I tend to agree, Carol, that whatever happens in the special is not what it appears to be from Setlock.

 

There are some definite patterns and threads woven through all the series, and of course they weave in bits of dialogue based on things in the original canon and also quite a bit from "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes."

 

Even Moriarty's line of "I will burn the heart out of you." resonates all through S2 and S3.  Moriarty is seen or mentioned in all but 1 episode (TSO3), and we know he'll come again in the special.

 

There are lots of threads...

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Even Moriarty's line of "I will burn the heart out of you." resonates all through S2 and S3

 

Indeed:

 

Sherlock_S03E01_1080p_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_NE

 

It's almost enough to make me cook up some crazy conspiracy theory connecting Moriarty and Magnussen.

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