Jump to content

Recommended Posts

In order not to hijack the thread on S4 and not to get lost in the hijacked thread, I am starting a discussion of what can sensibly and cannot so sensibly be included in both the Special and S4.

The premise is that the two creators work from the original material as well as every adaptation of Sherlock Holmes which strikes their fancy. They have repeatedly said that they created fan fiction for their favourite detective of all times. They have a predilection for the Basil Rathbone films and The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

Mr Moffat has stressed that this series will be about repercussions and chickens come home to roost, so revenge, like all the good old-fashioned Jacobean plays is one major candidate.

Against whom?

Mary, as the obvious target of her past sins?

John, as the secondary target for his predilection for a life of danger?

Sherlock, for his ultimate failure to protect those he most cares about and thus for breaking his vow?

Mycroft, for his meddling in his efforts to keep his younger brother from facing another long-term, possibly fatal exile?

The possibilities narrow themselves down, especially since the only novel which has not been adapted yet is the Valley of Fear, full of foreboding as a title, including Moriarty's message (this time sent to Mycroft in Scandal).

It cannot be The Blue Carbuncle, The Abbey Grange, The Noble Bachelor, The Illustrious Client, The Three Garridebs, The Red Circle, The Five Orange Pips, The Three Gables, The Final Problem, The Empty House, The Bruce-Partington Plans, The Gloria Scott, The Musgrave Ritual and The Second Stain, because they all belong inextricably to the era they were written in.

Any suggestions as to what stories left could be meaningfully adapted for a 21st century Sherlock and his faithful blogger without turning the whole concept into a sitcom?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, as The Special is a (Victorian) one off...I don't really mind what they do with it.

As for S4, I trust it will continue in the same excellent vein as S1-3.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever they do, I sincerely hope that Moriarty IS dead! I love Andrew Scott, but if they  just have everyone who "dies" pop up again, it is beyond ridiculous. And, quite frankly, I expect better from these two writers than to use the same old trope again. No matter how we love these lesser characters- and yes, Moriarty IS less than Sherlock and John- they have limited existences.  I think that the Christmas Special COULD be the Blue Carbuncle, as it is set at Christmastime, but I don't mind which story/book they use as a basis. I just hope they don't sacrifice quality for what they think is fan demand.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't rule out anything, to be honest. They've already used bits and pieces of some of those stories you've mentioned, and I imagine they intend to continue in the same vein.... that is, writing original stories, laced with allusions to various Holmes scenes and dialog from multiple sources. That's what the show is, so I'd be surprised if it changes that much.
 
As to possible plots ... oh my, they've left themselves so many possibilities! The consequences of all the lies and deceptions? The consequences of caring for your friends? The consequences of being the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant and all-round obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet? :smile: Or as you pointed out, Inge, the consequences could be for any of the other characters, not Sherlock directly. So many toys to play with, Moftiss must be soooooo happy.... :D

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The possibilities narrow themselves down, especially since the only novel which has not been adapted yet is the Valley of Fear, full of foreboding as a title, including Moriarty's message (this time sent to Mycroft in Scandal).

It cannot be The Blue Carbuncle, The Abbey Grange, The Noble Bachelor, The Illustrious Client, The Three Garridebs, The Red Circle, The Five Orange Pips, The Three Gables, The Final Problem, The Empty House, The Bruce-Partington Plans, The Gloria Scott, The Musgrave Ritual and The Second Stain, because they all belong inextricably to the era they were written in.

 

Well, the special is Victorian, so no worries about the era there. But my impression so far has been that the Sherlock team can adapt any Doyle story or idea or plot element for a modern setting. They're just that good... and willing and able to take the necessary leaps without really being untrue to their source.

 

The Illustrious Client and The Bruce Partington plans were actually already alluded to (in A Scandal in Belgravia and The Great Game). And we've had The Final Problem as well.

 

Of course I'm hoping for The Valley of Fear in series 4. I think Mary is so perfectly set up to be Birdie Edwards, it would be a shame to waste that opportunity.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the writers has also been reported as saying that the Victorian era lends itself rather well to ghost stories. I haven't read all of the books, so not sure if there's anything there in the realm of horror, besides the Hound?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever they do, I sincerely hope that Moriarty IS dead! I love Andrew Scott, but if they  just have everyone who "dies" pop up again, it is beyond ridiculous. And, quite frankly, I expect better from these two writers than to use the same old trope again. No matter how we love these lesser characters- and yes, Moriarty IS less than Sherlock and John- they have limited existences.  I think that the Christmas Special COULD be the Blue Carbuncle, as it is set at Christmastime, but I don't mind which story/book they use as a basis. I just hope they don't sacrifice quality for what they think is fan demand.

I think one of the great advantages of having a 'Special' is that by virtue of being a one-off it is not subject to the same logical boundaries as the rest of the series. I am therefore looking forward to seeing Moriarty in the Special. It would be really interesting to see how Andrew Scott interprets the 'shock and awe' of his character in the Victorian context. As to the Blue Carbuncle, i think key elements of it have already been used in The Empty Hearse (the 'hat' deductions) and the Hounds of Baskerville (the bet as a bait).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about this myself, especially since series 2 where they really seemed to ditch 'new stuff' like the Blind Banker (which itself has a few nods to SIGN!) and have really gone for the very modern 'mashup' method.... as springboards at least

 

the truth is that probably there is an infinite number of ways even 'pure' referencing could be recombined and the stories ending up as 'fresh'.... but I would prefer lots more NEW stuff.... come on BBC, let's have a few more standalone Blind Bankers...!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As to possible plots ... .....  The consequences of all the lies and deceptions? ........... as you pointed out, Inge, the consequences could be for any of the other characters, not Sherlock directly. So many toys to play with, Moftiss must be soooooo happy.... :D

 

good points there

 

they can set up so many story ideas that come 'from' the originals, but the new combinations will have new effects on the characters, and hence to new plots....

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Xactly. From the start they've never been interested in simply retelling the original stories, they've been interested in reinterpreting them. So anything is fair game imo.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just thought actually.... the Rathbone series seemed to use the original plot elements in similar ways. Unless my memory massively deceives me (and i'm getting on, so it might!) the film 'The House of fear' recycles the 'five orange pips', the faked death from 'Valley of Fear' , distinctive tattoo marks (nods to 'valley' and 'Sign'?), and possibly even the earlier (crappy) film version of 'Study in Scarlet' (the club whose members are being killed off).

 

To say nothing of 'The Scarlet Claw', my fave, which is a more or less shameless remake of 'Hound of the Baskervilles'!!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just thought actually.... the Rathbone series seemed to use the original plot elements in similar ways. Unless my memory massively deceives me (and i'm getting on, so it might!) the film 'The House of fear' recycles the 'five orange pips', the faked death from 'Valley of Fear' , distinctive tattoo marks (nods to 'valley' and 'Sign'?), and possibly even the earlier (crappy) film version of 'Study in Scarlet' (the club whose members are being killed off).

 

To say nothing of 'The Scarlet Claw', my fave, which is a more or less shameless remake of 'Hound of the Baskervilles'!!

 

Even the (nearly) always-faithful Brett series did at least one combination, "The Three Garridebs" with "The Mazarin Stone."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, you are, indeed, a waterfowl princess! They also merged The Three Gables with bits from Charles Augustus Milverton. That old acquaintance of Sherlock's is the white Angel to Milverton's black one! Can't stop watching either!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeremy Brett acting with/opposite Peter Wyngard...... doesn't the air just crackle with subtext...?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, I discovered subtext of any kind in this forum, where it has its own thread, started by aely, and in the fan fiction world. Up until then, I took my Sherlock Holmes straight up, as delivered by the actor, from Rathbone to Brett. Even the actor's "Dear boy" appellation of his old friend was considered that character's affectation, without deeper meaning.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, I discovered subtext of any kind in this forum, where it has its own thread, started by aely, and in the fan fiction world. Up until then, I took my Sherlock Holmes straight up, as delivered by the actor, from Rathbone to Brett. Even the actor's "Dear boy" appellation of his old friend was considered that character's affectation, without deeper meaning.

 

I guess I first heard of Holmesian subtext in this and other forums too, but the general idea wasn't new to me, since it had long existed within Star Trek fandom (and within Holmesian fandom for even longer, unbeknownst to me).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really can't figure out how season 4 will be, but I'm sure we''ll assist at the return of Moriarty, even if I can't explain how he could have survived :blink:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Carol, I own every single Start Trek (The Original series) novel published by Pocket Books, which run to more than a hundred, and most of the comic books as well. I never encountered anything but *normal* relationships among the crew, Kirk's flirtations notwithstanding! One of them, Vonda McIntyre's The Entropy Effect, was used by a talented Ao3 writer named Chryse to further TJLC, but it was very tastefully done. By the way, check out the latest graphic novel, Star Trek Planet of the Apes The Primate Directive by IDW Publishing. Two legendary story arcs come together quite spectacularly! (As Sherlock would say, sorry, off piste... )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I first heard of Holmesian subtext in this and other forums too, but the general idea wasn't new to me, since it had long existed within Star Trek fandom (and within Holmesian fandom for even longer, unbeknownst to me).

 

Dear Carol, I own every single Start Trek (The Original series) novel published by Pocket Books, which run to more than a hundred, and most of the comic books as well. I never encountered anything but *normal* relationships among the crew....

 

I assume that you mean "normal" in the sense of "like what we saw on the program," and I agree that the authorized, professionally published Trek novels were generally quite faithful to that precedent.  But I was referring to some of the early fan fiction, which in those pre-internet days was available as amateur "fanzines" printed on mimeograph machines and mailed to subscribers.  (In fact, the term "slash" originated with "Kirk/Spock" stories in the mid-70's.)

 

I cannot personally vouch for the existence of a similar genre in early Holmesian fan fiction, but I am told that it did exist.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Carol, never having read a Star Trek fanzine, I take your word for them, but surely, the Internet existed even back then. I remember when I did my postgraduate degree at City University, London, (and how I explored Sherlock Holmes territory, having watched all JB Sherlock as a teenager, searching out all the places specifically mentioned in the stories and in The Sign of the Four!) we had an intra-university facility called JANE, which linked all British universities and which was generally available to all registered students with a password for research purposes. That was at approximately the same time BC was up in Manchester; pity I had my nose buried in a book most of the time instead of using the chat facility of JANE back then. With such an intriguing name like his, I might have sent a chat request! My misspent youth and all... *very deep sigh*

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Carol, never having read a Star Trek fanzine, I take your word for them, but surely, the Internet existed even back then. I remember when I did my postgraduate degree at City University, London, [...] we had an intra-university facility called JANE, which linked all British universities and which was generally available to all registered students with a password for research purposes[.....]

 

Yes, there had been a sort of proto-internet around for decades, but it was available at first only to certain government and/or university researchers, and then gradually expanded to other people in those and similar institutions.  It was neither called the internet nor available to the general public until sometime in the mid-90's.  Early Trek fandom began while the original series was on NBC in the late 60's, with the golden age of printed-on-paper fanzines following thereafter and then (as you surmise) dying out with the advent of the internet as we know it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of those fanzines went on to become "mainstream" publications, didn't they? Not Starlog, maybe, but weren't there a couple like that? And now they're probably all being killed off again by the internet.... :rolleyes:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of those fanzines went on to become "mainstream" publications, didn't they?

 

They may have.  The only "success story" of that sort that I'm personally aware of would be Locus, a newsletter covering the science-fiction field in general, which went from being strictly a fanzine to being semi-pro, and perhaps now fully pro -- even though the founder has died, they're still going, with a far larger staff than in the old days.  They now have a web presence, though they're still selling paper subscriptions.

 

As far as I know, the early Trekzines all had fairly short lifespans.  Boldly Writing, Joan Verba's history of Trekzines (available here in PDF form) shows nothing lasting longer than ten or fifteen years, having published a few dozen issues at most.  The vast majority of Trekzines consisted primarily of fan fiction and art, though often with a bit of news.  There were also a handful of Trek newsletters, but generally only one in operation at a time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Locus, that's one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But it isn't (never was) a Trekzine (though it did naturally cover Trek news along with everything else).  What I meant was, I don't know of any Trek zines going on to bigger things.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of UseWe have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.Privacy PolicyGuidelines.