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Doyle canon/pastiche film collection


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I am updating my screen adaptation list, as I have found an adaptation of The Adventure of The Yellow Face. I would argue that the major overarching story line of Mary Morstan and John Watson in the third series of Sherlock is an Adaptation of Yellow Face. In this adaptation, the secret the wife (Mary) is hiding, instead of being a child of another race, is her past as an assassin. Also, rather than the husband (John) coming to Holmes with the case, it is Holmes who first becomes suspicious. His suspicions are first raised in the episode The Empty Hearse, when John is kidnapped, and a coded text message is sent to Mary, which she decrypts even before bringing the message to Holmes. Next in the episode The Sign of Three, her ability to rapidly recall a wedding guests room number, adds fodder to Holmes suspicions. Finally, in His Last Vow, Holmes surprises, mary garbed in an outfit intended to hide her identity, and holding a gun to Magnussen head, causing her to shoot him with expert precision to temporarily disable but not kill. While in hospital, Holmes plans a ruse to reveal Mary's secret to John, who has finally become suspicious upon finding his chair replaced in Baker Street, and a bottle of Mary's perfume sitting next to it. Holmes pulls off the ruse, revealing the real Mary to John. At a Christmas get together later, Mary gives John a thumb drive with the letter A.G.R.A on it, and tells him, the information on it will end their marriage. After thinking for a moment John throws the Thumbdrive into the fireplace, and tells Mary " the problems of your past are your past, the problems of your future are my privilege". 

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That's an interesting idea, GodNort.  Even though the Moftisses have stated that it wouldn't be possible to adapt "The Yellow Face" nowadays, I don't see why it couldn't be done, possibly by substituting some other foible for the prejudice (or rather the fear of prejudice) that the original story is based on.

I commented on that A.G.R.A. scene several years ago, with a different canon interpretation (note that this was well before Series 4):

On 2/5/2014 at 6:19 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

... the flash drive / memory stick is pretty clearly a reference to the treasure of Agra from "The Sign of the Four."  [....]  In the original story, the treasure is the stumbling block between Dr. Watson and Miss Morstan -- as long as she is presumed to be the heiress of incredible wealth, he doesn't dare to express his feelings for her.  Only when the treasure is unexpectedly and irrevocably lost (and therefore no longer standing between them) does he tell her that he loves her.

In "His Last Vow," both Mary and John fear that the information on the A.G.R.A. flash drive would destroy his love for her.  Only by destroying the gadget can their love be saved.  The main difference between the two versions is, I think, that in the original, the loss of the treasure is merely a stroke of good luck for Watson, whereas in "Last Vow," it's John's conscious choice.

I like your interpretation too, and there's no reason to think that they couldn't have had both ACD stories in mind.  They don't often do straightforward adaptations, after all, but rather combine bits and pieces of various ACD stories.  For example, "The Blind Banker" contains numerous bits of "The Sign of the Four" even though they claim to have based it on "The Dancing Men."


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