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Which author would be recommended for reading the "Missing Cases of Sherlock Holmes"?

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Good point, Bev!

Having just finished the story, I must say I enjoyed it -- but I do have a few quibbles:

Spoiler

The event that occurs near the end of this story actually took place in 1843, thirty-some years before Watson became a doctor, presumably before he was even born.  In fact, the gentleman in this story died several years before Watson met Holmes.  And although he did have two middle names, they were nothing like that (though the second one given here was his nickname and pseudonym).


Added:   *sigh*   If you see no text inside the spoiler box (even after "revealing" the contents), try highlighting the area, as though you intended to copy it.

 

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11 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

  


Judging by its preamble, the story was written no later than 1987.  I've just started reading it, and came across this bit of dialog, following one of Holmes' deductions:
 

'Bravo, Mr. Holmes,' cried our guest, applauding with great energy.  'Miraculous!'

'Meretricious.'

And a happy new year, my dear sir.  Meretricious and a happy new year!'


I have a deduction of my own:  Messrs. Moffat and/or Gatiss are familiar with this story!

 

I noticed that immediately, too.  :)

Shall we surmise that Mr. Fry is also a huge fan of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes?  It's quite a cosy little mutual Holmes admiration society they've got going.

When he was inducted into the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, Mr. Fry was still a teenager and the youngest-ever inductee into that august body.  Here's Simon Callow reviewing SF's audible version of the Sherlock Holmes canon.  This one might be one I've got to have.  Listening to Mr. Fry read Sherlock Holmes has got to be preferable to wading through the approximately 50-pound hardcover annotated version assembled by Leslie Klinger, a handsome item that continues to collect dust on my shelf owing to its gargantuan weight.  I'm saving it to swing at some future intruder's head as a weapon, provided I can actually lift the thing when it's required.  Normally I am not an audiobook fan, but for the right voice reading material perfectly matched to it, I make exceptions.  If I could get Charleton Heston, the voice of Moses,  reading me the Bible, that'd be another win.

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/stephen-fry-sherlock-holmes/

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14 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:


You needn't bother with the Mary Russell books, then!   :D   Though The Beekeeper's Apprentice is really good.

You might enjoy the Enola Holmes books -- the brothers appear only now and then, but they're significant characters nonetheless (whereas in the later Russell books, Sherlock becomes kind of incidental).

 

Ive got a few of the Mary Russell books and enjoyed the first one. Some of the others are enjoyable too but the last one that I read was a bit of a chore for me. I’ll probably buy at least the first Enola Holmes book and give it a go.

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On 3/15/2021 at 12:45 PM, HerlockSholmes said:

i read something by Benedict Cumberbatch the other day. He’s in no hurry to play Sherlock again “we’re all soooo busy.” He even hinted that they might do a one off movie rather than a series. Who knows? I’m not seeing a new series any time soon to be honest. I wouldn’t say never but you never know. For the first time ever I’m considering the possibility that there might not be anymore.

@Herl,

Are you coping all right with the disappointment?  :)  I was pretty convinced at the end of the final episode of S4 that we had reached the end of the road with this iteration of Holmes and Watson.  It seems that all the principals had become quite bored, irritated even, by the project by series' end, and at least in the case of Cumberbatch and Freeman, global fame and its attendant demands was the end of their professional and personal friendship.  Presumably Mssrs. Moffat and Gatiss are still as tight as ever, and contining to crank out other projects (Dracula) that I have absolutely no interest in seeing.  I did enjoy Jekyll with James Nesbitt, though.  Not having been a Doctor Who fan before or since, Jekyll was actually my first introduction to Moffat World.  I met Mr. Gatiss first as an actor . . Marple and Midsomer Murders jump to mind.  Interestingly, in both programs he portrayed a tormented vicar with a secret. 

It seems that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Cumberbatch are not keen to work together again in any capacity.  Both have gone on to some post-Sherlock success individually, though it's safe to say that for me at least, the fairy dust that was sprinkled over their collaboration as the flatmates of Baker Street has eluded them both on their solo projects.  I just really would struggle to care less about their respective Marvel Universe projects, for example.  I wonder if, in years to come, after whatever animosity or disillusionment they are feeling over that era in their working lives passes, they will realize just how very special that show, particularly the first six episodes, were.  Lightning in a bottle, really.  At the time, it may have just felt like a grinding, exhausting pressure-filled job that they were glad to see the back of, but through it  they both have achieved small-screen immortality.  None of their other pop-culture transient projects will ever compare, and though each man was appealing in separate projects before global fame came calling, and inhabited Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes like they were bespoke suits of clothes . . I can't really say in all honesty that I have found either of them very appealing since, either as other characters or themselves.  What's happened is, the fairy dust has all blown away and I have fallen out of love with the both of them.  It's too bad, but that's what's happened.  

What might perk me up a bit is if we could have a Christmas special featuring Benedict on his own in the two Sherlock narrated adventures . . The Lion's Mane and The Blanched Soldier.  Given that we are only likely to pin him down for one outing every 5 years or so, I'm thinking that these two stories could be combined into one 90-minute teleplay.  On their own, neither is particularly strong enough for a stand-alone treatment of that length, but each might rate 30 minutes of screen time.  Frankly, it took Sherlock far too long to determine that a jellyfish was the culprit in the first story.  The other 30 minutes could be filled out by some domestic comedy chez Sussex as Sherl commences with his study of bee husbandry and tries to evade encounters with Janine, who has the cottage adjacent to his near Beachy Head.  She only comes down at the weekend, so it's manageable.

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6 minutes ago, HerlockSholmes said:

Ive got a few of the Mary Russell books and enjoyed the first one. Some of the others are enjoyable too but the last one that I read was a bit of a chore for me. I’ll probably buy at least the first Enola Holmes book and give it a go.

Herl,

Do you remember the title of the last one you read?  I skipped a couple early on (O Jerusalem and Kingdom Hall) because try as I might, I could not force myself to get through those.  I really tried, on multiple occasions, but I gave up and went on to the next books.  I have read them all except for the most recent one, and some were a real trial.  The two that concerned Sherlock's druggie son 'bout did my head in, but I went grimly to the last page in both cases.  I liked Dreaming Spies, on account of its setting in Japan, and The Pirate King, (the Gilbert and Sullivan one).  Russell is a trial of endurance .. at her grating worst in Island of the Mad.  Like most of these, an intriguing premise full of potential is ruined by lackluster execution and Russell being so full of herself and perfect in every way. I have not wholeheartedly enjoyed her as a character since #4, The Moor.   If she'd knocked off after that book, I would have called the quartet an unqualified success.

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2 minutes ago, Hikari said:

@Herl,

Are you coping all right with the disappointment?  :)  I was pretty convinced at the end of the final episode of S4 that we had reached the end of the road with this iteration of Holmes and Watson.  It seems that all the principals had become quite bored, irritated even, by the project by series' end, and at least in the case of Cumberbatch and Freeman, global fame and its attendant demands was the end of their professional and personal friendship.  Presumably Mssrs. Moffat and Gatiss are still as tight as ever, and contining to crank out other projects (Dracula) that I have absolutely no interest in seeing.  I did enjoy Jekyll with James Nesbitt, though.  Not having been a Doctor Who fan before or since, Jekyll was actually my first introduction to Moffat World.  I met Mr. Gatiss first as an actor . . Marple and Midsomer Murders jump to mind.  Interestingly, in both programs he portrayed a tormented vicar with a secret. 

It seems that Mr. Freeman and Mr. Cumberbatch are not keen to work together again in any capacity.  Both have gone on to some post-Sherlock success individually, though it's safe to say that for me at least, the fairy dust that was sprinkled over their collaboration as the flatmates of Baker Street has eluded them both on their solo projects.  I just really would struggle to care less about their respective Marvel Universe projects, for example.  I wonder if, in years to come, after whatever animosity or disillusionment they are feeling over that era in their working lives passes, they will realize just how very special that show, particularly the first six episodes, were.  Lightning in a bottle, really.  At the time, it may have just felt like a grinding, exhausting pressure-filled job that they were glad to see the back of, but through it  they both have achieved small-screen immortality.  None of their other pop-culture transient projects will ever compare, and though each man was appealing in separate projects before global fame came calling, and inhabited Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes like they were bespoke suits of clothes . . I can't really say in all honesty that I have found either of them very appealing since, either as other characters or themselves.  What's happened is, the fairy dust has all blown away and I have fallen out of love with the both of them.  It's too bad, but that's what's happened.  

What might perk me up a bit is if we could have a Christmas special featuring Benedict on his own in the two Sherlock narrated adventures . . The Lion's Mane and The Blanched Soldier.  Given that we are only likely to pin him down for one outing every 5 years or so, I'm thinking that these two stories could be combined into one 90-minute teleplay.  On their own, neither is particularly strong enough for a stand-alone treatment of that length, but each might rate 30 minutes of screen time.  Frankly, it took Sherlock far too long to determine that a jellyfish was the culprit in the first story.  The other 30 minutes could be filled out by some domestic comedy chez Sussex as Sherl commences with his study of bee husbandry and tries to evade encounters with Janine, who has the cottage adjacent to his near Beachy Head.  She only comes down at the weekend, so it's manageable.

I’d still like to see another series to see where Moftiss take it. Back to how it was in the early series or more ‘out there?’ The latter would risk losing something as it seems that quite a few fans felt that the series lost its way at the end. Because there are so few episodes every questionable one has a greater impact on how the series as a whole might be viewed. You might call it damaging the legacy. 
 

I never read about Cumberbatch and Freeman but from the snippets I’ve read in the past I have to ask “has there been a falling out between the two?” I get that impression for some reason. I also get the impression that Cumberbatch might be seeing the role as Rathbone did? I’d imagine that he gets asked all the time about whether he’ll play Sherlock again and it might be grating on the actors ego? That said of course I don’t really know what kind of person he is; he might be remarkably modest and not at all troubled about being badgered about Sherlock? Either way I think that there might be a long wait for any further outings. A one-off might be a possible and, as you say, there’s a possibility of doing a Watson-free episode/tv movie?

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7 minutes ago, Hikari said:

Herl,

Do you remember the title of the last one you read?  I skipped a couple early on (O Jerusalem and Kingdom Hall) because try as I might, I could not force myself to get through those.  I really tried, on multiple occasions, but I gave up and went on to the next books.  I have read them all except for the most recent one, and some were a real trial.  The two that concerned Sherlock's druggie son 'bout did my head in, but I went grimly to the last page in both cases.  I liked Dreaming Spies, on account of its setting in Japan, and The Pirate King, (the Gilbert and Sullivan one).  Russell is a trial of endurance .. at her grating worst in Island of the Mad.  Like most of these, an intriguing premise full of potential is ruined by lackluster execution and Russell being so full of herself and perfect in every way. I have not wholeheartedly enjoyed her as a character since #4, The Moor.   If she'd knocked off after that book, I would have called the quartet an unqualified success.

I just checked the bibliography and coincidentally The Moor was the last one that I read. I remembered that it had The Rev Sabine Baring Gould in it. I have at least 3 further ones which I picked up very cheaply but I haven’t read them. I can’t remember which one’s but I’m sure that I have Locked Rooms.

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Listening to Mr. Fry read Sherlock Holmes has got to be preferable to wading through the approximately 50-pound hardcover annotated version assembled by Leslie Klinger, a handsome item that continues to collect dust on my shelf owing to its gargantuan weight.

I know what you mean!  I inherited my father's annotated Holmes (not the Klinger version, the earlier one, and if I knew which box it was in, I'd tell you the annotator's name).  When I got into Sherlock, I got that out and tried reading the stories, but it's definitely not bedtime reading, for two reasons:

I would have preferred to read a story straight through once, then perhaps go back and read the annotations, but that's not a simple matter because it's not immediately obvious which parts of the text are story and which are annotations.  So I kept bumping my nose against annotations, which took me out of the story, and I hate that.

But the main problem was, as you say, the sheer weight and bulk of the volumes, there being two in this case, but each is nonetheless the size of an encyclopedia volume, too large and heavy to hold in one's hands for extended periods.  The best way to read is to lay it on a table and pull up a chair, whereas I prefer to lie in bed or relax in a comfy chair while reading.

So I bought the BBC paperbacks for actual reading.  But I've found the annotated volumes none too helpful for reference either.  They tend to concentrate on things like "when did this story take place?" -- whereas I'm more likely to be curious about the meaning of an unusual word or an unfamiliar custom.  Does the Klinger work offer much along those lines?

 

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36 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I know what you mean!  I inherited my father's annotated Holmes (not the Klinger version, the earlier one, and if I knew which box it was in, I'd tell you the annotator's name).  When I got into Sherlock, I got that out and tried reading the stories, but it's definitely not bedtime reading, for two reasons:

I would have preferred to read a story straight through once, then perhaps go back and read the annotations, but that's not a simple matter because it's not immediately obvious which parts of the text are story and which are annotations.  So I kept bumping my nose against annotations, which took me out of the story, and I hate that.

But the main problem was, as you say, the sheer weight and bulk of the volumes, there being two in this case, but each is nonetheless the size of an encyclopedia volume, too large and heavy to hold in one's hands for extended periods.  The best way to read is to lay it on a table and pull up a chair, whereas I prefer to lie in bed or relax in a comfy chair while reading.

So I bought the BBC paperbacks for actual reading.  But I've found the annotated volumes none too helpful for reference either.  They tend to concentrate on things like "when did this story take place?" -- whereas I'm more likely to be curious about the meaning of an unusual word or an unfamiliar custom.  Does the Klinger work offer much along those lines?

 

Hi Carol,

Like me you’ll have the one annotated by William S Baring-Gould who was also an American. I wanted to get the Klinger set but they’re really expensive so I’ve put them on hold. I do have Volume II of the Klinger ones though which I bought quite cheaply in soft cover. I couldn’t find the others as cheaply though. I haven’t read through it to be honest but I think that they’ll be along the lines of the Baring-Gould version.

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There appear to be versions annotated by George Cavendish though aimed at non-English English speakers. These might only be available as individual stories though. They’re cheap but you’d end up having to buy 60 of them! Unless they are available in collections like The Memoirs of...etc.

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2 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I’d still like to see another series to see where Moftiss take it. Back to how it was in the early series or more ‘out there?’

I've heard Moftiss say that Series 4 completes "the early days" and brings the duo to their classic era, so that they're now ready to "solve crimes."  I take that to be implying basically the former of your two options -- though with the Moftisses, you can never be sure, can you?

4 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I never read about Cumberbatch and Freeman but from the snippets I’ve read in the past I have to ask “has there been a falling out between the two?” I get that impression for some reason.

I think that's mostly tabloid talk, as was the previous notion that they were best buddies.

8 hours ago, Hikari said:

What might perk me up a bit is if we could have a Christmas special featuring Benedict on his own in the two Sherlock narrated adventures . . The Lion's Mane and The Blanched Soldier.

Aren't those generally considered two of ACD's weaker stories?  Seems to me that Holmes isn't fully Holmes without Watson -- nor would Sherlock be at his best without John.  I sure wouldn't mind another Special, with both of them back to normal, so to speak.

 

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5 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

There appear to be versions annotated by George Cavendish though aimed at non-English English speakers. These might only be available as individual stories though. They’re cheap but you’d end up having to buy 60 of them! Unless they are available in collections like The Memoirs of...etc.

Thanks, Herlock!  There seem to be a few of them available on Amazon US [link], mostly Kindle editions at 99 cents a pop.  One reviewer says "the annotations tend towards clarifications of obsolete word usage more than interesting tidbits and such. It's not Baring-Gould or Klinger, but there is enough here to help new readers get the gist without a lot of aggravation."  Sounds good to me, but how do they get 123 pages out of "Silver Blaze" [link] even counting full-size Paget illustrations?  I had a "look inside," but could see only the footnote numbers within the story, not the notes themselves. so I have no idea how helpful they'd be.

I suppose I'll just continue looking up obscure references online.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Thanks, Herlock!  There seem to be a few of them available on Amazon US [link], mostly Kindle editions at 99 cents a pop.  One reviewer says "the annotations tend towards clarifications of obsolete word usage more than interesting tidbits and such. It's not Baring-Gould or Klinger, but there is enough here to help new readers get the gist without a lot of aggravation."  Sounds good to me, but how do they get 123 pages out of "Silver Blaze" [link] even counting full-size Paget illustrations?  I had a "look inside," but could see only the footnote numbers within the story, not the notes themselves. so I have no idea how helpful they'd be.

I suppose I'll just continue looking up obscure references online.

 

 

I’m sure that there’s nothing that you wouldn’t be able to clarify online Carol. Even with our strange language. And of course you have a resident Englishman to consult. 🙂
 

“My professional charges are upon a fixed scale. I do not vary them, except when I remit them altogether.”

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8 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I've heard Moftiss say that Series 4 completes "the early days" and brings the duo to their classic era, so that they're now ready to "solve crimes."  I take that to be implying basically the former of your two options -- though with the Moftisses, you can never be sure, can you?

I think that's mostly tabloid talk, as was the previous notion that they were best buddies.

Aren't those generally considered two of ACD's weaker stories?  Seems to me that Holmes isn't fully Holmes without Watson -- nor would Sherlock be at his best without John.  I sure wouldn't mind another Special, with both of them back to normal, so to speak.

 

Moffat is a showman, and likes to keep all his potential slices of bread buttered . . so he's been very canny, along with his writing partner to avoid stating outright that there won't be any more Sherlock.  The cast is no doubt contractually obligated by NDA to tread carefully around the topic.  I feel like this is just stringing along the fans and it would be more merciful just to rip the plaster off in one go and admit that they are done.  The show was incredibly logistically challenging, but it would come together if the team *REALLY* wanted it.  Schedules would be cleared.  The BBC is rather capricious and has been known to often cancel hit shows mid-stream without good reason . . but Sherlock was such a phenomenon and ratings monster for the network, I don't think the holdup in on the BBC side.

Even during production, it was pretty clear, except to obsessive stans crafting 'FreeBatch' fan videos, that the two men had widely divergent personal lives off-set and weren't in each others' pockets outside of work.  But they spent SO much intensive time together during production . . 12-14 hour days, on location in a drafty airplane hanger in Wales . . that has to create a bond.  And they seemed genuinely matey and in synch as a working team . . Much like Holmes and Watson, in fact.  They had fine-tuned their double act on the press junket and genuinely seemed to enjoy each others' company.  It felt like a relationship based on solid professional respect and mutual compatibility.  I'm sure the experience was very draining and stressful, and it's natural to get snappy and irritated even with our close associates with too much familiarity, too much pressure, not enough breaks to relax.  Because when they weren't on the Sherlock set, they both were burning the candle at both ends due to insane busyness on other projects.  I think overwork got the best of their friendship in the end . . that and personal differences in how they approached their fame.  I still feel really bad about the Martin - Amanda split, and that may have played into the interpersonal distance that seemed to exist between the co-stars after that.  It had to have been incredibly difficult for Martin and Amanda to carry on working together as if nothing had happened, but what was happening to John and Mary onscreen eerily echoed the disintegration of the real couple's relationship.  As friend and colleague to both parties, Benedict had to have felt caught in the middle somewhat.  I hope everyone has moved on to a better place since then, but Martin Freeman strikes me now as a quite jumped-up, spiky, angry personality who comes across as not an easy person to live with.  The John Watson of S4 is closer to the real Martin Freeman than we'd seen previously, I reckon.  It also seems quite plausible that while the duo were playing Sherlock and John, they were also playing a version of 'Benedict' and 'Martin' for publicity purposes.  Actors act; that's what they do.  

Lion's Mane and Blanched Soldier are decidedly second-tier Conan Doyle, but if they were put together, they could make a movie.  Moftiss got an entire feature out of one reference to 'Rigoletti and his abominable wife', so these two stories would have enough to work from.  Both are written after Sherlock's retirement to the Downs, so Ben is a bit young yet . . though not by much.  He'll be 45 on his next birthday and SH moved to Sussex when he was only 50.   The absence of Dr. Watson in these stories is easily explained away by Sherl's retirement to the seaside.  In the second tale, Sherl references Watson's second marriage (in crabby terms).  The best thing about both stories isn't the plots as such--it's the novelty of hearing Sherlock's voice on the page, speaking for himself.  He's a better story teller than the reader might have expected, being primed for a dry monograph on criminal investigation.  After having spent 20 years ridiculing Watson for pandering to the ignorant public with his romanticized fictions of their cases together, SH admits that writing a case account for an audience of non-scientists is a lot harder than Watson made it look . . a rare burst of self-deprecation from our hero.  Benedict could provide very entertaining voiceovers for Sherlock's inner thoughts on these cases.  A resurrection of the partnership is profoundly to be wished, but I don't think Martin Freeman would be amenable to that.  So the only alternative for a Christmas special is to have Sherlock by himself.  But it could be an entertaining reunion if some of the London circle--Molly, Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson--all converged on Sherl's cottage for 'the holidays'.  Even Anderson would show up, drawn to the Sussex coast by reports of a giant murderous jellyfish.

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7 hours ago, Hikari said:

Moffat is a showman, and likes to keep all his potential slices of bread buttered . . so he's been very canny, along with his writing partner to avoid stating outright that there won't be any more Sherlock.  [....]  I feel like this is just stringing along the fans and it would be more merciful just to rip the plaster off in one go and admit that they are done.

I'm quite willing to believe that they truly do not know whether there will be more.  They'd need to have some plot ideas first, and those don't necessarily appear on schedule.  If they arbitrarily say yes, there'll be another series, that puts them under pressure to come up with ideas, and pressure can be counter-productive for creative endeavors.  Alternatively, if they say no, we're definitely finished, they're bound to come up with some ideas after they've closed that door.  So I'm fine with the status quo.

7 hours ago, Hikari said:

A resurrection of the partnership is profoundly to be wished, but I don't think Martin Freeman would be amenable to that.

Despite what some tabloids have been saying, I haven't seen any actual interviews where he seems opposed to doing more Sherlock.  His primary concern seems to be that it'd have to be a good story, and he does generally seem to say what he means.

 

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Yes I don't think there is any real antipathy form anyone in any quarter...

they are all just too busy.

For them to be tempted to do more, it would have to be an exceptional script...

which of course would require Mark and Steven to write it!

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15 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm quite willing to believe that they truly do not know whether there will be more.  They'd need to have some plot ideas first, and those don't necessarily appear on schedule.  If they arbitrarily say yes, there'll be another series, that puts them under pressure to come up with ideas, and pressure can be counter-productive for creative endeavors.  Alternatively, if they say no, we're definitely finished, they're bound to come up with some ideas after they've closed that door.  So I'm fine with the status quo.

 

15 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

  His primary concern seems to be that it'd have to be a good story, and he does generally seem to say what he means.

 

 

7 hours ago, besleybean said:

Yes I don't think there is any real antipathy form anyone in any quarter...

they are all just too busy.

For them to be tempted to do more, it would have to be an exceptional script...

which of course would require Mark and Steven to write it!

Of course we here in this community are probably more invested than the general public in seeing more Sherlock.   I think we've got to be realistic, though.  The last episode aired in January 2017, which means that the script and production were completed nearly 5 years ago, or more, if we allow 6 months for pre- and post-production before anything reaches our screens.  The show was the hottest commodity in television for a few years there, but 5 years is a lifetime in show business.  It's true that nobody involved has definitively slammed the door on more Sherlock, which is probably a wise move . . . Who knows, all the stars might align and it might happen.  Everyone might agree to come back and Mofftiss might come up with a decent few scripts of the quality of the first two seasons, and the timing might work perfectly to allow everyone to participate.  I rate this possibility as somewhat greater than an asteroid hitting the Earth, but light years away from being 'a sure thing'.  Everybody is being somewhat diplomatic in saying that they haven't ruled out the possibility--with the proviso that there'd have to be outstanding inspiration to strike and quality scripts.

Based on the final efforts in S4, I think the probability of that kind of quality happening at this juncture, 5 years on from the spectacularly disappointing last season is remote.  Hope springs eternal, and miracles can happen, but . . in the absence of a miracle, I think The Final Problem was the final word on the series.  In my opinion, the writers peaked far too early by putting 'The Big Three' as they put it all in the second season.  They shot themselves in the foot by staging Sherlock's Death so soon, because trying to top that for Wow factor while having to fill out two more seasons plus a full-length Christmas feature led to their worst narrative excesses . . .Assassin Mary & Euros took the show from a crackerjack affectionate homage to Conan Doyle into a bizarro Dr. Who/Spooks/Shutter Island/James Bond hybrid.  Feh.  They should have done a few more of the 'SH and JW investigate crimes' thing prior to The Reichenbach Fall.  I'd have written more of those cases for S2 and established the bachelor partnership more prior to introducing Mary and 'killing' Sherlock.  In The Sign of Three, which is my top episode of S3, there is that entertaining montage of snippets from 'past cases' during Sherlock's wedding speech.  What a treat that would have been if we had seen some of those cases fleshed out into full episodes . . not least of all the case where Dr. Watson meets his Mary.  Surprised Mofftiss let that one go by.  Somehow jamming in one scene with a dog and a midget feels like a gyp.  And we never do actually get the full backstory of how John and Mary met.  Ostensibly at his NHS clinic where she was a nurse.  Except now we know she's not a nurse.  So--how did she turn up there, at John's surgery?  Not random, surely.  Were they intending John to be a target, post-Reichenbach?  Moffat's largest failing as a writer is the number of threads he is content to let drop in favor of his big splashy Bangs!  Me, I prefer the smaller threads that display the humanity of these characters rather than the superpowers.  Now Mofftiss is saying that after the spectacular denouement of "the early years", they propose to embark on the 'sedate middle aged years' of the duo with smaller cases of 'crime investigation' and think that those will captivate the audience whom they have now accustomed to massive explosions and devious supervillain psychopaths in every episode?    Highly doubtful.   They shot their bolt too early and I think we've seen all the inspiration we are going to get.  I'd be happy to be wrong, but only if subsequent efforts are more like S2 and not like S4.  If all concerned know inside that the time for 'exceptional scripts' has long gone, they have elegantly side-stepped actually committing themselves to doing any more while at the same time keeping that spark of hope alive in the fans.  I think it's time to read between the lines and admit that the project had come to its natural conclusion in 2017.  I really don't get the vibe that anyone is keen on doing more, but of course, if there's potentially money to be made in another series, it'd be foolhardy to slam that door closed publicly.  

This is only my opinion, but the more time passes without a firm plan for a reunion, the less likely it gets.  They struck while that iron was hot, but it's been cool for some time.  Nature of the business.  I figured if we didn't hear something definite within 2 years, we weren't likely to. Then of course, Covid.  Will we see Benedict and Martin as men of 60 reconvening for a riff on 'His Last Bow', notwithstanding that they'd have to call it something else as they've already used that title?  It's charming to hope so but I'm not holding my breath.

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39 minutes ago, Hikari said:

Will we see Benedict and Martin as men of 60 reconvening for a riff on 'His Last Bow'...?

Moftiss have been saying something like that all along, as I recall, that they'd like to get the boys back together when they're more the age of Rathbone, Brett, et al.  MF will turn 50 this year, and BC is about five years behind him.  I've already checked into the ages at which those prior actors had played Holmes and Watson:

On 1/21/2020 at 12:15 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Rathbone was between 47 and 54,
... and Bruce was between 44 and 51.

Brett was between 51 and 61,
... Burke was about 50,
... and Hardwicke was between 53 and 62.

So, average Holmes age is 53 and average Watson age is 52; both roles were played until an average age of 56 or 57.


... so maybe five or ten years from now?

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Moftiss have been saying something like that all along, as I recall, that they'd like to get the boys back together when they're more the age of Rathbone, Brett, et al.  MF will turn 50 this year, and BC is about five years behind him.  I've already checked into the ages at which those prior actors had played Holmes and Watson:


... so maybe five or ten years from now?

 

Well, they can try.

The schedules of our principals might have opened up again by then.  Sherlock made international stars of them, rocketing Benedict in particular from near-obscurity as a supporting player to A-list overnight.  Martin had been around for 10+ years as a jobbing actor and thanks to The Office was already a 'name' when he signed on to Sherlock.   During the first season, I assumed Ben was a recent drama school grad and it surprised the heck out of me that he was nearly a decade older than I thought.  I find both of our leads are looking their ages these days, and then some.  Postponing a reunion for 10 or 15 years past the last episode is risky.  This isn't Midsomer Murders, after all.  Most franchises can't string viewers along for two decades, but Moftiss is willing to try.  More Sherlock is a dream that's hard to let go of, but I don't think it's going to happen.  If it does, it will catch all of our team on their way down rather than up, methinks, as they will all be getting long in the tooth by then.  TV is a very precarious and capricious business.  Not to mention such an extended break is gambling that everyone concerned will remain healthy and able to work so far into the future.

Again, my opinion, but I don't find that either Ben nor Martin is wearing well, post-Sherlock.  They are still famous and in-demand, I guess, but I am profoundly under-impressed by their respective more recent projects.  It pays the bills but  no matter what else they do, they are going to be defined by their Sherlock personas, and for Martin, The Hobbit.  Ben was really outstanding in some stuff like The Imitation Game and Patrick Melrose . . other stuff like Doctor Strange is strictly commercial.  Martin was fantastic in his one season of Fargo, but he's fallen entirely off my radar since the Baker Street partnership broke up.  They have both been busily employed, I realize . . .just in nothing that I care to see.  Circa 2012, I was an ultimate fan girl and completely obsessed.   The show singlehandedly reignited my long-dormant thirst for Conan Doyle's original stories and the whole alternative world of pastiche.  After S3 and 4, and the long, long Hiatus . .I feel rather like the jaded survivor of a love affair turned sour and I just honestly don't care that much any more.  It stopped being fun for me when it became so glaringly obvious that it was no longer a labor of love and joy for the creative team involved.  Sherlock's world turned very, very dark and I feel like the original spirit which had made the early going such a joy had been violated and corrupted into something else, much more nihilistic and cynical.  Even though SH is a crime fighter who deals with the worst of humanity sometimes, he was never nihilistic, save once, maybe--The Adventure of the Cardboard Box--but that was very much an anomoly.

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2 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Moftiss have been saying something like that all along, as I recall, that they'd like to get the boys back together when they're more the age of Rathbone, Brett, et al.  MF will turn 50 this year, and BC is about five years behind him.  I've already checked into the ages at which those prior actors had played Holmes and Watson:


... so maybe five or ten years from now?

 

Peter Cushing played Holmes at 71, Christopher Lee at 70,  Ian McKellen was 76.😃

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On 3/14/2021 at 11:37 AM, HerlockSholmes said:

I’ve found 2 more.

There’s a collection called The Resurrected Holmes by Marvin Kaye. The premise is that the stories were written under ‘assumed’ names by a very famous author. The Giant Rat is written by Paula Volsky (who is a fantasy writer) but it’s ‘ascribed’ to HP Lovecraft. Another one is written by ‘CS Forester.’

The other collection is The Secret Chronicles Of Sherlock Holmes by June Thomson. (Thomson has written a few collections which are very good plus at least one Holmes novel) The story is called The Case Of The Sumatran Rat.

To be honest I thought that I had more versions of the story but I’m certain that more exist.

 

I'm currently reading MX Volume 8 which includes The Adventure Of A Rat by Adrian Middleton which is another story based on The Giant Rat (but it's not actually a rat) Good story though.

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5 hours ago, Hikari said:

I am profoundly under-impressed by their respective more recent projects.

It's my impression that Mr. Freeman, in particular, is enjoying the opportunity to play a variety of roles, rather than the succession of nice-guy roles that he'd been offered pre-Sherlock.  I kinda miss those nice guys, though, what with all the nuances he gave them.  If Sherlock does return, I sincerely hope that John will be more or less his S1-S2 self again (hair style and all!).

8 hours ago, Hikari said:

Sherlock's world turned very, very dark and I feel like the original spirit which had made the early going such a joy had been violated and corrupted into something else, much more nihilistic and cynical.

Indeed.   :(

Though I suspect the Moftisses thought of it more as "something different."  They seem to grow bored quite easily.

 

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I think they just saw it as a logical outcome, to a rather special family.

Anyhow, it was very hopeful and positive at the end. 

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I liked their version of Dracula.

Am I alone on this?

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1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I liked their version of Dracula.

Am I alone on this?

Haven't seen it.  Dracula as a character, and vampires in general feel absolutely done to death (pun intended).  I had my Anne Rice period in the 1990s--loved Interview with the Vampire (book, not movie), and the next several in that series.  Tale of the Body Thief (#4) was the last one I liked. #4 seems to be the magic number for me.  ( 10/4 is my birthday, incidentally shared by Anne Rice. Cultural diversion:  I have called '4' my lucky number for 30 years, after finding out that 4 (in Japanese, 'shi') is considered a very unlucky number--'shi' written with another kanji character means 'death'.  So Japanese people avoid saying '4' unnecessarily.  Crockery and silverware are even sold in sets of 5, not 4, even though the typical Japanese family size is 4.  Since my birthday signified 'death', I thought there was nothing I could do but embrace it.  On the flip side '10' is considered an extra-lucky number so I got balanced out.)  That was probably the first and last time I really enjoyed a vampire story.  I've read the original Dracula and seen the Francis Ford Coppola version with Gary Oldman.  He was seductive and repulsive in equal measure.  I was Team Jacob in the Twilight series.  An eternity spent with the undead feels like it'd be quite boring.  Can't eat or drink anything but blood; avoiding sunlight, sleeping in a coffin . . sure, you never age, but where's the fun?

Jekyll was made in 2007 (6 episodes of 60 minutes each.)  Apart from one guest role in Touching Evil, I had not seen anything else from Mr. Nesbitt (more recently made famous as Bofur of the funny hat in the dwarfish band).  James is fantastic at creating two entirely different personas with only the tiniest of makeup/hair changes to suggest Hyde.  Highly recommended.  It goes off the rails a bit at the end as Moffat turns on the Doctor Who-ish tap and the final episode ends very abruptly.  Not sure if a second series was planned for but it kind of felt like it was left unfinished and unresolved.  8 episodes might have been an ideal length to wrap up loose ends.

12 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

It's my impression that Mr. Freeman, in particular, is enjoying the opportunity to play a variety of roles, rather than the succession of nice-guy roles that he'd been offered pre-Sherlock.  I kinda miss those nice guys, though, what with all the nuances he gave them.  If Sherlock does return, I sincerely hope that John will be more or less his S1-S2 self again (hair style and all!).

I miss the nice guys, too.  But I think it's precisely because Martin actually didn't enjoy being shoehorned into those mild nice-guy parts (himself being neither mild nor particularly nice.  His interviews are so full of expletives it's amazing they get much usable footage and we have all seen how very much MF enjoys a double-barreled bird flip) that he will not be enticed to reprise Dr. Watson.  He got to plumb Watson's dark side in S4 and he really pulled all the stops out.  I don't think it would appeal to him to take Watson back to that mild-mannered, long-suffering best friend who was so tolerant of and overshadowed by his more flamboyant flatmate's antics.  If he agrees to return for even one reunion movie in the vein of Abominable Bride, I'd certainly watch it.

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