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The Curious Case of James Moriarty and James Moriarty


CSIBakerStreet
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This coordinates with a Tweet I found on Twitter. @BBCGeek said "Well, James Moriarty is dead. Now what about James Moriarty?" Sadly, most everyone has no idea what she meant. So I am not only doing this for Sherlock Forum, but for BBCGeek who actually knew that that was there. It may sound completely confusing, and I must admit this whole dilemma managed to have me nonplussed and baffled as well. What we both mean is that there is the one James Moriarty, Professer James Moriarty. My arch-enemy (even if the modern one wasn't exactly a professer) on all accounts. So both original wise and modern wise, Moriarty is there; he and Sherlock Holmes (me) have their meeting (just at different points in the story; have their conflict; and their final meeting. Now, in the original; The Final Problem; Moriarty and Sherlock have their first and last meeting and the whole huge conflict and the finale all in one story. BBC seperated it into different parts; first meeting The Great Game; conflict throughout the rest; and the massive conflict and conclusion The Reichenbach Fall. Personally, I thought that did go a bit smoother. But the original was still really good. Anyway, so big thing. Sherlock and Moriarty at the final moment. If you don't know what happened, and if you don't want it spoiled; then here.

Now in both, what happens is Moriarty really dies and Sherlock survives.

And that is the last mention of the first James Moriarty. BUT at the beginning of The Final Problem, Dr. Watson mentions ANOTHER James Moriarty. Colonel James Moriarty, the brother of Professer James Moriarty. He mentions that Col. Moriarty put in his own version of the story, and that's why Watson goes out and tells the whole true story; not the reason BBC inputs. This is the only point in which I found any reference of Col. James Moriarty. Now, going off of this (this is only my thoughts, not actual fact), I'd say that James Moriarty and James Moriarty were identical twins. Not only looking and being exactly alike, but sharing the same name. So my question as well as BBCGeek's is: Will they introduce or even mention the other James Moriarty in the BBC version? Or will he remain a non-entity? You were right, whoever that was who said "How would they seperate their children?" I think either variations of the first name or their middle names. MY assumption is that the 1st James's full name is James Isaac Moriarty, because he is by all accounts a genius. I'm still pondering the second... And they could call the one either Jim or James and the other Jamie or Jimmy or something... Jim Jim Jimmy Jim Jim Jim Jim...

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... MY assumption is that the 1st James's full name is James Isaac Moriarty ... I'm still pondering the second...

 

James Isaac Moriarty -- good ol' J.I.M. -- hey, I like that!

 

Moftiss mentioned brother James somewhere on one of the DVDs, so they may have him in mind as a future possibility. I would dearly love to see Andrew Scott play a different character in the show. The big challenge to all concerned would be to keep the identical-twin thing from being hokey.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry, but they learned how to do cloning only pretty recently -- and clones start out as babies -- so any clones in existence are still fairly young.  Of course, an identical twin is a natural clone, and those have been around for quite a while!

 

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You have to ask yourself where the Moriarty twins got their brilliance from. Couldn't have been from their mum and dad. What sort of idiot calls their sons by the same name?

 

Conan Doyle seems to have felt everyone should be called James - both the Moriarty brothers and even, at one point, John Watson.

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Actually genius' can do some incredibly silly and stupid things....just ask John on the subject of a certain genius he has to deal with everyday.....they can be sssooo unimaginative.

 

 And it has happened in real life. Just ask one of the George Foreman's.  It's like that family thing where all the names start with the same letter.

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Actually genius' can do some incredibly silly and stupid things....just ask John on the subject of a certain genius he has to deal with everyday.....they can be sssooo unimaginative.

 

And it has happened in real life. Just ask one of the George Foreman's. It's like that family thing where all the names start with the same letter.

Like the Kardashians. :)

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Alex and I figure the Moriarty twins have different middle names, so their parent call them Jim Bob and Jimmy Joe.

 

If they did that, I'm willing to cut Moriarty (either one) a lot of slack for his dastardly deeds, given his upbringing :facepalm:.

 

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Alex and I figure the Moriarty twins have different middle names, so their parent call them Jim Bob and Jimmy Joe.

 

If they did that, I'm willing to cut Moriarty (either one) a lot of slack for his dastardly deeds, given his upbringing

 

That's what I thought the first time I learned thy both had the same first name... What kind of parents would do that to their kids?

 

For Conan Doyle, "James" seems to have been a default first name. Every other man in his stories seems to be called "James". And now I've read somewhere that "Hamish" is just another version of "James", too.

 

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Yes, it is, the Scottish form.  But "Hamish" isn't exactly from Conan Doyle, it's an attempt by earlier Holmes fans to make sense of Watson's wife calling him "James" even though his name was John H. Watson -- I believe it was Dorothy L. Sayers (author of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels) who suggested the "H" might stand for "Hamish" and thereby explain the "James."

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They were very coy about it in the commentary -- saying something like "somebody suggested the H. might stand for Hamish," which does make it sound like it was an in-house idea.  I just happened to come across that history online a while back.

 

Regarding the Moriarty Jameses -- I don't know whether this was also a custom in the UK, but it occurs to me that I've heard it was once common practice (or at least not at all unusual) to give more than one of your children the same name, because infant and childhood mortality was so high.  Let's say you want to honor your uncle James -- if you name your sons James Henry, James Edward, James Joseph, and James Robert, then hopefully at least one of them will survive to adulthood and perhaps pass along the name to his son(s).

 

In all honesty, I suspect Conan Doyle simply forgot that the Professor's name was James when he named the Colonel.  After all, it had been something like ten years.  But it's more fun to try and make things work out in-universe!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Ain't that the truth, although it was pointed out by someone, that we really didn't hear from "Professor" Moriarty...and there is the Mummy Holmes connection...in that she was the mathematics genius and gave up a professorship for the children. Kind of scary, that.

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I believe that in canon, one of Holmes's grandmothers was a Vernet.  He didn't say which one, but I'd guess Grandma Holmes (since it sounded to me like he was talking about the Holmes family) -- so nothing at all to do with Mummy, in that case.  I'm virtually certain that no episode has mentioned Mummy's family, and I don't recall anything like that from a commentary, either.

 

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OK, here's what I found a while back:
 

Doesn't Holmes mention at some point that his mother was related to the French artist Vernet?

 
Yes, in "The Greek Interpreter" ....

Oops -- I just looked up the quote, and Holmes actually refers to his "grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist."  That could be either grandmother (and since he's just been talking about his "ancestors," I rather suspect he means Grandmother Holmes).  So we apparently know nothing for certain about Holmes's mother.
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... it was pointed out by someone, that we really didn't hear from "Professor" Moriarty...and there is the Mummy Holmes connection...in that she was the mathematics genius and gave up a professorship for the children....

 

True, some fans have said that "Jim from IT" is not the professor, but I feel relatively certain he was supposed to be (even though he didn't appear to be an actual university employee).  Several reasons:

 

1.  He (apparently) died when Sherlock (apparently) died, very much as happened at the Reichenbach Falls in "The Final Problem" -- which is presumably why that episode was called "The Reichenbach Fall."

 

2.  According to page 56 of Sherlock: The Casebook, Jim's IT business is called "Dynamic Asteroid," an obvious nod to the Professor's paper, "The Dynamics of an Asteroid" (the title of which was semi-borrowed by "Last Vow" for Mummy's book -- and I suspect we'll be hearing more about that "coincidence"!).

 

3.  The other Moriarty brothers mentioned in canon are the Colonel (also named James) and the Stationmaster (who may actually be the same man at different points in life).  "Jim from IT" seems a lot closer to the mathematics professor than to a military man or a railway employee.

 

Of course this is Moftiss we're dealing with, so anything whatsoever is possible -- but right now all we have to work with is logic, so there's my take on the situation.

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but right now all we have to work with is logic, so there's my take on the situation.

 

  And I can appreciate where you're going with it, Carol, but there were a few questions left from "TRF" in that Jim "IT" is never referred to as "Professor" while Mummy Holmes was well on her way to being one, or was one before deciding to "give it up for the children". In canon, Professor Moriarty was forced to give up his chair because of dark rumors and suspicions.

 

 While I do love the "Casebook" there are a to many glaring mistakes, the research isn't all that well done and so is questionable. I understand the card and why the author might have come up with it, but it was never used in the episode? Was it? Or did I miss something?

 

 In canon, the Professor didn't commit suicide at Reichenbach Falls,  unless Sherlock Holmes didn't give Dr. Watson the full story in "The Empty House"....which would be in keeping with what happened in "The Empty Hearse" true enough.

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... there were a few questions left from "TRF" in that Jim "IT" is never referred to as "Professor" while Mummy Holmes was well on her way to being one, or was one before deciding to "give it up for the children". In canon, Professor Moriarty was forced to give up his chair because of dark rumors and suspicions.

 

True enough, and that may hint at where they're headed.  But on the other hand, Sherlock's Irene Adler never sang an aria for us.  The Moftiss version tends to be sufficiently different from canon that we won't know for sure till the next Series airs -- if then!

 

While I do love the "Casebook" there are a to many glaring mistakes, the research isn't all that well done. I understand the card and why the author might have come up with it, but it was never used in the episode? Was it? Or did I miss something?

I agree about the Casebook (and the same goes for John's online blog, unfortunately).  No, I don't recall that Jim's business card was ever shown in the episode.  However, it might still give us a hint as to what Moftiss had in mind.  Or not!

 

In canon, the Professor didn't commit suicide at Reichenbach Falls,  unless Sherlock Holmes didn't give Dr. Watson the full story in "The Empty House"....which would be in keeping with what happened in "The Empty Hearse" true enough.

 

Since the canon Holmes tends to play his cards pretty close to his vest, and sometimes deliberately misleads Watson, there are quite a number of things we can't be entirely certain about, just as in Sherlock.  But even though there wasn't an actual waterfall in TRF, I assume we're all fairly certain that the episode was supposed to be a variation on "The Final Problem."  Even so, that does leave us wondering which details were supposed to be the same and which might be different, doesn't it?

 

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