I watched the last season 2 finale of Sherlock tonight. Well, I missed the first fifteen minutes, so I didn’t really know why Moriarty was in custody and Sherlock heading for the witness stand, but I’ll watch missed minutes when it goes on i-player.
ORIGINAL IDEAS – WHERE ARE THEY?
Okay, this isn’t just related to the Sherlock thing (which I think is a great character and great T.V. series), but I’ve been wondering recently why nothing is new anymore?
I loved HOUSE M.D. which was a character also inspired by Sherlock Holmes.
Everything feels derivative these days. Maybe it was always like this and Conan Doyle’s work was based on something already extant (though I have read he based it on another person he knew). Is there nothing fresh? I can’t think of how many films I’ve watched that have later been revealed as re-hashed plots from old novels – Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare, Bronte sisters.
It is a bit depressing to think that we are so bereft of new characters, new plots, that we continually revert to the past and rework it to a modern day tale. I suppose there’s sci-fi, which looks outward, but I wonder which characters present in living novelist’s books will be considered classics in a hundred years. Or are we just out of new ideas…
BACK TO SHERLOCK – T.V. SERIES
I rarely watch British series’ and I only watched this because I happened upon a review a few weeks ago. I’ve now caught up with the entire season 1 – not too hard as there are only 3 episodes per season (90 minutes a pop), and season 2, excusing the missing fifteen minutes tonight.
I was thinking about why I found it so good and enjoyable – the two don’t always go together.
It’s good because the actor’s are good – Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman seem to sit in their roles as if they’re sinking into a big comfy chair. I suppose good actors do that all the time, but they did seem to fit together.
It was enjoyable because script was intelligent (had to be) as well as humorous. The visual choreography of Holmes’ thinking process in the earlier episodes was a nice touch – text messages written on screen, ideas and thoughts pulled out and pushed away via Cumberbatch’s hand/head movements. I don’t know much about filming, but I presume the producer or director is responsible for that visual representation sha-bang.
The idea of Sherlock Holmes is enticing – a man, supremely confident in his powers, but uninterested in the human needs of companionship, sexual relationships and so on. That gives him great advantage when all he needs is the work. I know they humanized him a little by moving his relationship with Watson from perfunctory foil to sort-of friendship. Still, for the most part, he’s a calculating computer. That fascinates me. I’m jealous of the detachment in a way, not to mention the intellectual prowess.
There’s a long tradition of clever detectives requiring a less intelligent or in-experienced foil. Holmes and Watson, Poirot and Hastings, Morse and Lewis, Patrick Jane and Lisbon. It does seem a shame to resort to that device, so it was nice that the updated Watson wasn’t portrayed as clueless.
Well, I haven’t read Doyle’s work in a while and I gave my Sherlock tome to charity a few months ago as I reasoned that collected works like that are too cumbersome to read but tonight I’d have liked to dip in there. I knew they’d pull the not really dead stunt at the end and you have to have a guess at how that would be explained, don’t you? My uneducated guess is that mortuary attendant, whom Sherlock asked for help, knocked him up a latex face mold or something, then he somehow pushed Moriarty off.
The trouble is that’s flimsy. So if anyone knows the answer, who’s read the relevant story or has a psychic connection with Gatiss, please, let me know.
p.s. I’m split between thinking the guy who plays Moriarty is really menacing and thinking, at times, he just sounds and looks like Graham Norton. No more so than when he does the monologue on the T.V. screen in the taxi cab. His slightly camp facial whoopsies and the Irish lilt.
Having had an idle day today I have decided that the non-death of Sherlock could have happened via these steps:
i) Sherlock is facilitated by Mycroft and Molly (the two not in the line of fire, as three bullets are for Watson, Hudson and Lestrade, confirmed on the rooftop by Moriarty).
ii) Moriarty dies.
iii) either someone from Molly’s mortuary table (homeless person, perhaps) or Moriarty himself is then fitted with the clothes and a mock-up mask of Sherlock’s face.
iii) the conversation with Watson could have been pre-taped or be live from near the back of the roof, either would do.
iv) Watson is in-fortuitously knocked onto the ground by a cyclist (convenient) before he can get to the body, perhaps leaving him concussed and less sharp.
v) Ambulance men arrive to take the body, seemingly within a minute, which is unlikely, unless pre-arranged (Mycroft has that power?)
vi) Mandatory identification of the body would have to be done by Mycroft, again making me think he may have been involved.
The alternate option, which I really hope, if there is another series, they don’t go down that road, is that Holmes had lost his mind – seven per cent solution-style. Haven’t read the book but know the skeleton plotline: it’s author has Holmes inventing Moriarty the uber-villain and projecting it onto an innocent man, due to drug addicted psychosis. Shutter Island sort of thing. I hate that plot device, it’s boring, plain and has already been done. To death.