Monday, September 6, 2010
The long Life of Sherlock Holmes
I don't think I've been so bombarded by an author's work as I have by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in 1887 and spanned four novels and 56 short stories. It's 2010 and the fascination with the detective and his doctor sidekick has not stopped or rested.
My first memory or real awareness of SH was when I was in elementary school and during my half hour for breakfast, I'd sit and watch a cartoon show called Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. It was futuristic and dealt with a clone Moriarty and a robot Dr. Watson but I loved it. Some of the episodes were even based off of Doyle's original stories.
I know there were a lot of BBC dramas in respect to SH but I live in Canada so coming into contact with it was next to nonexistant. I feel almost like I've missed out because by what I've been reading, some of those productions were well done and enjoyed by many. Something I also noticed is that Sherlock Holmes never goes away for very long. He comes back bigger and better than ever and sometimes not even by his true name.
For instance in 2004, the tv series House premiered and brought audiences a doctor that cared more for puzzles than for his patients and wonder of wonders; his only true friend is a fellow doctor called Wilson. Moriarty and Irene Adler have even been referenced in the series.
Living in Canada, I spend most of my time watching American programming rather than home grown productions because few Canadian shows live to make it through their first season due to their lack of funding. But there's one show I adore that has kept coming back each year, which is based off a series of mystery novels written by Maureen Jennings. Murdoch Mysteries centers around detective William Murdoch and his adventures in the 1890s. How does it relate to SH? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a character in the show who came to Canada to observe Murdoch as part of his research for a novel he was writing. A novel we eventually find out is about Sherlock Holmes.
In 2009 on Christmas Day, Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes was released to mixed reviews. Some liked the new interpretation and some didn't much care for it. I loved it. I own it on DVD. It sits lovingly with the rest of my small DVD collection right by my bed in a cupboard. I liked this version of Holmes because it was a tad more...realistic? Let's face it, he probably wasn't paid well by the police and the era in which he lived in was one of great poverty and new inventions (i.e. The Industrial Revolution). So Sherlock looking smart and sharp and well done in a suit all the time with his drinking and bit of drug habit? Didn't seem likely to me. So yeah, this Sherlock definitely fit with what I'd pictured.
Now in 2010, a tv series named Sherlock has erupted on the scene. A series where we are on a first name basis with these characters: Sherlock and John. One of them is a consulting detective and the other a military doctor - they solve crime. What can I say about this modern adaptation that hasn't already been said? Because it's brilliant. Every minute of it is witty and fun and engaging. Three 90 minute episodes, one case for each.
Do you hear that screaming? Those are the voices all over the world that want more. Preferably now rather than Fall 2011, which is when we'll actually be getting the second series. It has a team of great people behind it like Steven Moffat (He does Doctor Who. New Who. 11th Doctor. Fezzes are cool.) and Mark Gatiss (Wrote Doctor Who novels. Wrote Doctor Who episodes. Acted in a Doctor Who episode.) and it's just such a great addition to the long list. Also, the chemistry between the actors and characters just pull you in. Truly something I think we've been waiting for with Sherlock Holmes.
1887 is when he was born in this world and 123 years later, he's still solving cases with Watson.