Last night I had the oddest dream . . .
No, I really did. Not making this up.
I was watching the new season of Elementary, and with Miss Watson gone, Jonny Lee Miller had found a new love and partner: Mrs. Watson.
Somehow, Mary Watson, the Kelly Reilly version from Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows had been thrust forward into the future, and left here with her Jude Law husband long dead of old age, paired up with Mr. Elementary.
The episode's shocking twist, however, came when a letter arrived from David Burke's Dr. Watson from the 1980s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, stating that he had been Mary Watson's lover and was coming back for her.
And, as so often is the feeling in dreams, it all seemed perfectly normal.
When I woke up, however, it still didn't seem all that odd. Why?
If you haven't noticed, we seem to be living in the Relationship Era of Sherlock Holmes, where the relationships between characters is often just as important, or even more important than the mysteries Holmes and Watson investigate. I would hesitate to declare the Mystery Era of Sherlock Holmes over and done, but there is a decided difference between then and now, and it's in the relationships.
Time after time, I've heard fans of Elementary talk about how the relationship between Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu's characters is what they like most about the show. Fan fiction has explored every possible aspect of the connections between Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock and Martin Freeman's Watson, and every other character on Sherlock. (And if someone somewhere hasn't hit every possible one, I'd be very surprised . . . and someone should get on that remaining one, if I'm wrong.)
One could point at a change in the gender skew of Sherlockian fandom as a possible cause for this, but that might stir up trouble from one side or another. Things had plainly run their course in the previous era of doing things Sherlock, however, and the new Relationship Era seems to be giving it all some fresh wind for the sails.
Will it come to the point of cross-pollinating our Sherlocks, however, as my dream seems to portend?
We shall see.