I always enjoy listening to Three Patch Podcast, my monthly workout in getting out of my own headspace. Like all the best podcasts, they usually sound like they're having such fun when they're in their element, and much of that element is the fine art of shipping. As it involves chemistry, one might argue that it's more science than art, but still a fascinating subject in its seemingly limitless variety.
"Seemingly" limitless, because after four seasons and a Christmas special, there is actually only so many characters from BBC Sherlock that can be paired or triaded up in relationships. Johnlock, Sherlolly, Mystrade, Johnlockary, Euriarty, Sheriarty . . . so many combos, yes, but the core group is so small. Imagine if it were nine seasons worth of characters! Or four novels and five short story collections' worth of characters . . . wait a minute . . . .
Ah, the thought makes one want to do a Jim Moriarty head roll in the sheer pleasure of it.
Maybe not for everyone, but you're reading the fellow who once wrote a book called Sherlock and the Ladies, in which he explored Sherlock's varied relationships with over two dozen women in the Canon. We old school Sherlockians might have done most of our work in articles rather than sexy, sexy prose, but the shipping was still there . . . a tad restrained, maybe . . . but there. Yet what if we completely attacked Ye Olde Canon with the unrestrained abandon of the modern BBC Sherlock shippers? It has started, to be sure, but the floodgates aren't completely open just yet.
James Mortimer gently ran his finger along the parietal fissure of Sherlock's skull, as he cradled the detective's head, and said, "Isn't this so much better than that chilly stone hut on the moor?"
Counting the freckles along Violet's exposed shoulder, Alice Rucastle realized she might not mind staying a prisoner for a little while longer. Mr. Fowler could wait . . . and maybe wait some more.
He was portly, so portly his face seemed like it might be about to burst, but Mary saw the way his very small eyes twinkled as he looked at her, that night at Pondicherry Lodge, and somehow knew that Mr. Athelney Jones would be her destiny, even if their love led to sad bereavement for any who stood in its way.
So many wonderful untold relationships in the original Sherlockian Canon, and that's just the people who actually could have met in the tales themselves. When cross-pollinating the stories starts to go into full effect . . . WOW!
Sure, there's probably no readership for a John Clayton/Mrs. Shipley fic, but that same part of the brain that thinks mountain climbing is a good idea looks at such a relationship and goes, "Why not?"
What stories are there yet to be told in that Canon of old?
As with everything else to do with Sherlock Holmes, there is certainly some fun to be found there. Might have to just wander down that path a bit . . . .