Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Just soaking in the moment.

It suddenly struck me, as I planned the next few days' entertainments, that we have entered a very Sherlock-filled month.

Tomorrow night opens the first blockbuster of summer, Iron Man 3, starring the big screen Sherlock Holmes of our day, Robert Downey, Jr.

In two weeks comes the also-huge Star Trek: Into Darkness, featuring the small screen Sherlock Holmes sensation, Benedict Cumberbatch,

And meanwhile, Jonny Lee Miller, our third current contender for the crown, will be giving Elementary its climactic, season-ending one-month run.

Yes, two of the three are in roles that don't contain the name "Holmes," but none of them seem to be absolutely done with the role. Technically, they're all currently seen by someone or the other as the 2013 image of the Great Detective.

No matter what your feelings about any one or more of them, just take a moment and consider where we stand. Like no place any Sherlockian has ever stood before. William Gillette, counting up his full tour, wasn't in as many theaters as Downey has played. Basil Rathbone, after ruling as the Sherlock of his day, was never as anticipated as a villain as Cumberbatch, though he was a master at it. And Jeremy Brett . . . well, sorry to say, he never pulled as many viewers at PBS as Jonny Lee Miller is with the change of a single network letter.

Credit where credit is due, any one of them can top past Sherlocks by some account or another, but together? They form a triumvirate of legendary Sherlock power, pulling from different demographics to gather a modern nexus of popularity for Sherlock Holmes like no other time. Even Conan Doyle himself could only gain popularity among those who could read, and the speed and spread of translations was a lot slower in his day.

So, all things considered, this could well be the Golden Age of Sherlock Holmes.

That thought is sure to be quickly disputed by the more nostalgic or Canon-focused, but the facts, the numbers, the sheer size of the wave, makes it very, very hard to ignore.

And very, very easy to enjoy.


  1. Seen this?

  2. I think like cos-play this is mostly fun for the people involved. When Laurie R. King twittert in-character of her heroine about her "husband", I found that presumptuous. I don't like to watch cos-play and I don't like to read assumed twitter-characters. At least not when the major characters are appropriated. I've no problem with people just dressing up in period costumes.

    1. There's better and there's worse,as with any medium. It all reminds me of the future in Arthur Byron Cover's "An East Wind Coming," where people all seem to just adopt iconic roles.

  3. In re: "Just soaking in the moment." True that.