Friday, August 22, 2014

Sherlock Holmes and the Gecko brothers.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Once upon a time, this study, this hobby, we called Sherlockiana was a rare and special thing. Now, we're definitely not alone.

Taking the works of Dr. John H. Watson and thinking beyond what what his Literary Agent had gotten into print, imagining the lives of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson beyond their little mysteries . . . it was something that wasn't going on in an organized fashion anywhere else before the middle of the last century. Eventually Star Trek would come along and raise a fan army whose minds would work like that of Sherlockians, but they were facing the future and not the past, and working out how warp drive might work always seemed a mite more fanciful than researching where exactly 221B Baker Street was located.

These days, however, it's not just the multitude of fandoms that are fleshing out our fictional realities . . . the professionals are doing it, too. Which is why I'm about to relate Sherlock Holmes, detective, to the Gecko brothers, bank robbers.

In 1996, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez came out with a quirky little film called From Dusk Till Dawn. Half crime thriller, half vampire movie, Dusk Till Dawn snaked its way into the hearts of many a ". . . boy who's half a man. Or man who's half a boy . . ." as ACD would say. George Clooney was first making his mark as an actor, Danny Trejo was just beginning his cult following, and fun was to be had.

Now, in 2014, Netflix has just come out with a TV series version of the movie (Originally on the El Rey network.). Nothing new there; TV shows have been adapted from movies since TV first began. But it's the style of adaptation that has changed. Dusk Till Dawn: The Series has that same quality one gets from Sherlock -- it's a show lovingly made by fan-minded sorts who both capture the feel of the original and expand its universe to explore areas that were barely touched on in the original. Basically, such shows are doing what we used to call Sherlockian scholarship, just with video: Expanding and exploring the world we were given, with respect and admiration for the original.

Interestingly, in this expansion/exploration, the criminal Gecko brothers seem curiously like someone split Sherlock Holmes into two people. There's the ultra-cool, charming side as epitomized in Seth Gecko, and the nerdy, smart, seeing-things-others-can't-see, "is he crazy?" side of Sherlock that is embodied in Richie Gecko. There's no stretch of imagination that would believe the bank robbing brothers could have possibly be inspired by Sherlock, but looking at their dynamic can be an enlightening look at Sherlock Holmes.

In the case of the Gecko brothers, their "Watson" is a whole family, the Fullers, whom they take hostage and eventually must ally with. The Fullers, despite their little family dramas, are the regular folk, while the Geckos are definitely anything but. They're at the height of their profession, if one counts the most wanted lists. One likes to play with a hair-trigger revolver and can seem to read people's thoughts. The other is a commanding presence who naturally takes control of a situation.

As we're used to seeing a Holmes-Watson duality, getting two characters who make one think of the dualities within Holmes himself, such as the eccentric recluse versus the fellow who walks into a situation and deals with those on scene accordingly.

Are there parallels, or does the Sherlockian mind just see Sherlock Holmes in everything? Maybe we're still kind of rare and special after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment