Sunday, December 7, 2014

A couple Mark Gatiss quotes for a Sunday.

Mark Gatiss seems to get plenty of interview time these days, and this morning his quotes seem to all be coming out of India. It's more of an appropriate setting for a Watson than a Mycroft, but he's always interesting to hear. (Links for full bits here and here.)

Perhaps it's just the obsessed anti-Elementary fan in me, but I can't help but see a little "without naming names" commentary about the show in some of Gatiss's words:

"We have been very clear from the beginning that the series is made by people who adore Sherlock Holmes. It is not a cheap gimmick for us. We were just trying to find a new way to reintroduce the character to a younger audience and I am glad that people have taken our version to their heart."

When he says "not a cheap gimmick for us," the implication that Sherlock is most certainly a cheap gimmick for somebody out there, and there aren't that many somebodies out there these days to fill that roles. Especially "taking Sherlock Holmes and placing him in the current day" somebodies.

But Mark Gatiss isn't shy about plainly stating their mission with Sherlock:

"From inception, we saw it (Sherlock) as a restoration, not a reinvention of Doyle’s vision. Over the years, the characters of Holmes and Watson had become secondary to the trappings of the Victorian world, and we wanted to just get back to that, to the essential friendship between the two men and the strangeness of Sherlock. So, what we had to do every time is to find the essence of the original story."

And whether you agree or disagree with the results they came out with, one has to admit that the attempt is definitely there. One can watch Sherlock and see Conan Doyle's work somewhere on the writers' minds. When I look at Elementary these days, all I tend to see is the subtitle to Conan Doyle's The Firm of Girdlestone, which ran "A Romance of the Unromantic."

Sherlock has fought its way to popularity in America, on PBS, on DVD and Blu-Ray, and on BBC America. No easy time slot on one of the traditional "big three" networks for it. Word of mouth over deus-ex-machina post-Super-Bowl time slots. It has catapulted its stars to major celebrity, getting them attention that resulted in some seriously attention-getting gigs, and is at the very heart of a Sherlockian fan resurgence like nothing than came before.

And one can't help but see all of that success having its roots directly planted in Sherlock's steadfast attempts to see what they could do with Doyle's vision, from Milverton's repugnance to their hypothesized sequel to The Sign of Four, even their greatest reaches have stood upon that solid footing, even if they got a bit tippy-toe in their stretching up for a result.

And for his part in that, Mark Gatiss deserves to get all the interview questions that India, or anywhere else, wants to throw at him.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the 'for us'. Gatiss snuck it in there quite sneakily; but he is a smarty-pants after all.

    Korina, trying to wrap my brain around a Mumbai ComicCon