Saturday, July 25, 2015

Just another flower laid on Sherlock's empty grave.

Re-watching BBC Sherlock this summer has been a lot of fun.

So much has been written about the TV series, which is really more of a set of movies than a standard television trudge, that I never feel the urge to jump in and add my thoughts to the pile, unlike lesser quality productions that no one seems to write about. Similarly, I'm still questioning whether or not to even blog-chronicle after finally seeing Mr. Holmes this weekend. So many thoughts out there already.

But that show.

Such a lovely entertainment. Re-watching a magician perform the same tricks over and over again is usually a mistake -- the eye wanders to places the performer would rather it not go. Mystery Science Theater 3000 made it's name redirecting the eye during films so dull no one would re-watch them without added commentary. But BBC Sherlock (and I will forever call it "BBC Sherlock," as the first name alone might be confused with anything Sherlock-y) has charms even in its places one shouldn't look.

The over-the-top Moffat moments. The odd little behavioural moments. All that meta.

I never begrudge a newer fan of Sherlock Holmes their use of the word "Canon" in reference to this show, because it's as rich in detail as the original written Canon, with that mix of our real London and that higher plane London where 221B Baker Street and the Diogenes Club exist. So many lovely little points worth exploring. So many quotes worth pulling out for fun use.

While Guy Ritchie's movie Sherlock Holmes was a fine entertainment-of-the-moment, BBC Sherlock brought us a new ongoing standard for Sherlock Holmes. It has become our Holmes to start the new millennium, a bookend to the Holmes that closed the last millennium, the Granada Sherlock Holmes. I don't think BBC Sherlock could exist without Granada Sherlock Holmes having definitively wrapped up Victorian Sherlock Holmes on film.

And then there's Molly Hooper. The one person we might have once thought didn't matter at all, who really does matter the most in considering the place of BBC Sherlock in our world.

Molly Hooper is probably the first break-out character in the world of Sherlock Holmes who wasn't created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can throw around names like Anderson or Bell, or any other random coppers thrown into Holmes mysteries, but Molly is something else entirely . . . a character that literally could not have existed in the social climate of Victorian 221B London, but fits so perfectly in the world of a modern Sherlock Holmes.

If Molly wasn't enough, Andrew Scott's Moriarty is now my Moriarty, having overtaken Conan Doyle's under-used professor of mathematics as the perfect foil for Sherlock Holmes. How the hell does that even happen? Original-Canon has been my Sherlockian core my entire life. How does another Moriarty sneak into that?

Ten years ago, twenty years ago, I would never have seen this day coming. I knew it was possible, believed with all my heart that Sherlock Holmes on film could be this good, but given all the lackluster attempts in the past, I had become a bit jaded, a bit pessimistic. Granada was lovely, but it wasn't new. It's charm for me was entirely in that it recreated the originals. I still craved new Sherlock. And then it came.

Not everyone's cuppa tea, yes, but I hope everyone else gets one good treat in their lives that means as much as BBC Sherlock has meant to me.

Even during a summer re-watch.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. It's all true. BBC Sherlock is textured, just as ACD canon in; it is indeed a new canon. Interesting, though, what a different fanbase it attracts. And I agree regarding Molly. She's such a fabulous addition to the Baker Street regulars.