Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dad versus Morland.

There's a bad link on IMDB's page for BBC's Sherlock. If you scroll down through the cast list and click on the character played by Timothy Carlton, listed there as "Dad," it takes you to the character profile for "Morland Holmes" from CBS's Elementary.

Since CBS would surely sue the BBC for using Morland Holmes on their show, t'were that actually the name of Timothy Carlton's character, I would strongly tend toward believing "Dad" has some other, and surely more benign, first name.

I mean, "Morland." Really. "Snidely Whip-Holmes" wasn't available?

Sherlock and Elementary take two decidedly different approaches to the father of our friend Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock's Holmes pater is full of kindliness and normalcy, which leads one to believe that his sons' quirks tend toward nature over nurture. Elementary's Sherlock father figure is such a villainous mess one would push his boys' issues over into the "nurture" column. And, boy, do those two have issues, and they didn't even have a last season sister to push them to where they are. (Of course, with at least one season left to go, another Holmes sibling could still be in the offing for Elementary.)

If one were to pit Sherlock's "Dad" and Elementary's "Morland" against one another, mano a mano, one's first thought as to the outcome would be that the villainous Morland would dispatch Dad with half a thought. But it is very hard to think of Dad Holmes as an individual item. Mrs. Holmes is a part of the package. And that eldest son would probably get wind of any threat on its way, if the middle one wasn't somehow in the picture already, and daddy's little girl? Yikes. Sorry, Morland, but that last one would have taken you out at age fifteen.

Morland Holmes and Dad Holmes come off as a paternal Goofus and Gallant, when you look at the true role of a father. One distant and manipulative, hiring surrogates to interact with at least one of his kids. The other a sweet old guy who just wants a visit at the holidays and maybe to go see a show with the kids now and then.  We've seen a wild array of Holmes fathers over the years, when we've seen glimpses of them at all. (Nicholas Meyer's The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Mona Morstein's The Childhood of Sherlock Holmes come first to mind, along with Baring-Gould's Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street.) Our current pair of television Holmes papas, however, are about as wide apart in life-choices as we could find.

So here's to Father's Day and the hope that you got a "Dad" and not a "Morland," if there was a male parent in your family photo. He seems a lot less stressful upon the detective career.

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