Thursday, June 8, 2017

John Watson's Island, on to . . . ?

Having now stranded this blog on a topical desert island, with readers looking for rescue ships to get them back to more diverse Sherlockian topics, I can only look to the Canon (episode guide) to John Watson's Island for ideas on how to get myself off this topic.

7. The Blown Carbuncle. As food starts to run in short supply on the island, John Watson thinks he hears a goose in the underbrush. He encounters Sherlock, who also hears the goose, and they go on a goose chase, first leading them to the crude pub Moriarty has built called "The Alpha's Omega." Irene is singing there, accompanied by a primitive handmade piano the Professor built, and they discover her singing has lured an entire flock of geese to the back lot of the pub. They pick one out for supper and as Sherlock is raising his ax to behead it, Mycroft shows up and shouts for him to stop. This is one of the British government's secret homing geese from Project Carbuncle, capable of carrying coded messages in capsules in its crop, and Mycroft is sure it can get a message back to London that they need rescue. Sherlock releases the bird, and as the castaways shout "HUZZAH!" the frightened fowl flies off, without the intended message in its crop.

8. The Six-legged Napoleon of Crime. Mary and John are having some morning pancakes when Sherlock arrives, sniffs at their syrup and asks them what manner of tree this syrup came from. John shows Sherlock, who then uses the sap from the tree in a chemical experiment that results in a new kind of glue that he announces as "Handcuffs in a Bottle," an invention that will revolutionize police-work. Sherlock then goes to tell Moriarty a rescue ship has come and that he should immediately grab his trunk, at which point Sherlock squirts the stuff on the Professor's wrists and "handcuffs" him in place. Only Sherlock finds his right hand is now glued to the Professor's wrists and when John tries to pry them apart, he winds up attached as well. Irene and Mary show up to see the contorted trio wrestling about to attempt to free themselves, make several crude remarks and suggestions, and then Mary produces some nail polish remover and frees the trio.

9. The Golden Pinterest. While surveying the island with Mycroft, John discovers a vein of gold on a rock outcropping. Mycroft convinces John to cover the vein and keep it a secret until they can mine enough to put the island on the gold standard or at least supplement their current tender of silver coins with additional gold ones. (Bimetallic question, anyone?) John tells Sherlock, of course, who then convinces Watson to tell him where the vein is, as he wishes to ask Irene to marry him and needs to make a ring. Later that day, John runs into Irene and accidentally spills the secret of Sherlock's upcoming proposal and the ring plan, only to find Irene has developed a sudden, devastating toothache and will need a filling. John tells Mary the gold vein's location and sends her off for the filling, then heads for the Professor's pub to get alcohol for to numb Irene's tooth for dental work. The Professor produces a mining pick and volunteers to help Mary, heading off to do so once John tells him where to go. Eventually, everyone is at the gold vein squabbling over both the gold and the series of lies and betrayals that got them there, when Lestrayd, the last to arrive, impounds all the mined gold, both as evidence and fine.

10. The Find of the Boar. As they explore a particularly dense part of the island's vegetation, Lestrade discovers a gray gargoyle perched on a ledge. Moriarty identifies it as "Tona" the god worshipped by the island peoples of certain north Atlantic islands. A sudden earthquake shakes the island, and when it stops, they see that Tona is gone. Moriarty immediately declares that no Englishman was ever meant to look upon Tona and Lestrayd has activated Tona's curse. (Moriarty, being Irish, is unaffected.) The gray gargoyle of Tona keeps turning up wherever Lestrayd wanders on the island, until the Scotland Yard man is verging on madness . . . the true curse of Tona, according to Moriarty. Sherlock, however, finds some child-like footprints and deduces that "Tona" is really the pygmy Tonga, who washed downriver and survived from an earlier case. Sherlock uses an island boar he trained named Toby to track Tonga, only to have Toby chase Tonga into the river, where Tonga is small and wiry enough to use the boar as a flotation device and escape the island.

11. The Phantom of the Alpha's Omega. Wandering to the beach, Sherlock and John find Irene in tears, holding a script for an opera she was signed to open in before their boat-wreck. In an attempt to cheer her up, they convince Moriarty to stage the opera at his pub, which John will direct. But as pre-production takes place a series of near-accidents threaten Irene's very life, and Sherlock sees a phantom of the pub disappearing into the shadows after the latest attempt. The show's rehearsals go on, and during the next attempt, the phantom blow-darts Irene from the rafters. As Irene falls, however, her costume veil falls aways and she is revealed to be John Watson in disguise. Mary Morstan drops from above, revealing herself as the phantom, and when she is accused of killing Watson, explains that the dart was a mild sedative with properties that cause an after-effect of laryngitis, Mary hoping to succeed Irene as the star of the show so she can spend more time with John. She has to take over as director, since John can no longer speak, and the couple happily watches Irene's premiere together when the show is put on.

12. The Naval Entreaty. A waterproof newsboy's leather bag washes ashore two days after Christmas with newspapers declaring that castaways have been seen on a secluded river island by a passing steamer and a navy rescue effort is being mounted immediately. John Watson distributes the papers among his fellow castaways, wishing them "Compliments of the Season!" They all gather at Moriarty's pub to celebrate their impending rescue, celebrating so heartily that they're eventually all sleeping off a roaring drunk. When they awake, late the next day, to find no rescue ship has come, they at first blame each other for the celebrations which caused them to miss the rescue, but eventually Sherlock points out that the date on the papers was before they even wound up on the island, so the castaways in the news story were actually the Grice-Patersons whom he later had as clients. But the rescue of those past castaways gives them hope and they happily spend another night at Moriarty's pub.

Great Caesar's ghost, this is awful!

Why would anyone try to replot Gilligan's Island episodes using the prominent characters from the Sherlockian oeuvre? And why would the sort of imbecile who would attempt such a thing hope to convince anyone he was literate by using words like "oeuvre" to make up for such an attempt.

Let's hope for better things tomorrow, people.

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