Monday, July 10, 2017

More Adventures on John Watson's Island.

The experiment of playing out Gilligan's Island if it were made in a universe where Sherwood Schwartz was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes continues, and we're starting to see results, which I'll get into later. For now, back to John Watson's Island:

25. The Nobel Bachelor. Bored with the lack of human toys on the island, Irene tells Professor Moriarty that she's going to convince John to propose to Mary. Moriarty explains that there is no one on the island to perform a legal marriage, but Irene replies that is what will make it fun, confusing the professor. Mary finds flowers on her hammock that Irene tells her are from John. Then invites them both to dinner at Moriarty's pub, where all of the chairs have mysteriously disappeared except for two. Irene goes to look for chairs, leaving them alone, only to have Sherlock come in disguised as a waiter. John and Mary are stunned to find a stranger on the island, but Sherlock states his name is Basil Nobel and he just washed up on the shore that morning, where Moriarty offered him a job. Mary is intrigued by this stranger and starts ignoring John. When Sherlock finally removes his disguise and announces his true identity, John flies into a rage at the charade and chases Sherlock all around the island.

26. The Sound of the Banshee Wails. When Irene finds Sherlock testing an improvised violin, she decides the island needs an orchestra that she can sing in front of. Lestrade tries to improvise a wind instrument, but when he's testing it out, the wind carries his squawky tunes to a nearby island where a clan of Scotsmen hear it and think it's the ghost bagpipes of their ancestors. The Scotsmen load up a crude longboat and paddle for their neighboring island where the island band is now in full effect, its cacophony convincing the Scots that the ghost piper has led them to a demon-infested portal of Hell. When they encounter Moriarty's pub and are told there is no whiskey at this supposed pub, they conclude that this place is Hell and run off to their boat and leave the island forever.

27. The Red-ish Circle. Mycroft and Lestrade discover an island cave, and hear a gang of cut-throats inside plotting to kill everyone. They go back to tell the others, and Moriarty recognizes the names of members of the Red Circle, who he says there is no bargaining with, and that they must prepare for gang war. They barricade the windows of 221B Island Street and prepare makeshift crossbows and fake busts of themselves to put in the windows as distraction targets. At dawn, they hear the gang talking outside, and when Sherlock takes a look with his pocket telescope, finds it's just a parrot who must have been with the Red Circle at some point and picked up their voices.

28. The Shoscombe-Slow Race. When Professor Moriarty claims to have trained a racing turtle he calls "Shoscombe Prince," Sherlock bets the professor that his turtle Clyde can beat Shoscombe Prince in a race. As they have nothing much of real value to bet on the island, Moriarty's wagers his pub against Watson's services as biographer. Clyde, however, sees Mycroft's tortoise-shell snuffbox as an attractive female turtle and heads for it instead of the finish line, giving the race to Shoscombe Prince. Watson writes his first case in The Memoirs of James Moriarty, only to have the professor decide it is not a fit treatise for peer review, so he arranges a second race with Mycroft's snuff box at the finish line, which Clyde wins handily, letting Watson resume his former duty.

29. The Devil's Pearl. Lestrade finds a great black pearl near the spot where Watson was shucking oysters for lunch. Moriarty attempts to get him to give it over by claiming it's cursed, but when a crate of tinned pears shows up on the beach, Lestrade decides it's actually a lucky charm. Irene tries to charm the pearl away from Lestrade, hinting that a beautiful singer might find him a man worth mating, but when Lestrade replies, "I met Jenny Lind once, and she was a sweet old lady," Irene then cold-cocks Lestrade and hides the pearl in her bust. Lestrade wakes up, decides it was cursed, and goes on with his day. Later, Irene is flirting with Sherlock when the "pearl" hatches into hundreds of baby spiders and hilarity ensues.

30. Young Sherlock Holmes. While John and Sherlock attempt to build a platform to signal some Royal Navy vessels in the distance, John drops his hammer and hits Sherlock in the head, giving him amnesia. Mycroft hypnotizes Sherlock to restore his memories, starting with childhood, only to have Sherlock start seeing the castaways as figures from his past. Mycroft and Moriarty as his mother and father, Irene as his sister Eurus, John as Victor Trevor, and Lestrade as young Mycroft. When the latter three won't play pirates with him, Sherlock runs off and sees an actual river pirate who has come ashore with a small boat. Later, when he tries to tell the others about the new arrival, they think he's just playing and play act along with him. The river pirate sees all of this, decides the island is full of lunatics, and leaves, just as Sherlock finally gets the others to come to the beach to see the boat. The river pirate's flight and loss of another chance at rescue is felt by all, and the emotions restore Sherlock's memory.

Putting Sherlock Holmes and company in a desert island sitcom does limit the stories they can experience, and Gilligan's Island starts to make a little more sense. Limiting anything to a specific TV format and letting it run on in American TV fashion would tend to make the original source start mutating to the ongoing format. How far will John Watson's Island mutate? Well, like it's base series, it's not going to last the five or six of some others, but we shall see! Summer isn't halfway over yet!

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