Thursday, October 11, 2018

Remembering the Great Sherlock Drought

In an age of disagreement, there is one thing upon which we will actually all say is true: The world isn't the same as it once was. Even for Sherlockians.

After chatting with George Scheetz the other night about those good old days we shared, my mind eventually worked its way to the bad old days of Sherlockiana: the Great Sherlock Drought.

Now, someone from a city with a very active, well-populated Sherlock Holmes group, who religiously travels to New York each January, might definitely disagree with me on this point. "Drought? What drought? Sherlockiana didn't even get a little thirsty!"

But out here in the hinterlands, there was a time between the fading of the Granada series with Jeremy Brett and the box office splash of Robert Downey Jr. when you just didn't see anyone newly interested in Sherlock Holmes. A time when a Sherlockian in their fifties just didn't meet any Sherlock Holmes fans younger than them. A time when a blogger like myself struggled hard to find material on current Sherlockian culture to post even one time a week, much less every other day or so.

Internet Sherlockiana hadn't really found its legs yet, and a goodly share of the old school folk weren't embracing it at all. (In fact, some were actively pooh-poohing it.) Sherlock's copyrights were still chaining him down. And new fanfic? Why would we have new fanfic, now that the shine of Jeremy Brett had worn off?

Even though some good things did happen in Sherlockiana . . . I mean, it's Sherlockiana, good things do happen here a lot . . . the 2000s were not a time anyone is going to choose as their "I wish a was a Sherlockian when that was happening!" moment. Because there are so many other eras of Sherlockiana when things were actually happening.

With as many mediums, as many ways to put creative efforts out there, and as much of an ongoing icon as Sherlock Holmes has proven himself to be, now that he's made so many successful leaps out of the Victorian period -- perhaps we're not going to see a drought like the 2000s ever again. Or maybe we get a different kind of weather, where humanity is so saturated in Sherlock that we become apathetic to him. Who knows?

But there was a time, not all that long ago, that really makes one appreciate all we have going on today. So much so that it's even a little hard to totally imagine what that past era was actually like, even for those of us that slogged through it. Which we did.

And, more than ever, we can't wait to see what's next.

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