Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Watsonian

How many of us are single-fandom fans? Less every year, I'd wager, with so many stories being told. About the same time as I was discovering Sherlock Holmes I was discovering something else: a little sci-fi movie that debuted on a Wednesday night, that my college room-mate and I checked out, only to have me see it thirty-two times in the theater that summer. So it might not be a surprise that I was up first thing this morning to see a new TV show called The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian had a hard hill to climb: Tell a Star Wars story without any members of the Skywalker extended family. Even Rogue One had to have a cameo from sister Skywalker, and sister's future husband was the one they tried to do another offshoot movie with, so this is really the first time they've gone cold turkey on Skywalkers. Which brings up the Sherlockian point:

What is the most successful Sherlock Holmes book or movie that doesn't have Sherlock Holmes in it?

We've had books starring the landlady, the supposed love interest, the local kids, the brother, his arch-enemy, and maybe even one or two that pried the good doctor Watson away from his bosom companion, but a full story set in the world of Sherlock Holmes without any of Holmes's extended family in it whatsoever?

Some wag might reply, "But that's just Victorian London!"

Was it though? Did the influences of Moriarty or Milverton not affect Holmes's London in ways our own historical London was not? Those little biological issues, the geese with crops, the snakes that hear, the men with monkey serum altering behavior . . . tips of a greater iceberg of alternate bioversity?

As The Mandalorian is a deep dive into a character like the barely known Boba Fett, what story might be told from the "Watsonian" who wasn't Dr. John H. Watson, from similar origins in that same world? Could a master storyteller pull such a thing off, as Jon Favreau seems to have with The Mandalorian? Would we be at all interested without our central "Sherlock Skywalker?"

Something to ponder on a chilly winter's day, like today.

1 comment:

  1. The barely known Boba Fett? DYK, Bubba Fett was played by Jeremy Bulloch, who is Ross K. Foad's godfather. Since that appearance Ross told me that Jeremy makes a very good living signing Boba Fett photos at Star War conventions.